This past weeked I went on retreat with my two best friends. We were so in need of a retreat; to get away, to pray, to learn and to re-energize. I think we accomplished that.
The presenter for the weekend was Edwina Gateley. Edwina Gateley is a poet, artist, writer, lay missioner and religious educator. She founded the Voluntary Missionary Movement in her native Britain and Genesis House in Chicago. (Re-written from the back of her book:
In God’s Womb, A Spiritual Memoir ~ Orbis Books
I highly recommend this book to you. You don’t have to be female to understand what Edwina is talking about. She goes into her relationship with God and her life choices in relation to what God calls her to do. For example she goes to Africa as a young woman alone to live with a tribe for 3 nearly years.
Edwina told us the goal of our time together was not to find God, but to recognize the presence of God everywhere. We do not find God, God finds us.
Edwina is someone who believes the Catholic Church has completely missed what the role of women should be; and it’s not as spectators in the life of the Church. Edwina would like to see full participation in the Church. She’s not alone in that thinking. Personally I would like to see female Deacons, just as we had them in the early Church.
As women, we have a role to play in this world. We are the mothers, the nurturers, we give birth. . .we must live our lives in Divine expectancy.
We were asked to write something to describe what we feel ~ hence my contribution ~
Amid the dust heap that was my life
Amid the unholy and unclean
Emerged my life-blood and soul
Blessed with broken-ness and light.
Come forth sweet soul, be my love
Cling to me as I cling to you,
For you are my beloved, I your love ~
Trade your sorrow for light.
For those who would like to know more about Edwina Gateley go to www.edwinagateley.com. She cannot be contained in one small blog piece. She can really be known through her writings. You won’t be disappointed.
(The place where we went on retreat is Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center in Villa Maria Pennsylvania ~ This is one awesome place to get away and restore yourself.
Sandy Ozanich © Sept. 2012