Summertime is the time we take a week and make a silent retreat some place. I chose this year to go to the Desert House of Prayer on Pictures Rocks Road in Tucson, right outside the Saguaro National Park.
I stayed in one of their six hermitages on the property.
The Chapel-where we met for Mass, morning and evening prayer. We had a contemplative Mass one day. All was done in silence except for the Eucharistic Prayer and the 1st Reading from scripture and the Gospel. A little bell was rung to tell us when to focus on the next part of the Mass.
I took time to pray the Stations. I loved the desert colors of each.
|Jesus meets His Mother, Mary.|
|Jesus is nailed to the cross.|
|Jesus is laid in the tomb. I have never seen a picture of Jesus actually being laid in the tomb. |
After Mass I went to the beautiful bookstore at the retreat center here. I bought a book on Thomas Merton but I was short money. They would hold the book for me as I jogged back to the hermitage to get more money. As I quickly came out of the hermitage I thought I better take the car back since they were waiting for my return. As I was thinking this out I was not watching where I was stepping and low and behold my foot was ready to come down on this rattler when I quickly jumped over it. It was happy I missed it too and it slithered into the rocks. Now this was right outside my hermitage. They said to keep the door always closed to keep the spiders out but I should have known about the snakes with all the snake holes I see.
There is a beauty in the desert that some see and others do not.