I write this reflection from Sevenhill Jesuit Retreat Centre in South Australia.
I have come here to celebrate the marriage of two good friends of mine.
They are getting married in the beautiful St Aloysius Church.
This place is full of history. In 1848 Fr Aloysius Kranewitter the first Australian Jesuit arrived here with a small group of religious refugees from the German lands.
The Jesuits built Sevenhill and are here to this very day.
For me this is Holy ground. I did my first retreat here in 1977 just before I was ordained a deacon.
Since then, I have done many retreats here including a thirty-day retreat and my retreat before I was ordained a Bishop.
I feel the silence around me. It draws me to prayer.
There is value in having a regular time and place for prayer. It gives a certain psychological predisposition to pray.
Of course this is not always possible for many. God has his own way of connecting with us.
Whatever way we do it, we all need some time of silence, even if it is for a few minutes.
When it is not possible to have proper physical silence, we can consciously be aware of the external noise, accept it (not fight it) and not concentrate on it and move into internal silence.
I am glad to avail of this gift and take some time in prayer in between the joyful celebrations!