Fragments of Our Day of Retreat

by Sr. Mary Anne Schaenzer



FRAGMENTS OF OUR DAY OF RETREAT ON THE TOPIC OF FACING FRAGMENTATION THROUGH DIALOGUE WITH GOD, SELF AND OTHERS.

MARCH 5, 2020


On Thursday, March 5, approximately 30 women gathered with presenter, Christine Luna Munger to contemplate and share on the topic of Facing Fragmentation through Dialogue with God, Self, and Others.


Throughout this year we have been considering the theme of Gathering the Fragments: Embracing Light and Darkness.


In the course of the day’s presentation, quiet and discussion led from seeing fragmentation to seeing wholeness – and both are present in our lives in a variety of ways.

Fragmentation is uncomfortable: it could be feeling busy, or overwhelmed at times, longing for wholeness. We aspire to going someplace where it is better.


We need to face fragmentation, rather than run from it. Sit with the darkness rather than push it away.


Christine spoke of a Spirituality of Seeing – of Contemplation as a Long Loving Look.


At various times in the day there was reference to the contrariness that we sometimes experience within ourselves. This contrariness can tempt us to think that we are separate from God.


Christine commented that Julian of Norwich (1342-1415) never sees wrath or anger in God, but sees only love.

We can see ourselves as God sees us, as loved. God dwells in our soul and our soul dwells in God. We are enclosed in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and the Father is enclosed in us, the Son is enclosed in us, the Holy Spirit is enclosed in us.




Another author quoted was Evelyn Underhill, from Practical Mysticism. She encourages us to contemplate our union with the flux of life and our union with the whole.

The Alreadiness of the Whole makes it easier to deal with our fragmentation. The highest bliss is to possess and clearly see God. The deepest pain is not seeing God clearly. To some degree, we choose how much we suffer.

Toward the end of the day together we were encouraged to take a Trinitarian Contemplative Pause. We can do this by using our breath as a tool. With each of three deep breaths we can consider: Entering into Spaciousness – becoming grounded. Fluxing with Supplement – openness to others. Surrender [which prepares us for healing and wholeness that God has for us] – to seek God.


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A fragment is a part of the whole. We could each select a [plastic] fragment from the centerpiece to remind us of the day.

© 2020 Association of Pastoral Ministers.