Encountering the Divine in nature

The geographical setting of the Catholic Retreat Centre in St Lucia facilitates a ready-made ambience for a spiritual encounter with the Divine. It is situated at the entrance of the indigenous
    forest of the town, surrounded by the luscious growth of the estuary, adorned with mystical and well-kept walking pathways. The area is shared by various kinds of wildlife such as hippo’s and
    buck that often claim their natural space which not only enable humans to view and encounter them, but for human to also realise that they are to respect what they share in common. In walking
    distances are the pristine beaches, teeming with birds of all kinds and flaming pink flamingos in their numbers. The retreat centre is a natural bird sanctuary with magnificent green scenery
    viewed from each chapel window, and as such providing creation’s natural stain-class windows. Participating in what nature offers at St Lucia is a ready-made spiritual activity and to enter into
    its natural richness is a divine activity that blends easily with the human spirit. It does not take much to be transposed to a different reality that heals both body and soul. Being at the
    Catholic Retreat Centre is almost as if time is not of the essence, the stillness is palpable, and yet not empty. The human spirit has space to enter into the serenity of natural life and to
    unwind and enter into the rhythm of the ebb and flow of the waves.  Even if the sea is not visible the sound thereof is near and the wind transposes its freshness to the doorstep of one’s
    mind and soul. It is a lesson in the art of encounter, generously and freely offered by God’s creation. The noise of cars and other human commodities are dimmed by the gentleness of being hemmed
    in and surrounded by the estuary; nothing is louder than the silent growth of the trees and more intense as the perfume of the blossoms of the

    Brunfelsia pauciflora (
    yesterday and tomorrow) shrubs. The shrub produces a magnificent display of flowers and they start out purple and gradually fade to lavender and then white. The flowering cycle of the brunfelsia
    became a vivid symbol of the transformation that occurred to me as a retreatant at St Lucia. On arrival, I felt like a worn out parched and dehydrated plant because of pure exhaustion of academic
    work and the stress of covid-19 lockdown conditions (and that feeling came to symbolise ‘yesterday’ with the colour purple). The unwinding took time as the colour turns to lavender and invited me
    to enter into the present moment (the today phase of the colour transition in to lavender). The last transition symbolised by the white colour (tomorrow) is a sign of the recovery process has
    reached a rejuvenated phase and ready to face ‘tomorrow’ with the regular requirements of daily tasks and work commitments. The St Lucia Retreat Centre offers just that, a spiritual and physical
    restoration of body, soul and mind.


Rich blessings on the retreat centre and what it offers.


Jennifer Slater. October 2020


Write a comment

Comments: 0