The past two decades (almost) of my life since my retirement have afforded me the time to develop my relationship with You in ways I was not able to pursue when I was working. Since my retirement I have been able to attend morning Mass daily and receive You in communion. I have been able to sit silently in solitude with You for a time each day. I have been able to write these letters to You, and I have been able to volunteer some time to the hungry and homeless.Spiritually, it seems to me, these years have been the most fruitful and grace-filled period of my life. Two thoughts have come to me regarding this time: 1] that I don’t thank You enough for it; and, 2] that it wouldseem fairer if everyone was able to have such a time in their lives.
I am most grateful for Your touch, Your whisper, and Your drawing me in extraordinary and personal ways during this period of my life. I desire strongly to show my love and gratitude by responding to Your beckoning and cultivating further those responses I now make. I hope and pray that my responses are not just what appears to me as contemplation but is, rather, an actually deeper prayer life. At the same time I muse over my seemingly special bequest of such a grace.
Isn’t the time of retirement indeed a fair payment from the master of the vineyard? Is it not also, indeed, a time of learning how to rest in You? I am compelled to think that learning to use the gift of this time is an important final stage of life that should be anticipated and nurtured with at least the same enthusiasm and effort as the other stages of life. I am at least as grateful (if not more grateful) for this time as for my childhood, my education, my raising a family with my wife, my years of teaching and my music.
It has been said that there can be no deep prayer life without there first being love in our hearts. My prayer life grows and is nourished by what I have learned about the reality of love, especially during the last nearly 20 years. Thank-You, and please keep drawing me to Yourself.