Posted by: lettersfromrome | October 5, 2008


Come, let us climb the LORD’S mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.

-Isaiah 2:3


Dear Mom,

October 5, 2008

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time


I just got back from a week long silent retreat.  The retreat took place at a Franciscan house in the small town of Greccio.  Greccio sits in a mountainous area; the city itself is over 2,300 feet above sea level and all around there are trails that can take you even higher.  The weather was cool and it was definitely the coldest I have experienced since arriving in Italy.



Greccio is probably most famous for the fact that in December of 1223, St. Francis devised the first living nativity or crèche there.  It is a very quiet and secluded place, as well as beautiful.  St. Francis could really pick the best places to stay at.


It was nice to be able to get away from everything for a week, to not have to worry about Italian or school or checking e-mail or the schedule or anything, and spend an entire week focusing only on God.


We would have two conferences during the day to help us focus our attention and to guide our prayer.  After the conferences I spent most of the day out in the woods hiking until I found a peaceful place to sit and pray.


Yesterday was our last day there, and it was also the feast day of St. Francis.  And in honor of St. Francis I decided that I would wake up at five o’clock in the morning and hike to the top of the mountain to watch the sunrise.  It just seemed like the type of thing he would approve of.



It was a lot steeper and more difficult then I thought it was going to be.  Along the way I ran across a white cow in the woods, it had horns and at first I did not know if it was a bull or a cow and it was charging right towards me.  I was slightly nervous until I saw the utters and realized it was not a bull and posed no danger to me.




Later, I came upon a clearing and this long barbed wire fence.  I was walking along side the fence and I came across a hunter with a rather large gun.  I broke my silence to ask him if I could pass through and if he was having any luck.  He saw my camera and asked if I was taking pictures, I told him I was and he allowed me to pass.  He was a very nice man.


It had been raining most of the night before and when I reached the top of the mountain there was a thunderous boom.  Shortly after that it started raining again and continued my whole trip back.  I arrived back at 7:45, fifteen minutes late for breakfast, soaking wet and fairly muddy.  No one said anything to me, one of the many benefits of being on a silent retreat.



Tomorrow is my first day of real school.  Given my lack of knowledge of Italian, I should probably be more nervous then I am.  Be sure to pray that all goes well.


Micah 6:8…

What is good has been explained to you,

This is what your Lord asks of you:

only this: to act justly,

to love tenderly

and to walk humbly with your God.


With Love from Rome,

Your Son



  1. Wow Adam, I just skimmed through your entries and am quite excited to read them all! Based on this entry alone you are doing very well. It’ll be great to get more details.

    On another note, are you ever on gmail chat? I would love to talk to you like we’re still living in Missouri.

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