13th April, 2020

Easter Retreat Talks from Fr Wulstan


We are delighted to share with you the Easter retreat talks given by Fr Wulstan

Introduction to the Easter Retreat

I am Fr Wulstan and behalf of the monastic community at Ampleforth, I welcome you and invite you to share in prayer these days of the Sacred Triduum with us.  We are sorry that you are unable to join us in person – and we miss having you here – but as we have experienced in these last weeks, our shared prayer and our shared commitment to the Lord mean that there is a real bond of connection among us, as we bring our lives and our needs before Him.  As someone remarked to me recently, ‘We are distanced, but not apart.’

As we begin this retreat, I would like to encourage you to take some time to pray, to read the Scriptures – particularly those texts that form part of the Triduum liturgies – as a way of listening to what the Lord is saying to us, accompanying Jesus, as it were, through these days, the culmination of his earthly life, the events of which bring us salvation.

St Benedict in his Rule invites us to listen with the ear of our hearts, to allow the Lord to penetrate to the depth of our being, that His Word may truly find a home in us, shaping us, moulding us, that our faith might be deepened, our hope strengthened and our love – for God and for each other – increased.

Perhaps this time of difficulty and suffering, as we struggle and learn to cope with the coronavirus and its effects, can be a time of renewal, when thrown back on ourselves and our helplessness, we can learn once again to put our trust in the Lord alone.  In some ways, our current situation with the various forms of deprivation and isolation imposed upon us, is like a time in the desert, a time even of sharing in the Cross, when we can turn back to the Lord, knowing our need of Him and inviting Him into our lives.  This can be a time of real faith, faith in darkness perhaps, but nevertheless a time of renewal that deepens our relationship with God and can bring us real hope.

It is my prayer that these talks as part this retreat will help you to reflect on the mysteries that we remember in these days.  They contain, of course, my reflections, but your reflections and your prayer, your openness to the Holy Spirit, is what will make the retreat worthwhile.  So, again, I would encourage you over these days to take time to pray, to give time to God, to take time to listen to Him, as well as to bring your needs before Him, placing yourselves wholly in His hands.

So, let us now take a moment of silence to remember that we are in the presence of God.

The retreat talks can be downloaded below.