I'm officially back from the mandatory retreat. It was fine, but I still don't like silent retreats. It takes me too long to get used to silence. Total silence is really nice, but it's hard to break my habit of humming "Swanee River" when I go back to my room after breakfast.
There were two talks each day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I think the best one was the morning talk on Wednesday, about the psychological aspects of priestly celibacy. I also liked the exegesis of the wedding feast at Cana. My least favorite talk was the shortest one, about entitlement. It was a good talk, to be sure, but it was more about the vow of poverty than it was about entitlement, which disappointed me. The two topics are related, of course, but I wanted to hear more about entitlement and humility.
During my free time, I studied up on the Holy Spirit. In particular, I studied on the nature of the Holy Spirit's dwelling in the soul. I also studied on the Catholic persecutions that took place in 1500's England, which is considered their golden era. Not a golden era for Catholics, though! They were killed by the thousands. The odd part is that the only Catholic monarch, Queen Mary, gets called "Bloody" Mary...even though the other English rulers killed about ten times as many people as she did.
Next week, we start off with two more days of talks on various subjects that the bishops want us to know (such as the above-mentioned topic of entitlement, so I guess I'll get to hear more about it after all. Good!). Then, school will begin in earnest.
My goal for the year is to learn what will happen to me during the summer before the month of May. I may be setting my sights a little too high, though. We'll find out. Rumors are that I could be sent to Jamaca, Dayton, Ohio, the middle of the woods, and/or Spain. I'm not making up any of those rumors, and Spain is the most probable, because I need to learn Spanish, and Pope Benedict is going to Spain this summer, too.