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"And I have Heard God's Silence Like the Sun"

A Silent Contemplative Retreat
Martin Laird, O.S.A


October 11-14, 2018
Thu 6 pm to Sun after lunch
$360 overnight / $300 commuter

Registration for this retreat is now open.


And I have heard God's silence like the sun.

These words from the poet Franz Wright serve to focus our days together in Silence itself.  Silence has no opposite.  For the silent mind, sound is as silent as no sound.  For the mind free of clutter, the silence of despair and the silence of joy are different forms of the very same silence.  Why, then, does it so often seem to us that silence is the opposite of noise or life turmoil?  

To explore this, among other things, Fr. Martin will consider such topics as: the inner noise generated when we try to use contemplative practice to acquire something we think we lack (such perpetual peace); how the practice of awareness can keep us center stage of our own contemplative project; as well as some special challenges for the maturing contemplative.  All of these challenges are, again to quote Franz Wright, “a darkness all of light.”

We will be in silence for this retreat.





Martin Laird, O.S.A., has lectured and led retreats throughout the US, UK, and the Republic of Ireland for many years.

He is the author of a host of articles and books including Into the Silent Land and A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation (each from Oxford University Press).

He is currently preparing An Ocean of Light: Contemplation, Transformation, and Liberation (forthcoming from Oxford University Press).

He teaches at Villanova University, near Philadelphia, where he is Professor of Early Christian Studies.






A welcome letter will be sent by email to all registrants for this retreat.


Read and print silent retreat orientation





Overnight registration includes:

  •  Single bedrooms; dormitory-style bathrooms; kitchenette on each floor
  •  Locally-sourced fresh produce, soups, salad, vegetable and meat entrees
  •  Guests are welcome to bring foods to supplement our meal service
  •  We cannot provide all-vegan or other special dietary menus



Please read all of the following before making a registration payment:

  •  We accept MasterCard and Visa, USA and Canada only
  •  Please select either Overnight or Commuter registration
  •  Mercy Sisters and Associates select the RSM-BurlAssoc rate
  •  An account is optional—credit card data is not stored 

When you have entered your contact and billing information and are ready to complete the online transaction:




If there is an error message, or if you do not receive a confirmation email, do not run the transaction again. Contact We’ll confirm your registration and provide assistance if needed.


Overseas Residents: Please do not register online. Email to register.

Or call (650) 340-7474 for further information.





Please read our cancellation and refund policy.