SG Lenten Retreat in Heiligenkreuz 2024

At the weekend from 22 to 25 February, we, the Studium Generale students, were hosted by the monks of the Cistercian monastery of Heiligenkreuz for a Lenten retreat. It was wonderful to be in such a beautiful place where we could take a break from our regular routine and step into a place of silence, prayer, and contemplation. It was especially powerful and fruitful to witness what it is to live a life devoted to God. We were able to join the monks in their prayers, beginning with Mass in the early morning and ending the day in the chapel with Compline.

Everything was directed to God, from the monks having their day structured around the prayer times to the architecture of the monastery itself. It was a great opportunity for us to grow in our faith because there was always a time for prayer, either with the monks or in silent adoration. Not only were we able to foster our relationship with God on this retreat, but also with each other. We were able to get to know one another in a deeper way through talking, going on walks, praying the rosary and the Stations of the Cross together, and exploring the beautiful monastery with each other.

We did not only grow in our faith and friendships on this retreat but also in our understanding of love. Pater Edmund Waldstein, who led our retreat, gave two wonderful talks about love in marriage and the consecrated life that opened our eyes to a new way of looking at love.

It was truly an amazing gift for us to be able to go on this retreat so that we could enter Lent in a prayerful manner and fully grasp God’s goodness and love.