The Order of Saint Luke has a Silent Retreat

The Order of Saint Luke (OSL) is a dispersed ecumenical religious order founded by Methodists. Its focus is on sacramental and liturgical practice and study, and spiritual formation. The Singapore Association of OSL, comprising both clergy and lay members, organises meetings to further deepen our understanding of the sacraments and liturgy.

We also endeavour to pray the “Daily Office”, which is a regular rhythm of prayer and Scripture that is common to the worldwide Church. The “Daily Office” is evolved form of synchronised prayer that links all Christians into a chain of continuous prayer and praise.

Founded in 1946 in the United States, OSL invites and accepts Christian brothers and sisters at all stations. Membership is by affirmation of vows, and seekers may wish to seek spiritual guidance on their vocation through a companion. Alternatively, one may choose to start off as a Friend of the Order.

The highlight of 2018 for Singapore was a silent retreat entitled “The Discipline of Silence”. It was held on 18 Oct, the Feast Day of Saint Luke, at the San Damiano Spirituality Centre at the Church of St Mary of the Angels in Bukit Batok.

Sixteen people, members of OSL and guests, from Methodist, Anglican and Baptist churches attended the retreat, with the Rev Vincent Goh as the Spiritual Director. So often, we scurry about and, in the cacophony of each day, fail to set aside time to quieten our soul to hear the Holy Spirit. The retreat was a time of disciplining ourselves to quieten our hearts to listen to God’s still, small voice. The venue centre provided many quiet and private spots for individuals to remove themselves from the world and seek to see, hear and feel God.

After a day of tuning out the world to tune in to God, the retreat ended with a time of sharing and celebrating the Holy Communion. Retreatants shared about how it was difficult to focus at the beginning, how the serene surroundings reminded them of God’s presence in His creation, and how God sometimes shouts through the silence of solitude. We agreed that intentionally setting time aside for a retreat was beneficial for our spiritual formation.

Dr Anthony Goh is Chairperson of the Council on Communications, and a member of Bedok Methodist Church. He and his wife, Hui Ling, conduct Marriage Enrichment and Preparation Courses, and enjoy ballroom dancing.

As the Singapore Association grows, we hope to interest more Christians in sacramental and evangelical revival. (Br Anthony)

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Photos courtesy of the Rev Egmedio B Equila Jr