The retreat materials are available at:
The Bible book of the Song of Songs. This book is also called the Canticle of Canticles or the Song of Solomon.
Saint Teresa of Avila: Meditations on the Song of Songs. See PDF pages 716 or Volume 2, page 206. This is a classic Catholic work on contemplation.
Saint John of the Cross. Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom Christ. This is another essential Catholic book on spiritual contemplation, the purgative way, the illuminative way, and the unitive way.
The Song of Songs is sometimes misunderstood, but when Jewish Rabbis in the second century AD debated whether the Song of Songs should be included in sacred Scriptures, the great Rabbi Akiba stated that “all the writings are holy, but the Song of Songs is the Holy of Holies.” Reference.
Medieval Catholic Benedictine monks interested in contemplation understood the Song of Songs as one of the most important books. There were more monastic commentaries written on the Song of Song than any other Bible book.
The Saint Leo Abbey retreat on Nov. 1-3 will help Catholics and anyone interested in contemplation better understand this highly valued and yet sometimes overlooked little Bible book of the Old Testament.
If you cannot attend the retreat at Saint Leo Abbey and want to conduct your own personal exploration of the Song of Songs, additional study and reference materials are free online at Saint Leo Abbey Oblates blog.
The official name for the Nov. 1-3 retreat is the Saint Leo Abbey Oblate Retreat, but everyone is welcome to attend and learn more about the Song of Songs.
The retreat will also be a good introduction to Saint Leo Abbey and its oblate program for lay men and women. Being Catholic is not a prerequisite. It is not uncommon for someone’s first introduction to Benedictine spirituality and contemplation, the oblate life, and Saint Leo Abbey to be at the annual Oblate Retreat.
Saint Leo Abbey Abbot Isaac, O.S.B., will lead the weekend retreat that costs $215 per person or $115 per person if not staying overnight at the abbey. More information on the retreat is available at this Examiner.com article or by email to the oblate office.
For more information about Catholic Saint Leo Abbey and its oblate program for lay men and women who want to live a more balanced spiritual life under the Rule of Saint Benedict, email the oblate office. Map and directions to Saint Leo Abbey. You do not need to be an oblate to pray with the Benedictine monks or to visit Saint Leo Abbey.
See also this Examiner.com article about the November 1-3, 2013 oblate spiritual retreat weekend. It is open to anyone interested in Benedictine spirituality and contemplative prayer.
The abbey is open to visitors every day and welcomes anyone who wants a day of rest and contemplation.