Kairos: Gods Time? Real Time? Or Just Real Lame?

On a Saturday morning I like to luxuriate in Bed. I like to wake up when I feel like it, get dressed and just leave. No alarm clocks, no cell phone, no extra company. Just me, on a spontaneous adventure where I can be totally anonymous.

I’ve heard a lot of crazy things about Kairos. Maybe it really is just three days of partying in the woods with father Privett, Jack Daniels and reefer.

I didn’t know then if this was true and now that I do, I still can neither confirm nor deny any allegations made about the retreat. University Ministry will only allow me to tell that Kairos is held once a semester and costs $60.

Kairos literally means the right and opportune moment. It is the time in between two periods of real time, in which something truly special happens.

Kairos refers to God’s time. Kairos is an intense three day weekend of reflection and decision-making. It is a Jesuit retreat used in both colleges and high schools to develop community and self-awareness.

Kairos, not unlike Catholicism itself, bears a shroud of secrecy. It’s like Cabo, in that what happens on Kairos stays on Kairos. And that’s the way it should be.

If you want to know what happens there you need to go for yourself. If you want to know what happens at a Delta Zeta meeting you have to join the sorority.

This retreat is not about praying devotionals, about finding God on bended knee while muttering off incantations. It’s just about answering questions you may never have thought about.

Forty people pile onto a charter bus that is headed for Applegate, a quite reclusive Jesuit retreat center high up in the foothills of Sacramento above Auburn.

As we travel along a windy road and down a steep hill, the drive turns and at the end of the bend in the road we stop in front of a two story wooden cabin and exit the bus so that we can enter our voyage into the unknown.

In a small valley between rolling hills, amongst the trees in an enchanting forest, lies the place were will find ourselves.

Little did I know that my life would change forever. Because of the individualistic nature of the retreat, all who go have their own stories to tell.

At Kairos I was able to save the suffocating person buried inside myself. It helped me realize that maybe my mother had died, but I was the one who wasn’t really alive. I discovered that when the casket closed, I was the one trapped, entombed inside my mother’s grave, not her.

I wanted not to be sad, not angry or lonely. What I really accomplished was feeling nothing. My soul had shot itself with Novocaine. My life was like when you can’t feel your lips, but you can feel them talking. I lived my life just going through the routines of being alive, but never seizing the day.

My mother used to say, “ignorance is no qualification for serving as a guide in the unknown.” I think that what she was really trying to tell me was that I had to know myself before I could make decisions that would help me be happy in my life.

I think she brought me to Kairos because this retreat is about finding knowledge that helps you in your life.

Most of the things we learn in college we are going to forget. But self-knowledge is something that will help you live your life to the fullest. It, unlike Aristotle, will always be useful.

Anna Swanson is a junior communication studies major.

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