Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Peace, all. Not to pick on Mr Modl's post awfully much, but I wanted to mention to all the readers that retreats are a great and essential part of the Christian life, and not just for the "professionals." My first experience was when the seminarians hosted an annual gathering of scouts on their ball field every Fall. My first "real" retreat was when the Newman Community would go to the Trappist monastery for the annual student retreat. That was great. Since then, I've become aware of the TEC and REC movements, Cursillo, Marriage Encounter, and other similar activities. Many dioceses have retreat houses and I would encourage you to get on their mailing lists. I will put in a special plug for the dioceses of Dubuque and Marquette MI: wonderful places in which I have retreated. Monasteries too numerous to mention: call 'em and ask if you can visit. People beg off often on busy lives, spouses, children, commitments. Believe me, I have more trouble going on retreat now than when I was a grad student. Not every pastor I've worked for has been supportive of retreats. Thank goodness my wife is. When it gets too long since the last one, she nags me to make arrangements. But I think an annual retreat of some kind would do wonders for a stalled spiritual life and would enhance even a person who feels close to God. Once you start praying for God to arrange your schedule, you will find the time. Have faith!

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