11.03.2007

Retreat: The Three R's

This week I will take my annual retreat away from the parish. Saint Mary's Abbey is calling me. It is never easy to remove oneself from the normal everyday ministerial duties. Of course, one cannot ever completely forget about those things we love.

Some time ago I read an article which defined a retreat as an experience that should contain three R's. No, not reading, 'riting and 'rithmatic. But rather, Return, Rest and Remember. For those of you that benefit yourselves by such spiritual get-aways, I am sure that you identify with the R's.

Return is the allowing of oneself to the re-discovery of the nature that is around us. Our busy lives and material lives cause us to remove our ties to the gifts that God showers us with each day. The sun, stars, leaves, field, mountains, etc. call us back to the simplicity of life, the simplicity of God.

Rest is the time where schedules do not run each day. Where the silence becomes deafening so that the voice of God is heard and reflected upon.

Remember is the remembering of our purpose here on earth. In my homilies, I often use that question from the Baltimore Catechism which asks, "Why did God make me?" Yes, the answer is still the same and one that needs to be thought about regularly. "To know Him, love Him and serve Him...". Even as a priest, I need to remember why I am here.

I will return next weekend. Let us pray for one another.