Psalm 115:1-2, 3-4, 15-16
We will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
The Jesuits have a practice of making a retreat once a year. It is an essential practice that allows them time to be alone with God, renew themselves and to get refocused on God, guiding them in their work and community lives. As it says in today’s gospel, “Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Retreats are a powerful way to experience God being revealed in our lives.
I understand how essential retreats are because I direct the undergraduate retreat program at Creighton University. I continually witness over-busy, stressed-out students become reawakened to their relationship with God on retreats. Their time away helps them to slow down and become in tune to God’s presence dwelling within them. The students’ reawakening energizes their spirits so that they embrace the gospel message and pursue lives of faith and service. Students coming off retreats remind me of the early Christians - full of the Spirit and spreading the “Good News” of Jesus.
Each of us should adopt the practice of making a retreat. Yes, it may seem difficult or impossible to get away from our busy lives of career, family and our many other responsibilities. Yet, the busier we are, the more we need to slow down and re-center our lives on God. In our busy stressful lives it is easy to get out-of-step with God and others in our lives. When we are living out-of-step with God we run the risk of making bad decisions or forming attitudes that will affect us and others in negative ways. When we take time to center our lives on God, especially through retreats, we open ourselves to the new possibilities and see more clearly the guiding hand of God.
In a word, retreats are grace-filled. Come experience the gifts that God has in store for you and reawaken your spirit to the “Good News” through attending a retreat this year. Open yourself to how God is dwelling with you and filling you with the Spirit so that you too may renew your passion for the gospel like the early Christians.
***This is Eden's last reflection as he has taken a new
job out of state and will be directing a retreat program there. We
appreciate his many contributions to our online ministry and to Campus
Ministry. We wish Eden and his family the best!
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