Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The importance of retreat

This past weekend, I helped lead the Confirmation retreat for our high school students. We started at noon on Saturday and finished up after our 7:00 mass on Sunday. There were a lot of good things that happened there including students opening up to prayer and quiet and getting to know their fellow confirmandi. As I prayed over the readings for the Sunday mass, I realized that it was really appropriate that we were having our retreat. I mean, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John off by themselves to do everything that we hope happens on a retreat. They have an encounter with God through great wisdom figures. And Peter even wants to extend the experience but that's not why Moses and Elijah are there. So, one of the things that I encouraged the people at our rural parish to do was to make some kind of retreat every year.

It occurred to me that we tend to frame things in two types of world view: play and work. And we want to maximize the amount of play in comparison to the amount of work. But, a retreat really is a third category of life: contemplate. If we don't take time to reflect on how our lives are meaningful then life can quickly become meaningless. We need to know how much God, the author of meaning, loves us in order to have God be meaningful.