It is hard to explain how making a 3 day retreat can impact your life, but I will do my best to help you understand. Life has a way of complicating most events, even the best of them.
If you are on the giving side of a retreat, it starts off with weeks of preparation. Planning talks, organizing materials and food, trying to anticipate what you will need to make this retreat a successful one. There are spiritual pushups, prayer, fasting, and reconciliation. You have to make sure there are enough team members and of course will there be the all-important candidates. There are priests and deacons to invite and coordinate times. All of the things that we have done before but this time seem more critical.
Finally it is time to leave for Rosaryville. You’ve tied up all the loose ends at work, taken care of all of the family, and finally you are off. When you turn into those wrought iron gates and drive up that long moss covered tree lined drive, you experience a warm and calming feeling that encompasses your whole being. You know you have made it and the world will just have to wait for a couple of days until you get back.
You enter the main building and find your room. You unpack your stuff and put away your cell phone and watch, because you are on Gods time now and even though it hurts a little (or a lot), you know the routine and how letting go of the world is a very important part of a successful retreat. It’s time to set up all of the rooms and get out the supplies. You get everything in place just in time for the first candidates to arrive.
Now the real marathon begins. You have talks and group sharing. There are services, meals, and songs all late into the night. There are special times for quiet moments when it is just you and God and there are chances to share your story or to listen to others share with you.
Before you know what has happened, the weekend has past and it is time to reflect on how your whole perspective has changed. Things that were important to you whether they be fears or pleasures are not so intense, what matters most is faith and family. You have this inner calm about you and your life. There is almost an aura of peace and tranquility, of safety and inner strength that you did not have before.
What you have found my friend is the Holy Spirit. You realize that no matter what you thought before, it was God who has invited you to this retreat, and it was your job to get out of his way and let Him work on your life. The blessings that you have received were His gift to you for taking the time to say YES to his call.
If you feel that you need the blessings of the Holy Spirit in your life, if work and family and life are weighing you down, then take time to say YES to God and allow him some time to reset your life.
I wish you peace and blessings from Rosaryville and St. Dominics’ Mens Emmaus Retreat.