Retreat Boosts Associates in their Faith Journey
Maureen McCabe, a CSJ Associate, shares her experience of the CSJ Associates retreat.
Like many I had been looking forward to the CSJ Associate retreat for months; it lived up to everything I expected and more!
I had prepared for the retreat by reviewing the goals and community agreement in our Associate Members' Handbook. And in preparation, I told my clients and family that my Blackberry was being powered off at 5:30 p.m. on Friday until Sunday evening. I left it in the car because I wanted to be laser-focused (sorry for the corporate jargon!) on maximizing every contemplative moment to grow closer to Him.
To be candid, when I learned that it was a silent retreat I didn’t think I could do it… to be quiet for an entire weekend. Surprisingly, it was easy and the more I did it, the more I valued the time to reflect. I hope we will have another silent or partially silent retreat.
Held on Oct. 15 - 17, 2010, at Queen of Apostles Retreat Centre in Mississauga, the retreat "Seize for God the Energy of Love" was led by Sr. Theresa Rodgers, pictured at left. The retreat theme didn’t initially resonate with me until I reflected upon her profound words, "Jesus needs us: it is the only way for him to walk the streets of Toronto to meet, help, and spread the Gospel."
In the Galilee Associate group, we study and reflect about how Father Médaille’s Maxims apply to our lives. I had an understanding of the concepts of total double union, self-emptying love, and love of our neighbour but it wasn’t until Sr. Theresa said, "Jesus needs us" that I put it all together.
During our faith sharing, many points were raised: from praying for the families who live in the homes we walk by each day, making eye contact and smiling at a stranger on the elevator, to being better listeners. The challenge for many is to listen to another person’s story without interrupting or thinking what we are going to reply vs. actually listening.
One Associate shared that she enjoys the retreats and monthly meetings because they give her a boost in her prayer, which deepens her love of Him. Everyone undoubtedly had a boost! On behalf of all the associates, thank you to the volunteers who organized the retreat and in particular to Sr. Theresa for her inspirational words.
By Maureen McCabe
Photo by Mary Huan
Both in the Galilee Associate Community