Spiritual Retreats

I recently went to an awesome mission/retreat by a Missionary of St. John the Baptist. He offered daily Mass, confessions, catechism classes, and evening talks/holy hours. It was very spiritually enriching. Check out their website msjb.info to learn more about them. Please support them if you can, as they are trying to raise funds for their new church! 

Retreats are very important. Many of us perhaps have never been to one, or maybe we never gave them a second thought as to their importance. Yet, they are really good to attend perhaps once a year, or more often if you can. 

Retreat literally means as a noun, "an act of moving back or withdrawing." Missions/retreats let us step away from our busy lives and withdraw as it were from the world to focus on what is really important, that is reaching eternal life. They offer time for prayer, reflection, spiritual conferences, learning about the Faith or seeing aspects about our Faith in a new light. They make us think about our purpose in this life and where we are headed. The retreats give us more focused time to really talk to God in prayer and, more importantly, to listen to Him. 

Retreats are also a good reminder of the need to advance in the ways of holiness. I've heard so often in sermons that you are either going forward or going backward in the spiritual life. Lent again is a great season for this need to amend our lives and renounce our sins. But it is not just about the maxim of avoiding evil and doing good, although that is true if you are putting it simply. Rather you must really aim for the heights and set your heart on doing great things for God. Because this is not the time for mediocrity. St. Teresa of Avila says, "Unless you strive after the virtues and practice them, you will never grow to be more than dwarfs."

So, if you can, find some time this year to go on a retreat or attend a mission. In our busy lives we need to remember to focus on what is really important. For after all, this life is very short, and if what we are doing is not helping us get to Heaven, then we should make some changes in our lives so that it is.