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Thursday, 4 October 2018

Cedarcrest Retreat 2018 Reflection and Photo Essay


I have been going on silent retreats off and on since 2006. After my first one I wrote: 

"Back in February I went on a retreat at an Opus Dei retreat center Cedar Crest Retreats and I must say it was life changing. I did not know before going that it would be a 'Silent Retreat' but that was the best thing for me. Instead of spending all my spare time gabbing with the other men about our families, work, school, life, and such. I ended up taking the silence as time for study and reflection. There were 12 Meditations given by a priest, and each day we had mass, an examination of conscious, prayed the rosary and the stations of the cross."

There are also several talks by a member of the work. And you can schedule one on one time with the priest or the retreat director. I feel absolutely rejuvenated each time I come. And the retreat recharges the batteries. The monthly recollections I attend help keep them charged. 

A few weeks ago, I had someone close to me state:

"I do not know another man who works on self development the way you do. As a husband, and a father."

My mother in laws words were a bit of a shock. I quickly named some men we know in common, men a little older than I who exemplify those same traits. But her words have come back to me, and in the context of this years retreat I have a response finally:

I read so many Catholic books because they help me improve. I pray that my actions live up to my theology. But that theology is that we have all been called to be saints. I am striving to be better because that is God's plan for me and his expectation. One of the prayers I pray daily is a prayer of humility.

"O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine. From the desire to be esteemed, deliver me. From the desire to be honored, deliver me. From the desire to be praised, deliver me. Teach me to accept humiliation, contempt, rebukes, being slandered, being ignored, being insulted, being wronged, and being belittled. Jesus, grant me the grace that others be admired more than I; that others be praised and I unnoticed; that others be preferred to me in everything; that others be holier than I, provided I become as holy as I should; that I might imitate the patience and obedience of Your mother, Mary. Amen."

And another is a consecration to Mary, part of that prayer is:

"Finally, I believe, my God, that you can and will make me into a saint, even if I won't see it, even if I have to struggle all my life against vice and sin, even if I have to wait until the very end. This blind hope in your mercy, O Lord, is my only treasure."

It is from the book 33 Days to Merciful Love: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration by Michael E. Gaitley. I work so hard because I know I am not there yet. And in this life, I will likely never be there. But to quote Matthew Kelly's tag line I strive 'To Become The Best Version Of Myself!" I read, and I write, and I go to recollections, and I go on retreats because I need help. I do these things not because I am holy, but because I want to be.

The retreat house has changed a lot even since I was here 16 months ago. So below is a photo essay from the 2018 retreat. If you are looking for a retreat to go to in Ontario I highly recommend this place. Follow the link and check out the offerings. 













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Cedarcrest Retreat 2017
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Cedarcrest Retreat 2018
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1 comment:

Theresa Linden said...

This makes me want to go on a retreat.