|01-07-2007 - Traces, n. 7
NewWorld / priests in america
That Their Joy May Be Complete
The central theme of the retreat was, “What is the evidence of the Resurrection in our lives?” It is a question that I have been pondering still, now that I am back from the retreat.
Two phrases stood out for me. First, Fr. Chris Marino, in his witness, said that CL helps him to remember to whom he belongs. As I thought about that, I came to see that during the times when I started to feel lost or discouraged in my priesthood, what revived me was my weekly School of Community. They were reminding me, not with words of affirmation but just by helping me remember the Lord, that Jesus had called me, with all my blemishes, to serve Him as a priest. In a very profound way, I have been configured to Christ, so I belong to Him.
The other phrase that struck me was that CL is a guided companionship. I know that the “something” I was looking for was a companionship to walk with. At first I kept using the term “support group,” but that frequently has other connotations. Companionship includes the idea of supporting each other as we journey with Christ to our destiny.
The retreat has helped me understand the experience of Christianity. I have been asking myself, “What does my heart desire?” and have been seeking it in the experiences of my life. The Gospels have a new life, as I listen to them with my heart; they are Christ speaking to me. I look for verification of the truth of what I hear. I have only been back about 10 days from the retreat, but several of my parishioners have commented that there has been a greater joy about me, and my daily homilies have sparked more in them.
I am grateful for CL, and the priests that I met on the retreat. I look forward to continuing in our companionship on the road, the road to Christ.
- Fr. John Garrett, Diocese of Trenton, NJ
The retreat was just what I needed. Albacete spoke to my heart and to my humanity, and for that I am filled with affection and gratitude toward him and the Movement. And being with such an awesome collection of priests left me edified and joyful. Perhaps that is the best evidence that something was happening there.