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Feb. 13, 2019

Submitted by by Bernie Clarke
St. Agnes Parish, Lake Placid

Why do people from all walks of life and from all over the diocese go on retreat? The answer is actually quiteRetreat basic: we are all searching for God.

Some of us may be more aware than others that we want a closer relationship with God, but it is a basic human desire.

Sometimes we fill our lives with other things as we pursue our search, but sometimes an opportunity presents itself for time away with the Lord.

Maybe a friend asks you to join them on a retreat. Perhaps you read about an upcoming retreat in the parish bulletin, and the idea sticks with you.

Responding to nudges from the Lord is a beginning.

After you sign up, apprehension may set in; you may question why you signed up?

“I have so much to do,” you may think. “Why am I giving up a whole weekend?”

Then you rush around getting everything together, and you arrive at the retreat.

You enter in to quiet time. You have space. You have reflection. You have prayer.

Occasionally, there are struggles in letting go of your usual activities, the silencing of the cell phone, the silencing of the mind.

But it’s an opportunity to choose to remain with the Lord – to sit with, walk with and be present to the Lord.

Slowly the weekend takes shape, and you feel peaceful. Reflection can bring clarity, sometimes letting go of a concern. Perhaps a worry does not seem as great; a grace is given.

Subtle changes in how you see life may emerge.

Often we do not realize the benefits of retreat until weeks or months later. We receive graces that we may not even be aware of for a long time.

Before you know it the week-end is over, and it’s time to return to life as you know it. But the peace, the benefits, the graces remain with you long after the retreat is over.

Why not give a retreat a try? You may be very glad you did.

You may have a closer relationship with the Lord.

Sister Bethany Fitzgerald, Sister of St. Joseph, plans to offer adult retreats in both the summer and fall.

Dates will be announced as they are confirmed.

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