On Retreat 10-16 August


I have returned from the Annual Guided Directed Silent Retreat held every year at the Mary And Joseph Retreat Center.


As always, it was a way for me to deepen my AA 11th step. The retreat is based on the Ignatious Spiritual Exercises, and this year my assigned Spiritual Director gave me training in “Ignation Contemplation”.

The day started with breakfast at 8 AM. I skipped breakfast and went next door to St. John Fisher church for the 8 AM mass, Monday through Saturday. This is the first time I have been able to do 6 daily masses in a row, and I can see the spiritual value of it. But how to squeeze a daily weekday mass into my work schedule as a shift worker?:frowning:

There was a conference/lecture at 9:30 AM, and we had the rest of the day to do whatever we wanted. Although a silent retreat, I was given a dispensation to travel down the hill to my usual noon AA meeting. Yes, I missed lunch, but since I was not engaged in heavy work, as when I do my daily shift at the Post Office, I could pass it off as fasting, and just be content with 6 PM dinner.

We also had daily mass at 5 PM. Two evening were set aside for a viewing of the film INTO GREAT SILENCE. No doubt about it, there is an Anchorite lurking in the depths of my soul who would be thrilled to join those Monks.

But as my Spiritual Director pointed out, that would be running away from my duties. And especially, as a Recovered Alcoholic sober 24 years, from my work in AA, my Corporal Work Of Mercy, to Ransom The Captives to Alcohol and Drugs.

And as such, on Wednesday Afternoon, the Presiding Priest gave me the Sacrament Of The Annointing Of The Sick. The Catholic Church fully understands and accepts that Alcoholics are not bad people trying to become good, sinners who need to be “reformed”. No, we are sick people trying to become well and stay well. ANNOINT!:smiley:

I also went to confession Wednesday night, as part of the “clearing away the wreckage of the past.”:o

One of the mass reading perked me up, the one from Ezekial where an angel went through the city marking foreheads with a “tau”. Now THAT might be an idea…where a TAU cross on your forehead to protest the Culture of Death that starts with abortion and ends with euthenasia. To protest the concept of homosexual marriage. :mad:

But I would need to find an appropiate rubber stamp to put the mark on my forehead daily. Any suggestions?:confused:

So the retreat is over, and boy o boy you should see how brightly my halo is shining! (But not enough to impress my cats, of course.) Tomorrow at 3 PM I return to work, and I doubt the halo will survive until the end of the shift at 11:30 PM. :rolleyes:

I plan, of course, to attend next year, being held 9-15 August 2009.


Hi Andruschak,

I am very glad that you went to the silent retreat. I haven’t got a chance to attend a silent retreat but I am sure I would love it too.

For the daily mass, even you can’t make it to the Mass, you should pray for receiving the Spiritual Holy Communion. You will receive lots of graces for this.

For the Tau mark, I am not sure if you want to really have that on yourself? I’d suggest that you could wear a Tau cross which Secular Franciscans wear as their habit, but I don’t think you would have a problem wearing it. I think that the cross will remind you of who you are in God’s eyes and the love of Jesus for you.

Is there any book you were recommended to read regarding the spirituality of Saint Ignatius?




Which ever way you wear the Tau sign, that is not as the main focus as to live the life the Christ wants you to live.


I stand rebuked:crying:


I am sorry but I didn’t mean to rebuke you or anything. It is part of our discussion and I shared with you what my thought was.


God has purposes for our lives. God has in mind purposes for each of us. Both here and in eternity. We seek God and we must be content with His purpose for us. By continuing to live the life God wants you to live and in the power of the Holy Spirit (by being in a state of grace) you should find contentment. Not necessarily happiness or bliss, but rather contentment. That is what St. Paul was able to always do – to be content.

By being the person God wants you to be, you will someday hear “well done, thou good and faithful servant”. Each of us will be very, very happy if we discover that we were what God wanted us to be and that we fulfilled our purposes.

I suppose at times we may fulfill one of God’s purposes without even being very aware of it. Perhaps it is in prayer. Perhaps it is in a smile to a stranger. Perhaps it is in giving some small thing to somebody. Or in letting somebody know that they dropped something. Once in awhile we may be aware of something that seems very big. But perhaps the greater life accomplishment is in many little things. In a state of prayer and in thoughtful consideration of the needs of others, I suppose many little things just happen without much effort.

You long for daily Mass, yet in your daily life and doing the tasks God wants you to do, you are in God’s will.

Be encouraged. And continue in your daily prayers. And pray for me sometimes.

I plan to go to a weekend retreat in October.



That was intended as a joke. Sorry if my “tone of typer” and the smilie didn’t make it clear. Apologies:o

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