Sanctification in Daily Work
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Retreat at Roseaire Conference Center

Roseaire Conference CenterThe last time I went on retreat at the Roseaire Conference Center was in 2015. Since then the facility has made some massive upgrades and a very accessible wing with rooms for more people. The center is beautiful and sits on property that contains about 20 large banyan trees and a trail through a gardeners dream of variety on flowering plants and coconut palms.

So, this retreat, which is managed by the Tekesta Study Center in Miami, is a silent men’s retreat. We listen to the priest provide talks for meditation as well as the sacraments of confession and the Mass. He is also available for a personal session of spiritual direction if you want. There are other talks from members who live and work in Miami as well.

There is a lot of time for meditation, spiritual reading and leaving all the distractions of phones and computers. I write lots of notes from the retreat that I use as social media posts on @PathToHoliness and at the end I select a couple of personal resolutions to look at daily and spend a little time meditating about them.

Most importantly, and something that takes practice, is to “listen to Jesus” along with the above. Sometimes I just sit and marvel about the beauty of God’s creation while not talking but listening. I may not hear Jesus speaking to me but my soul does and that’s what is important. I thank God for my ability to go on retreat as well as my wife who went on her retreat last month at a center in Missouri.

Annual Retreat at Villa Maria Retreat Center

Villa Maria Retreat CenterIt is still Easter season and I was able to make my annual retreat. This was held at the Villa Maria Catholic Life Center near Springfield, IL. The retreat was put on by the Wespine Center in St. Louis, MO. Pictured is the chapel where we listened to talks from our priest, Fr. Mike Giesler, and held Mass and Adoration as well as just being able to sit in the presence of Jesus in the Tabernacle.

I always take a lot of notes during the talks and meditations. I’m sharing many of these on my Twitter account: @PathToHoliness. Feel free to follow and thank you.

I had not been able to go to an Opus Dei retreat for a couple of years and it was greatly missed. I needed it because it “recharges my spiritual batteries.” The biggest and pleasant surprise was that Fr. Giesler was here. He was the priest at my first retreat back in 1997! He has written several books that you can find easily online. I purchased “How Christ Saves Souls – With Us: The Mystery of Co-Redemption, which was published last year by Emmaus Road Publishing.

Annual Spiritual Retreat

ACTS MissionsIn 2020 I was not able to attend an annual retreat. However, I have had that opportunity this year. I have always gone to annual retreats that are put on by a local Opus Dei center. It is a silent retreat with a priest providing talks for spiritual meditation and daily Mass, Adoration and availability for confession or to talk to the priest in spiritual direction. This year, at the suggestion of spiritual advice, I decided to go on an ACTS Retreat that is managed by St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Pensacola, FL. It is a different kind of retreat in that we are able to not only talk to other participants but share thoughts and ideas after talks. We also had the sacraments the same as Opus Dei retreats.

I was somewhat hesitant at first to go on this retreat but felt like my reasons were not sufficient to make that decision. I’m glad I went! There were 14 of us as participants and the team that does all the work and a priest. I didn’t realize how much the ability to meet other men and be able to talk to them on a very personal, level which includes our faith, would mean to me in a very positive way. I now have a big group of men that I know locally and didn’t before and they are available to call anytime and that goes the same for me to them. So, I’m learning more about this ACTS Missions organization that is based out of San Antonio, TX. Some have told me it is like a Cursillo, which I have not participated in. You can find out more and see if your church would be interested in putting on one of these retreats here.

An ACTS Retreat is a parish-based event which offers parishioners an opportunity to experience the love of Jesus Christ. This in turn fosters a desire for intentional discipleship.

ACTS Retreats are given by parishioners for parishioners, and in this way, serve to build Christian community at the parish.

2019 Annual Retreat Complete

Featherock Conference CenterI may have had to change the dates for my annual retreat but I got it done last week. It was very worth it and I got so much out of it that I almost can’t wait until 2020. Of course, learning to be more patient is something I’ve had to work on for years.

Father Jerry who presented the meditations at the Featherock Conference Center also heard confessions and provided personal spiritual direction. I was very happy to have the opportunity since I have not had a spiritual director for a year now. Apparently there is a distinct lack of spiritual direction on a personal basis in our diocese here in north Florida.

I took a few photos while walking around the center property. They have a new walking path which is very nicely done and winds through some trees. I saw lots of deer tracks and on the last morning I saw three does just leaving the pasture behind the center. It was early morning and made my whole day.

Here are my photos if you are interested: 2019 Featherock Retreat Photo Album

Registered for Annual Retreat

How about an annual retreat to get your spiritual batteries re-charged? I missed attending one last year and really felt it. So I’m determined to make one this year. I’ve already made my reservation at Featherock Conference Center.

Spiritual retreats held at Featherock are opportunities to reflect on the truths about our existence in the presence of God. It is a time to pray, seek advice and return home with renewed vigor and practical resolutions.

Important to me is that the spiritual aspects of the retreat are entrusted to Opus Dei, a personal Prelature of the Catholic Church. I have had to change the dates I can attend but am hoping nothing else will interfere at this point.

There are many retreat opportunities around the country that would be excellent to attend. However, I have found myself attracted to Opus Dei from the beginning of my spiritual conversion. The main reason is its simplicity which is easily summed up in this quote from St. Josemarķa, “Human life – your life – and its humdrum, ordinary business, have a meaning which is divine, which belongs to eternity.” So, no matter what kind of work we do or how “high on the ladder” we may be, we are all called to holiness and it is achievable through our faith.

I highly recommend going on a retreat once a year if possible. It can change your life and it will help you gain strength to do what we’re all here for and that is to become saints.

2015 Retreat Planned

Roseaire Retreat CenterIt’s official. I’m going on a retreat this year! Last year I never did get one on my calendar. That was the first time in more years than I can remember that I missed going on a retreat. By the end of last year I could “feel” something was missing spiritually. That’s how important an annual retreat can be for your spiritual health and growth.

So, I’ll be attending a Roseaire Retreat and looking forward to seeing their new facilities. They have added a dorm section with more rooms for attendees.

Roseaire Retreat encourages individuals to recognize and foster the unique contribution they make to society when they integrate their faith with their daily work, their family, friendships and social relationships. We offer spiritual retreats, workshops, summer camps and professional workshops to middle school, high school, and college students, as well as young professionals and men and women from all over the country.

The spiritual and doctrinal activities offered at Roseaire Retreat are entrusted to Opus Dei, a personal Prelature of the Catholic Church. Opus Dei helps people turn their work and daily activities into occasions for growing closer to God, serving others and improving society. For more information about Opus Dei, please see

2015 Retreat Planned

Roseaire RetreatThis year I am planning on a retreat in Delray Beach, FL at Roseaire. 2014 is the first year in longer than I can remember that I did not make a retreat and my body feels it psychologically speaking. The annual retreat accomplishes a number of things that include spending significant personal time just listening to what God is telling you. Especially for someone like me who makes a living off of almost 24/7 internet connected social communication and over the top traveling to conferences it gives me a few days of unplugging the gadgets. I get to examine my conscience more deeply and evaluate my resolutions.

This retreat also helps me to understand how to better balance my work, personal and spiritual life in service to God. Our work should be be a path to holiness if we understand why and how. The talks given by the priest help us to focus on that.

If you’re interested in a Roseaire Retreat then look them up online here.

2013 Retreat Notes

Our journey is toward Heaven in this year of faith. But there are often obstacles. Sin.

Sin is saying no to God. Personal sin has a social impact. By poor example, even internal sin worsens the human condition. We give bad witness. We are leading people down the wrong path.

Lord let me see myself as I really am.

This is a tough one for a lot of people I have talked with about personal decisions and their impact on other people. I have friends who can’t understand how what they decide to do or think has an impact on other people. Even people on the other side of the world from them. It’s easy to understand that if you steal from someone or damage their property that you’ve had an impact. Or that if you feed a hungry person some food you’ve had an impact. But what about the choices you make when you look at what we’ll just call inappropriate images on the internet? You might wonder how that can hurt someone. But have you thought about the exploitation of the person you might be looking at? If you didn’t look then perhaps there wouldn’t be that exploitation. And let’s face it, the pornography industry exploits people in terrible ways.

So I take from this meditation point from my retreat that I need to keep my thoughts pure as well as make sure I am not actually doing something sinful that others can see.

2013 Retreat Notes

Garden at Roseaire RetreatHere’s a back yard meditation garden at Roseaire Retreat. At least that’s what I’m calling it. There are some benches in front of it.

I’m going to try to write a series of posts from notes I took while on retreat last weekend. I’m also tweeting them.

So, to get started, the first note I wrote is, “Ask Jesus what you can do to love and serve him more. Where are you going?” This was something we were asked to do and meditate on at the start of the retreat. The answer to the question would help us form a good resolution to take away with us. So, each time I visited the Blessed Sacrament during the next couple days I asked Jesus what He wanted me to do and how could I love Him more. This doesn’t mean I expected to hear a voice give me clear direction but by the end of the retreat I made a resolution to re-dedicate myself to my daily spiritual practices and follow my plan of life. And to do so without complaining and worrying. Writing this post is an example of how I’m trying to follow up on my resolution. Here’s to hoping I will continue.

Annual Retreat Part of Plan of Life

Roseaire Retreat ChapelI have written before about having a plan of life and I will write some more about it soon. I’m taking a few moments to get a new update here on Path to Holiness while I’m on my annual retreat. This is part of my plan of life.

I’m attending a retreat at Roseaire Retreat which is managed by the Tekesta Study Center in Miami. This annual retreat is needed to charge the spiritual batteries so I can go forward toward the goal of Heaven. We live in a world with a lot of challenges to achieving that goal but it is possible with the help of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I’ll be sharing notes from this retreat as I have time to in coming weeks. Now I need to get back to some serious meditation and examination of my conscience.

Spring Retreat Planning

St. Josemaria EscrivaPlanning a scheduled retreat right now and looking at various options this year. For years I have attended a Wespine Study Center retreat which is currently being held at the Sojourn Center in Missouri. However, this year since I have re-located to north Pensacola, FL there are two closer Opus Dei centers offering men’s retreats.

One is Roseaire Retreat in Delray Beach, FL and the other is Featherock Conference Center in Schulenburg, TX. They are about equal distance driving for me and both look like they have scheduled retreats that are open dates on my calendar. I’m sure that I can find other retreats to go on but none offer the same type of spiritual opportunities I find on an Opus Dei led retreat. At least that I have looked at. I’m sure there are very good retreats available but I want to stay with the formative structure of Opus Dei as a cooperator in the work.

If you have not attended a retreat or perhaps have not thought about going on one this year then perhaps now is a good time to do a little research and see what would work into your schedule.

Retreat Meditation Point With Fr. Barry Cole

Here’s a phone photo of Fr. Barry Cole and myself during my recent retreat.

It was the first time I’ve met Fr. Cole and heard his meditation talks. Like all Opus Dei priests he has a great sense of humor. Thanks to John Lynch, Wespine Study Center, for taking the photo. Fr. Cole works at the Lincoln Green University Center at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

I got to visit with him before the end of my retreat and asked him to share some thoughts from a point he made in one of his talks. He talked about faith not being a private matter and that really stood out for me. I asked him to expand on that idea and what it means. We also talked about how important it is to study our faith so that we can talk intelligently about it with others.

You can listen to my conversation with Fr. Cole here: Interview with Fr. Barry Cole

Annual Spiritual Retreat

My annual retreat is my time to charge my spiritual batteries and by retreat time it always seems as if I especially need that. I’m not sure how many Wespine Center retreats I have attended now but I think it might be about 14 in a row. I’m not sure if this is my last either but so glad I could make it.

This Monday Cindy and I have a closing scheduled on a house in Pensacoala, FL. We’re from Florida and have been wanting to move back to our home state for years. We just decided the time was right. Let me re-phrase that. After much prayer we believe it is not only what we want but what God wants for us at this time. So who knows what my retreat opportunity will be next year. I’ll have to work on that.

I always take notes on retreat and will share one from one of today’s meditations. The priest talked about how people tell him they’re “struggling” with their prayer life. He says he asks them, “Does that mean you’re not praying?” The answer is usually yes. And he tells them, “Then you’re not struggling.” He says it’s better to say that you’re making an “effort” to pray but having difficulty. I just thought that was a great way to look at things since you can apply it to all kinds of situations.

Retreat Notes

I’ve been tweeting notes from my retreat and thought I’d share some of them to date in case you missed them:

  • “Is my prayer a heart to heart conversation with God?”
  • “Read the Bible like it’s an email from God. Download it with prayer.”
  • “I communicate with God the Father by meditating on the life of Christ.”
  • “If my work is making demands that keep me from my daily devotions then I need to make a change.”
  • “Our earthly experiences pass and are gone. Only Christ lasts forever. Are we prepared for death?”
  • “Contemplate the reality of death & judgement. Fear not loving enough, not divine retribution, although it is real.”
  • “The real poor, the real poverty is lack of love of God. What is the meaning of the hope within you?”
  • “We are in armageddon. It’s spiritual warfare. Millions of unborn being killed, human engineering, etc.”
  • “Announce the resurrection by who you are rather than what you say.”
  • “Jesus shows us Joseph. A son reflects the father.”
  • “Hey guys, what is it that your wife dislikes about you? Is she right?”
  • “Repentance is the spring board for complete change.”
  • “A mediocre Catholic cannot convince anyone that a life of Christ is more fulfilling than a life of sensual pleasure.”
  • “Christ wants you to be an apostle. That’s what it means to be Catholic.”
  • “Start by invoking the Holy Spirit. His job is to lead us to Jesus and to become like Jesus.”
  • “The retreat is a time to pray, to communicate personally with God. If we don’t, we’ve wasted our time.”

A Year To My Next Retreat

Well my retreat is over and I’m back home. It was a wonderful experience as usual. The priest giving talks was Fr. Peter Armenio, Vicar of Opus Dei in the midwest U.S. He was a pleasure to speak with and like all priests of Opus Dei I have met, exhibited a joy for life.

This is a phone picture during one of our daily Masses. We put together a homemade chapel in which the talks are held.

At the end of our retreat we have a little get together to learn about the other guys on our silent retreat. I made a suggestion which I will write more about later, that you should use social media as a tool to aid you in your evangelization efforts. That included Facebook and Twitter.

During the coming days I’ll be tweeting some notes from my retreat. Remember you can follow me on @PathToHoliness on Twitter.