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Sanctification in Daily Work
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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 www.opusdei.org.

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.

Annual Retreat

Opus DeiIt’s time for my annual retreat and I’m ready to go. I don’t know how many years I’ve been attending an annual retreat put on by the Wespine Study Center in St. Louis but it’s a lot. The Opus Dei center supplies a priest who gives a series of talks or meditations over three days. We have Mass and the priest is available for spiritual direction and confession. It’s also a silent retreat. No talking to the other guys. Just listening to the meditations and spending time in prayer and contemplation. I love it.

I call this my time to recharge the spiritual batteries that get a little worn down sometimes in the face of all the world throws at you. It’s good to just get away from it all and do some serious interior examination and make some new resolutions. This year is also special for me because Pope John Paul II will be beatified Sunday while I’m still on retreat. He passed away when I was on retreat and I personally met him years before that. You can bet I’ll be communicating with him in prayer!

Politically Correct Words

I don’t know about you but this era of extreme political correctness is really wearing on me. One of my latest retreat notes said, “Satan hides behind politically correct words like diversity, pluralism, choice . . .” Isn’t that the truth? I’d add words like tolerance to the list. People who preach the mantra of tolerance seem to be the most intolerant people themselves. If you don’t agree with them they attack you and if that’s not intolerance I don’t know what is. How about this word to describe them: hypocritical.

Another word I’d add to the list is sustainability. I work in agricultural communications and this has to be one of the most overused and misunderstood words in our vocabulary, along with organic and natural. What does sustainability mean? Ask 10 people (including so called experts) and they’ll give you 10 different answers. It’s a hide behind word for people with a political agenda for the most part. Guess who’s hiding behind it? Answer is found above.

Sadly, these words are not bad in and of themselves but in how they’re being used in our mainstream media and by politicians, lobbyists and people who want to attack Christian values. So, what can be done about it? For starters let’s use these words in a context that’s defined by our religion and faith. Let’s not lash out in anger at those who are misusing them for their own ends but pray for them instead. Do you have any other suggestions? Feel free to comment.

Tweeting Retreat Notes

I don’t know if you’re following me on Twitter or not but I’ve been trying to post daily meditation notes from my recent retreat. The photo is a screen shot from my account with this morning’s note.

I’m trying to stay more active here and on Twitter and hope you’ll join in and feel free to reply or comment.

My Twitter image is a photo of my St. Francis of Assisi statue under my deck.

Annual Retreat Time

Saints Peter and Paul ChurchLast week I was in Danville, KY for some project work and attended Mass at Saints Peter and Paul Church.

This is a pretty little church in downtown Danville.

This weekend I made my annual retreat which was held at the Sojourn Center in Dittmer, MO. The weather started out sunny and warm but changed to rain and snow. That didn’t dampen our enthusiasm.

Sojourn CenterThe facility is a new one to us who have been making Wespine Study Center retreats for many years. It’s really set up nicely to conduct a retreat with a beautiful little pond and trail around it and through some adjoining woods.

The annual retreat is part of my plan of life and very important to my continued development of my interior life. It’s a time to “recharge the spiritual batteries” and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Upcoming Wespine Retreats

Wespine Study CenterIt’s that time of year to think about your annual retreat. Or your first ever retreat for that matter. With Lent starting this Wednesday perhaps it’s a good time to consider going on retreat to recharge your spiritual batteries. I’ve been attending retreats put on by the Wespine Study Center for over 10 years now and highly recommend them.

Wespine offers weekend retreats for working men seeking to further develop their relationship with God. The schedule includes daily Mass and Gospel reflections by a priest of Opus Dei, with Confession and spiritual direction available throughout the weekend.
Missouri Retreats

The retreats are held during the spring at Sojourn Retreat Center, in Dittmer, Missouri. (Click here for directions). The retreats run from 10:30 a.m. on Friday to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, on these weekends in the spring of 2009:

* March 6-8
* March 27-29
* April 17-19


You can download a registration form with this link.