In the last issue of the Newsletter I referred to themes that are so central to who we are that they transcend time and season ~ the themes of hope, promise, light, and peace. As I write to you at this time, I want to highlight another theme that is essential to who we are as people of faith ~ the theme of gratitude.
Every day ~ and during times of personal retreat over the years, the theme of thanksgiving and gratitude has been an important part of my prayer and reflection. I’m sure that it has also been an important theme for you. It seems that our thoughts and prayers naturally turn to gratitude as we recall the depth of God’s love for us and the many gifts with which we have been blessed. In the words of the psalmist we pray: Give thanks to the Lord who is good, whose love endures forever. (Psalm 107:1)
The sacred Scriptures and our faith history continually remind us of God’s abiding presence, and of the extraordinary and sometimes surprising ways in which God invites us to experience new life. Centered in and surrounded by God’s presence and love, we are invited to be present to one another in charity, compassion, and loving service. Our theme for this retreat season, Blessed by God ~ Who Surrounds You with Loving Compassion, will help us to reflect on the many ways in which God is present to us and calls us to new life. For this we are truly grateful.
This retreat season is a special one for us, as it marks the 100th season in which retreats have been offered here at Saint Paul of the Cross. Above all, our hearts are filled with gratitude for the many blessings that we have experienced together over the years. With gratitude to all of you, and with special thanks to God for the blessings of these many years, may we pray: O Lord, my God, forever will I give you thanks. (Psalm 30:13)
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Gerald, C.P.