Recently at the conclusion of a retreat, I listened to the reflections of participants speaking about what the retreat had meant to them and about the particular blessings that they had experienced. Among those who spoke, one gentleman said: “I now see the importance of trying to discover each and every day the presence of God in relationship to my entire life.” His thoughts speak well of what our spiritual journey is about: recognizing that God is present to us at every moment, inviting us to new and fuller life.
In the busyness of everyday living, it can sometimes be easy to miss how God is present to us in what might seem routine and ordinary. And so it can be helpful for us to live with a spirit of recollection so that we can be more in tune not only to the presence of God in each moment, but also to the quiet invitations that we receive from God every day.
Writing about the Christian life, Saint John Henry Newman* said that to be a follower of Jesus means “living every moment of our lives in Christ, having always in mind his will for us, and bringing this to every decision and every person that we meet. (Meditations and Devotions) He went on to say that “in attending to (one’s) own calling…(the Christian) will see Christ revealed…amid the ordinary actions of the day, as by a sort of sacrament.” (Parochial and Plain Sermons)
Newman’s thoughts present a helpful and practical wisdom as we find ourselves living in an ever more complex environment and world. His encouragement that we be attentive to the presence of God in every moment, and that we invite the example and teaching of Jesus to inform every decision and every personal encounter, help us to remain centered in God and to remain in Jesus!
This year marks the coming together of two important anniversaries for the Passionist community and for our Retreat Center. As we continue to mark the 100th season of offering retreats, we also look forward in the fall to celebrating the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Passionist Congregation by Saint Paul of the Cross. For the blessings of these many years, we are ever grateful.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Gerald, C.P.
*John Henry Newman was canonized by Pope Francis on October 13, 2019 in Rome.