Yesterday I mentioned the wonderful presence in the modern Church structure of retreat houses run both by dioceses and the religious communities. It is really a great spiritual gift. Their number is increasing and I am sure that it will continue to expand in the years ahead. These facilities are used not only for the traditional retreat but for weekends and special days of formation, such as the Cursillos, and the Christ Renews His Parish formation program. Most of these places run about 50 programs a year on weekends and those wanting to use them have to make reservations months and months in advance. That is really a wonderful problem to have!
Principally, the retreat is a time of withdrawal from our usual hectic pace, a time to be present at Mass each day of the retreat, to do spiritual reading, listen to special spiritual presentation aimed at the particular group that is gathered on that weekend, being open to the Holy Spirit, open to God’s presence in our lives and to allow him to enter into our hearts. I am certainly happy that this apostolate is making great progress and getting stronger and stronger. Yet, in terms of being able to serve the whole Catholic population, there is much more that needs doing.
Austin is blessed to have two wonderful retreat centers. One is Cedarbrake Retreat Center, P. O. Box 58, Belton, Texas 76513 (254) 780-2436. The other is Eagle’s Wings, 2805 RR 2341, Burnet, Texas 78611 (512) 715-0017. This latter one specializes in programs for young people.
When your parish bulletin announces that there is a parish retreat coming up in two or three weeks ask yourself if you could use a weekend of rest, relaxation mixed with God’s grace and your own hunger for the Divine.