Advent Retreat at St. Joseph’s Abbey

“The present moment is always overflowing with immeasurable riches, far more than you are able to hold. Your faith will measure it out to you: as you believe, so you will receive. Love, too, is also a measure. The more you love the more you will want and the more you will get.” – Jean-Pierre de Caussade

I couldn’t make it a full year between retreats and was elated to learn there was an open space for one retreatant during the third week of Advent. This retreat didn’t have the challenge of subarctic temperatures -or- the excitement of my lil’ car being stuck in a snowdrift but it was imbued with a sense of anticipation.

“Filled with joy, she [Mary] regarded everything she had to do or suffer at any moment of her life as a gift from him who showers delights upon those who hunger and thirst only for him and not for the things of the world.” – Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Similar to prior retreats, my overnighter included two books for reading/reflection. The first was Arise from Darkness by Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel; the second was Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de Caussade. I’ve excerpted a couple of quotes from both.

“In the course of the years one becomes weary of conflict and sorrow. One longs for the fulfillment of the most profound needs of the human heart–for peace from conflict within and without, for a place free of danger and disappointment, for relationships untroubled by change and unmarred by selfishness. One longs to see, at last, the beauty of God, which has summoned us throughout life, shining out here and there. The words of the Psalm take on a poignant meaning as one gets older, “I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house and the place where thy glory dwells” (PS 26:8) – Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R.

“To be satisfied with the present moment is to relish and adore the divine will moving through all we have to do and suffer as events crowd in upon us. If we are like this, the liveliness of our faith will compel us to adore God no matter how humiliating the circumstances in which he places us. There is noting which can conceal him from the penetrating gaze of our faith. If our senses insist, “There is no God,” the more closely and firmly do we clasp to us our bunch of myrrh. We are neither astonished nor disgusted by anything.” – Jean-Pierre de Caussade

I didn’t take very may photographs during this retreat (the weather was a little uncooperative), but did snap this one of the steeple of the Eucharistic Chapel.

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