Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Retreat Reflections

The Third Sunday of Lent typically celebrates the First Scrutiny, a ritual preparing catechumens for Baptism and/or for other Sacraments of Christian Initiation at the Easter Vigil. 465 individuals are reportedly preparing our Church, a number which surely represents the movement of the Spirit within the Archdiocese of Louisville. Let’s continue to hold up each of our sisters and brothers in prayer!

The past week marked the end of spring break, at the seminary, as well as of the conclusion of my retreat with the Franciscan Friars of Marytown (in Libertyville, IL). I had a great retreat: full of reflection, meditation and, yes, even a few naps! The Friars were wonderfully welcoming hosts and those responsible for culinary duties were particularly outstanding!

The upcoming week promises to be a busy one with many assignments due, meetings to be attended, and commitments to be met. Yet in the midst of all that activity, I pray to be even more mindful of Our Lord, who truly is the source of all mercies and blessings.

Perhaps it all starts with fasting; prayer; and almsgiving. Of course, these three Lenten “tools” are not ends in themselves, but rather means by which we prepare ourselves for an ongoing encounter with God’s love.

I must tell you: spending time with the Franciscans was certainly not a fasting experience, as my waistline would suggest. However, it was an opportunity to engage in prayer: private; before the Blessed Sacrament; as well as in traditional devotions. My spiritual director is fond of telling me to simply breathe; to take in the “Holy breath,” as he would say. Perhaps there is wisdom for all to be found in that reminder.

As for almsgiving, there is Operation Rice Bowl during Lent. This initiative supporting the important work of Catholic Relief Services gives us a chance to use our dimes and quarters in a way which makes an impact! The contributions which I make to my own Rice Bowl remind me of both the needs of others and of the blessings which I receive daily.

Over the course of my journey as a seminarian, I have received this question: so, Steve, tell us your call to priesthood. In appreciation for the graces of my retreat, I plan on tackling this question in next week’s blog entry. Stay tuned and….

Live in His Peace,

Steven Henriksen

No comments: