Slow Down!

Dear Friends in Christ:

This week some members of the parish staff and I were on retreat. Normally, we attempt to take a couple days each year to break away, pray, reflect on our ministry here at the parish and to regroup and reconnect. Unfortunately, we have not been able to this for a couple years due to the remodeling of the church and the dealing with the impact of Hurricane Harvey. The gospels relate how Jesus himself took time away from his own ministry to retreat and to pray. Here at the parish, we also have retreat opportunities such as the ACTS retreats, Men’s retreat, Women’s Day of Prayer, Young Adult retreats, and Youth retreats. If you have never been on a retreat or if it has been a while I want encourage you to consider making a retreat this year.
In March we will have a special opportunity to spend some time in reflection and prayer. Fr. Bill Watson, S.J. the founder of the Sacred Story Institute will be with us to lead and guide us in our Parish Lenten Mission. Fr. Bill will be with us March 16 – 21. He will preach at the weekend masses and then give daily spiritual presentations during the week. The Lenten Mission will focus on a practical way to apply the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola into our hectic everyday lives. It will help us make a stronger, deeper connection to Christ and discover new ways to grow in grace, peace and happiness. Make plans now and note it on your calendar to come to the Parish Lenten Mission.
The reality is that God has commanded us in his Holy Word and in his example to take time to rest. In his work of creation, he showed that after he had created the universe and all that is in it, he rested on the seventh day. In the Ten Commandments, the Lord tells us that we too should keep the Sabbath holy as a day of rest. How often do we treat Sunday as a catch up day? How often do we treat Sunday as any other day with work, chores and shopping? How often do we fail to slow down and rest? How often do we consider keeping the Sabbath holy as just attending Mass and not thinking of God in any other way? None of this hurts God and it is not for his benefit. When we fail to rest and to keep the Sabbath holy, we are the ones to suffer and lose out. God commands us to rest and to keep the Sabbath holy because it is good for us!
Who among us has not complained that there are not enough hours in the week or hours in the day? We live in a world filled with constant noise, activity and distraction. It seems like the whole world has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). While these are real problems that people suffer from, most of us can improve our lives by simply slowing down, taking time, being quiet and refocusing. Not every moment has to be filled with activity. Constant activity is not a good or healthy thing. Slow down. Be quiet and rest! This Sunday, come to mass, spend some time with God in prayer, spend a little time learning about him in CCE or Adult Formation and then take the rest of the day off.
Have a blessed week!

In pace Christi,
Fr. Troy