Saturday, July 02, 2005

Frs. Benedict Groeschel & J.C. Maximilian

Last week I went on my canonical retreat. What a wonderful gift the Church gives to us priests in saying that we must go on a retreat each year. As my fellow CRM-bloggers can atest (especially both of them as they are pastors already), the "business" of administrating a parish can be maddening at times. There are all kinds of bills (which I know all of you have too), but also the personnel issues, figuring out how to have the parking lot paved without disturbing the "little old ladies" (and might I add, a good number of old men) who don't want to walk too far to get into the church. In the midst of it all, a prayer life can be challenging.

Holy Mother Church, in her loving concern for her ministers, tells them "take some time of intensive prayer EVERY YEAR." A retreat is a time to get away from the phones, email, US Mail, meetings, TV, etc... just to commune with the Lord. All people are called to holiness, but clergy and religious are especially called to live that call to holiness in a public way. The yearly retreat is a time to assess how well one is doing in their spiritual life, how well they are living out the particular call which God has given them in building the Kingdom of God. I still need some time to reflect on what God said to me during this past week, so I am not going to do a lot of spiritual reflecting, or sharing the fruit of my contemplation right now. Besides, that's what I do on my blog, Fr. JC Maximilian (yes, another shameless advertisement for my blog. According to the counter, people are visiting it, but there are few comments).

Fr. Groeschel is doing remarkably well, given the seriousness of his injuries last year (remember he was hit by a car). He has very limited use of his right arm as the bones are pretty much fused, but his right hand is fine. He shuffles more when he walks, and he cannot stand for long periods. Jose, one of the candidates for the CFRs, is a constant companion. Fr. Groeschel still has his wit, charm and remarkable intellect. He is more soft-spoken now, but his words continue to be Spirit filled. And I pray that I can still be as active as he is when I am his age; in addition to 4 conferences to us retreatants (me and 4 other priests), he got out a newsletter, attended an episcopal ordination, has a more than full load of spiritual directees, psychological evaluations for candidates to the CFRs, and Masses at many places. He is a holy man.

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