Your life is a precious gift to yourself and to your family. What you make of yourself is your gift to God. This is one theme you can discover in the lives of religious people. We recognize that we come from God through our parents, and for this reason we honor God in the first Three Commandments, and immediately after that we follow the Fourth Commandment: Honor your father and your mother, and the next six follow.
Of course, we can’t make ourselves something other than the man or woman God essentially made us to be, but as creatures with free will (until our death), we can choose to accept who we are in our giftedness and brokenness. Freely choosing to under-stand our strengths, as well as our weaknesses, we can then choose to follow Jesus Christ who offers us the three divine virtues that heal us and lead us to heaven: faith, hope and love. With these three virtues and a prayerful discipline we can enter into the spiritual work of overcoming our weaknesses, and tempering our strengths.
One of the great work-out centers to grow in the divine or theological virtues of faith, hope and love, is by going on a Catholic retreat that offers healing, forgiveness, time for prayer, small group discussion, support and merciful understanding.
Fortunately, our Archdiocese offers all kinds of retreats. One retreat that I want to highlight is the Rachel’s Vineyard retreat weekends. This retreat is open to all people, not just Catholics, but to anyone who has experienced directly or indirectly the tragedy of abortion – the willful taking of a preborn baby’s life.
This is from the staff of Rachel’s Vineyard to all Catholic parishes: “The Rachel’s Vineyard retreat program was developed by Theresa Karminski Burke, Ph.D. in 1994 and it is a ministry of Priests for Life. Today there are over 1,000 retreats annually in 49 states and 70 countries. Married couples, mothers, fathers, grandparents and siblings of aborted children, as well as person who have been involved in the abortion industry have come to Rachel’s Vineyard in search of peace and inner healing.
“The size of our retreat varies between 8-14 participants. The weekend is facilitated by a team of 3-4 trained volunteers, along with a licensed counselor, and a priest or deacon. The majority of those who serve on our retreat team are past retreatants who joined us after experiencing healing on their own re-treat...
“The Board of Rachel’s Vineyard Twin Cities is working diligently to make people aware of this pow-
erful healing ministry. People affected by abortion in Minnesota have a safe, confidential healing ministry available to them three times a year in the Twin Cities area. Our next two retreats are: Aug. 5-7, and November 4-6, 2022.
“God’s mercy is abundant and Rachel’s Vineyard retreats share the depth of His love and mercy to all that attend. Many retreatants begin the retreat with tears of sorrow on Friday and come Sunday their tears become tears of joy knowing how much God loves them and forgives them.
“Pray for all those affected by abortion that they will hear about Rachel’s Vineyard Twin Cities and make the decision to come to our healing retreat…
Nancy Blom, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org”
Your life, and everyone’s life, is a gift from God. What we make of ourselves, and how we help others live a life of faith, hope and love, despite our sinful-ness, is our gift back to God.
Peace in Jesus Christ,
Fr. Thomas McCabe