In the Catholic Church, we spend a considerable amount of time educating our youth about the Faith. It’s almost a universal that youth ministry programs have, as their annual cornerstone, some type of a retreat. Retreats are a time for us to get away from our daily lives and focus solely on our relationship with God.
I attended Catholic High School, and retreats were an integral part of the annual curriculum. As I entered into my Senior Year, I was even a part of the retreat leadership team. The great thing about the retreat program was that it provided a quality retreat experience annually. I didn’t have to do any searching or planning, it was set. Since graduating High School, I haven’t been on a structured retreat. It’s much harder as an adult to find quality time to dedicate to worthy retreats.
Although it can be difficult to find a retreat to go on, we should try our best to seek them out; they’re an excellent tool in our spiritual life.
- Retreats offer a chance for reflection. We’re busy men with many obligations. It can be tiring and overwhelming to go, go, go. A significant problem with always going and never reflecting is that we can easily slip out of good habits and into bad ones. Our daily prayer life might slowly fade away and we may not even notice it. Retreats give us the chance to reset our spiritual priorities.
- Retreats can help you be a better person. A tall order, but entirely possible. There is something amazing about a retreat experience when you get back in touch, in a very real way, with God and your relationship grows stronger. You may have even heard of “coming off the mountain” as being a common post-retreat problem. It’s an experience where you have a real encounter with God and then have to go back into the harsh world that we live in. When the Apostles were up with Jesus on the mountain during the Transfiguration, they wanted to stay. They wanted to live in that constant grace. But we’re not called to live on the retreat mountain, we’re called to live in the world. It’s those “mountain top” experiences that give us the energy and inspiration to live our lives well.
- Retreats give you specific and powerful prayer time. It’s easy for your daily prayer to not be a priority. It’s a part of your day, sure, but it takes up so little time that we don’t really give it time to work. Retreats are 100% prayer time. Like anything when you give it your full focus, amazing things can happen.
We change the oil in our cars regularly and we go to the doctor for our annual physical, but we don’t give our souls the tune-ups that they need. Our souls need this time. So find a men’s retreat, schedule your own, or stay tuned to Catholic Husband and take advantage of some of the projects that we’ll be releasing over the rest of this year to keep your soul running in good condition!