Archdiocese of Chicago

Cardinal George's Network Archive

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Retreat is a Gateway to God's World

The bishops of this region make an annual retreat together during the third week of August. I’ve sometimes wondered about the word “retreat.” There is a “retreat” from our usual pre-occupations in order to enter more deeply into prayer and put our relationship to God clearly again at the center of all we do. Yet the “retreat” is a gateway to a more complicated world, God’s world. Not a time of rest but of more intense engagement, the retreat often serves to complicate life because it forces us to look honestly at all the little compromises we make in order to live in “peace,” that is, in a world ordered as much by our will as by God’s. Retreating into a battle is good for the soul because it stirs up again the desire for sanctity that is at the heart of every vocation. But it can also be tiring!

Francis Cardinal George, OMI
Archbishop of Chicago

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