During our annual retreat we focused on the theme of Mercy, specifically the message of Divine Mercy.
We had earlier in the year enjoyed playing a small role in helping to promote the book Father Donald Calloway, MIC, wrote on the Rosary, Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon. Providence arranged that another MIC priest, Father Michael Gaitley, MIC would provide us with just as powerful a resource for our conferences during our time of extended silence and prayer.
Consecration to Jesus through Mary, and using all the Marian devotionals, is part and parcel of our lives as consecrated Brides of Christ. While we renew our Consecration to Mary each morning in our Community prayers together, an annual retreat is still a wonderful opportunity to deepen our appreciation of this gift of entrustment to Our Lady to better help us give our lives for priests and strive for the sanctification of souls, including ours. We chose to reflect on the message of Divine Mercy as it has come to us in the last century, especially through great Saints like Saint Faustina, and we found Father Gaitley’s presentation of The Second Greatest Story Ever Told not only compelling but prayer provoking and inspiring for our own vocations. Since many of us had previously experienced his unique way of updating Total Consecration to Mary in his work, 33 Days to Morning Glory, it was no surprise that we included in this retreat his DVD series on 33 Days to Merciful Love, expounding on the teachings of Saint Therese of Lisieux as they relate to the Divine Mercy message.
Refreshed and re-invigorated after a time of dedicated silence and deeper prayer, we have returned to our daily monastic schedule very grateful to the work of these two priests, and the entire Community of the Marians of Immaculate Conception.