During the weekend of October 3-5, 2014 the Toronto Sector held its third Sector Retreat at the Michaelite Fathers Retreat Centre in London, ON with the theme “Turn Up the Heat – Overcoming Lukewarmness in Our Endeavours.” In past years, participants enjoyed the summer sun; this year, we welcomed the calm of autumn as we contemplated prayer and spiritual renewal based on the conferences of Fr. Wojciech Kuźma, our retreat director and Director of Vocations in the Diocese of Hamilton. 21 couples were in attendance, along with an energetic group of 29 children who were taken care of amazing young people from Youth Teams of Our Lady and older children from TOOL couples. It was truly a blessing to have the Canadian Regional Couple, Louise and Yvon Boucher, join us during this retreat as they encouraged the Movement’s growth and sustained our appreciation of the global TOOL community, united in prayer and perseverance. We continuously pray for all retreat participants and the many fruits to come from this retreat!
A Post Retreat Reflection: Take it to Prayer with Honesty and Perseverance
Fr. Kuźma’s message was so accessible and his challenge is attainable. When I woke up Monday morning to have some quiet prayer time, I prayed differently in than in the past based on the guidance of Fr. Kuźma. As he said, keep it simple, honest and from the heart. Persevere. Get to the point where we see ourselves as God sees us.
Fr. Kuźma was so convincing when he said we need to be honest with God – tell Him exactly how we feel and where we are. When we experience the dark times, he told us to pray through it. In fact, he said keep doing what you’re doing. It made it simple. We often wonder what we need to do when we struggle. The answer is simple – persevere in prayer and God will take us through the darkness to the next level. What also made an impression was his reminder that we need to be thankful at all times. See the goodness of God and be thankful at all times.
In one story, he spoke about a time when he gave a retreat and the first talk did not go so well. He felt anxious and nervous. He then said he ‘took it to prayer’. When he took it to prayer, he realized that what he was looking for was affirmation for his talk. That means that God was not his focus. Had God been his focus, he would have felt confident and not been nervous seeking the recognition of man. We had a situation where one of our sons struggled with something last week. I encouraged him to look into his heart and see what may have caused him to react in such a way. I then asked him to take the situation ‘to prayer’. What a wonderful thing – Take it to Prayer. By that time, we are removed from the emotion of the time and can reflect calmly. There is a lot of humility in that.
Stephen Hughes, Durham I