18 June 2006
This one-word order is one that few generals ever hope to issue because it seems to signal defeat, but it is one that the Most Reverend George J. Lucas issued to his people this past week.
However, "given the hectic pace of most of our lives, it is more important than ever that we plan some quiet time to rest in the Lord." For the follower of the Lord Christ, retreating is not a sign of defeat, but rather one of coming strength and victory.
Citing the example of Jesus, the Bishop of Springfield in Illinois reminded the faithful that "the practice of taking a little time away from ordinary responsibilities has a rich tradition in our Catholic faith."
It is precisely "because each baptized person is called to holiness" that retreats are a fitting spiritual exercise for clergy, consecrated men and women, and laity alike. Indeed, His Excellecy stated that "lay persons, too, have found great benefit in making a retreat."
He issued his order to "retreat" in the form of an invitation, asking his people, "While you are considering this possibility, you can whet your appetite for more time with the Lord. Turn off the radio in the car and pray the rosary or listen to inspirational talks or music. Begin regular visitis to the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament."