How quickly we’ve gone from ‘loving neighbor’ to ‘mistrusting neighbor’, from loving God to wondering where God is. For months, we’ve been rightly focused on minimizing the physical and economic damage caused by the Covid 19 virus. Largely unaddressed throughout this noble effort, however, has been a neglect of our spiritual health. Weeks of isolation, the absence of familiar communal worship, and the inherent mistrust accompanying social distancing help contribute to a new spiritual malaise.
The good news is that unlike Covid 19, there is a test to check your spiritual health, maybe as simple as answering a few questions:
Are you a little unfocused, having difficulty concentrating, feeling you’ve lost your sense of purpose, much less grasping your higher purpose?
Are you confused about you place in this rapidly changing, even alien landscape of your life and your world?
Are you questioning some basic tenets of your faith, practices that have served you well but now seem like empty rituals?
If so, you might want to take some steps to protect your spiritual health. Some time-honored techniques are staying the course in your current prayer and spiritual practice, taking some time out to listen to God’s words of grace and healing, and discussing things with a spiritual companion or director.
More than ever, believe that the power of the Holy Spirit can change the world. Last Sunday, the church celebrated Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit. One might say that event was literally the first “Spiritual Pandemic”. The word pandemic comes from two Greek words, pan, which means all, and demos which means people. Pentecost was a spiritual contagion that infected “all people”. Formerly frightened disciples spoke boldly and did amazing things.
Just like a virus spreads from one person to the next, the peace of Christ can spread as well through the power of the same Holy Spirit. Please take an inventory of your own spiritual health and take some steps to remain spiritually healthy. The world desperately needs people alive in the spirit and filled with the peace of Christ to neutralize the fear, anxiety, panic and anger so prevalent in our present time.
Your servant in Christ,
Deacon Scott D. Gilfillan
Five ways to improve your spiritual health
If you find yourself in a spiritual wilderness, or would like to spend some time discovering the new path God has laid out for you, the Catholic Conference Center is offering five “Phase 2” Retreat Specials we hope will help you.
1. A Trail Retreat
Walking the trails is a healthy way to reconnect with God in nature. Along the paths, you’ll discover statues, outdoor chapels and reflection areas. One trail follows a lively little creek. Bring your Rosary beads and pray as you walk. Or download a free audio book of the bible and listen while you walk (the prophet Isaiah has a lot to say about this particular time of crisis). We have a trail brochure to guide you. There is no charge, but for those who are able we would welcome any donation to help us keep improving the property.
On my first walk on the trails I recall saying to myself, “This is God’s gift to us. How blessed we are to have our own, private religious sanctuary. Thank you God!” Since we downsized, the trails have become the gem I missed. Melanie
2. A Day Retreat
Some like to spend a little time in the chapel, a little time in the lounge, and a little time outdoors. With no organized retreats on our calendar, social distancing is easy in our spacious center facilities. While here, you can peruse our gift store and pick up a book or a religious item to assist in your spiritual exploration. Our usual charge for an inside day retreat is $25, but we have decided to waive the fee during this time of spiritual need.
Peaceful and wonderful with a lovely chapel and beautiful grounds. The mountain views are heavenly. Teresa.
3. “Find Your Center” Retreat (day)
For those who are searching for some answers or need some direction, schedule a guided day retreat at the Center. The format is flexible depending upon the desire of the individual. It usually involves some one-on-one spiritual mentoring and suggestions as to how to make the day a fruitful exploration of a person’s spiritual health. It may include time in the chapel in prayer or adoration, meditation on the trails, journaling in the lounge, or reading spiritual books on the porch. Special price: $75.
My day retreat began with an incredibly helpful private spiritual mentoring session. Next, I spent time outside enjoying the beautiful grounds– outdoor Stations of the Cross, a picnic lunch and a long hike on the trails adjoining the center. I concluded the day with a very fruitful hour of Adoration. I left filled with joy and many ideas to enrich my faith journey. Peggy
4. “Find Your Center” Retreat (overnight)
Similar to the day retreat, the overnight retreat gives a person some needed time to reflect upon his or her spiritual health, and listen to God speaking words of grace and healing. Special price: $100, includes access to all common areas plus overnight accommodations.
From the point of initial contact, I felt welcomed… I found both the contemplative time I sought and the spiritual companionship I needed… will definitely do it again. Sharon
5. “Find Your Center” Retreat (small groups)
The governor allows meetings for ten or less, perfect for a small group retreat. We have spacious facilities so social distancing would be easy to accomplish in the meeting rooms and dining area. If there is an interest in finding a retreat master or small group facilitator, we can help with that as well. We just need you to gather together 6-10 of your spiritual companions and give us a call. Special price $125, includes meals, meeting room, and overnight accommodations.
If none of these specials are what you really need at this time of transition and crisis, let us know how we can provide what you do need. Email the director, Deacon Scott D. Gilfillan, with any requests or suggestions.
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The Catholic Conference Center was pleased to make the Open and Safe commitment with the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce. Click here for details.