A message from the director:
“Behold, I make all things new!” That was the title of our New Year’s retreat. Franciscan Friar Fr. Peter Tremblay began his talks with some hard-hitting preaching on the ‘dark clouds’ in the world today versus the kingdom Jesus promised. The weather the first two days matched the message – drizzly and raining. Fr. Tremblay, however, promised to finish with the hopeful vision portrayed in scripture. “Behold!”.
Out the windows of the meeting room I could only see fog and the silhouette of some trees up close. The weather forecast for the third and final day, however, was sunny. I was looking forward to having a bright sunrise on the outside to match the vision in Revelation of how God is going to make a new heaven and a new earth. The fog, however, remained, for the final morning talk and did not emerge until after the retreat ended.
I spent some time pondering what this might mean. I wanted blue skies and sunshine to conclude the retreat, but instead was only able to see the trees up close and fog beyond. It paralleled my thoughts for the year. I went into the retreat hoping to see clearly the landscape of 2021, a year filled with promise. I wanted the gloomy weather of 2020 to dissipate. Instead, i just saw that which is closest – dark tree branches – and nothing but impenetrable fog beyond.
Maybe that’s how God wants it – for me to direct my focus on that which is right before me and trust that God is silently ‘making something new’ in the fog beyond. The kingdom is coming, but the revelation is going to be gradual. Even though there may still be limited visibility Christian hope says (and Annie agrees) that the ‘sun will come out tomorrow’. Until then, I think I’ll stay focused on the intricacies of trees that are right before me and turn over the ‘fog’ to God.
If you’re looking to ‘make something new’ of yourself during this New Year, check our some of upcoming workshops and retreats. Consider learning ‘something new’ to start the year.
May the God of peace bring you peace and blessings throughout this new year.
Your servant in Christ,
Deacon Scott D. Gilfillan
Director, Catholic Conference Center