I was reading this inspirational story of a true American hero, a man who displays tremendous virtue including self sacrifice. Out of curiosity I googled to find his background. Turns out he is Catholic and a Knight of Columbus! An inspiration for us all.
To be human means that we are a dependent being by our very essence. Not only are we absolutely dependent on other persons and things for our bodily survival but we have to look beyond ourselves for our meaning. We have no fulfillment within ourselves and, what is more, we know that we are answerable not merely to ourselves but to another outside ourselves.
In countless ways we are at the mercy of forces beyond our control. Our existence is given without our previous consent; our heredity and all that goes with it of temperament, mental outlook, opportunities, and so forth are none of our choosing. We are conditioned from the start and can be burdened with immense handicaps and suffering. Even in those areas where theoretically we are free to choose, how many impediments come between, through tricks of fortune or the actions of others. We are frighteningly, pitifully dependent.
Nevertheless, we are answerable. We are free. In all this unfreedom and conditioning we are responsible for what we do. No one can remove this responsibility from us. We are answerable not for our temperament, not for the shape of our body, not for our natural capacity, but for what we do with these things. Our task is fundamentally the same as Jesus’. We have to live out our own individual life with its own particular amalgam, in love of God and our neighbor, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things. With all our heart we have to embrace this painful condition of dependency even when it presses most sorely, never trying to pretend that it is other than it is, never railing against it but accepting it in humble, trustful obedience to the Father, and through this loving obedience filtering out all that is evil, transforming it into gold.
Sister Ruth Burrows, o.c.d.
Sister Ruth is a Carmelite nun at Quidenham in Norfolk, England. She is the author of a number of bestselling books.
The 2017 retreat was held this last weekend. What a great event! About 40 team members and participants were on hand, making fellowship with other men and building their personal relationship with Christ. It was an honor to serve and participate with these men of faith.
Mark your calendar for the next men’s retreat – January 25-27, 2019 and the next women’s retreat – February 22-24, 2019. Note that we are not holding a retreat in calendar year 2018; we are moving the retreats to early in the year. We believe this will be a more convenient time for most men and women, and we can hold the two retreats within a few weeks of each other.