While we complain about how secularized "the holidays" have become, we can unwittingly contribute to this sad state of affairs when we spend much of our "holiday" time engaging in and preparing for parties - often before Christmas, or spending long hours at the mall buying gifts, or completely getting lost in the height of sports. These things become the central focus and nothing opposes spiritual development and devotion greater than being overly busy
It took 44 years for me to recognize, internally, the magnitude of the very heart of Christmas: God became man!!! This realization was prompted by a pastor and group of priests at my parish who made sure I unbusy'ed myself from secular activities by distracting me with spiritual and religious things all through Advent. I still say it was a conspiracy - and a good one at that. While other places decrease in activity so people can get their shopping done and prepare for parties, Assumption Grotto went into high gear. There simply was no time for my usual secular holiday routine. Last year I kept wondering when I would begin that routine. But Christmas came and Christmas went with fewer gifts bought, absolutely no time at "Christmas" parties before Christmas, and I actually (gasp), gave up football on a given Sunday or two - a favorite past time. I survived just fine!!!
Here is one of those terrific opportunities as Christmas approaches. Let go and spend an afternoon at Assumpion Grotto, if not for your sake, for God's sake. Give Him the gift of your time.
Day of Recollection Theme
"The Holy Angels in our daily Lives"
The Priests of Opus Angelorum are holding another Day of Recollection at Assumption Grotto. Here are the details for those interested. Details are as follows:
Advent Day of Recollection
When: Dec, 10, 2006 from
From: 2:00 to 5.00pm
Where: Assumption Grotto Parish
There will be two conferences with question and answer. At the conclusion of the conferences, there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the Church, along with opportunities for Confession. Benediction will follow at the conclusion of Exposition.
If this interrupts a typical family meal time....not to worry: Following the 9:30 and Noon Sunday Masses, you can purchase hot dogs for $1.00 and hamburgers and sausages for $2.00 with some other items. With Noon Mass and weekly Benediction ending around 1:10, you will have plenty of time to grab something to eat in the gym, or even run out quick before the start of the first conference. The gift shop is also open following the Mass, as well so you can browse the many items available, including a section from Opus Angelorum with their many tapes, books and other items.
It is not uncommon for whole families to be present at a Day of Recollection. In July, there were about 120 people present. I would not be surprised to see these popular conferences shift to the gym in the future. More photo posts from the Day of Recollection in July can be found at the bottom of Photopost 6 from that session.
EDIT: I've just learned that Opus Angelorum is having a silent retreat the last weekend in January in Holly Michigan. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 313-527-1739 for details.