WHITE HOUSE JESUIT RETREAT

Jesuit retreat center high on the bluffs of the Mississippi River in St. Louis, MO.  Since 1922, thousands of people from around the world make annual three-day silent, guided retreats here to relax, reconnect with God and strengthen their spirituality.  A true gem in the Midwest!  Call 314-416-6400 or 1-800-643-1003.  Email reservations@whretreat.org  7400 Christopher Rd.  St. Louis, MO 63129

Both men's and women's retreats are offered as well as recovery retreats.

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Weekend Reflections for 11/27/15

How do I respond when I see violence in the world? How do I feel when I see sin and injustice? Angry? Sad? Confused? More importantly-what do I do?

I could hide. Some hide literally. Many more hide behind technology, busyness-- and even their own sin. Others want to fight. How do I respond?

Most importantly-how does God respond? He sends His Son, His Most Beloved, His only begotten. God does not run from us, but rather runs toward us as a Father searching for His wounded sons and daughters amid the rubble.

Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat. Literally "Saw Mountain" -- aptly named. Here Ignatius laid down his sword before the ancient statue of Jesus and Mary.  

Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat. Literally "Saw Mountain" -- aptly named. Here Ignatius laid down his sword before the ancient statue of Jesus and Mary.
 

In the Spiritual Exercises, St Ignatius invites us to, "hear what the Divine Persons are saying, that is, 'Let us work the redemption of the human race... and bring about the most holy Incarnation.'" The entire salvation of mankind will hinge on the response of a poor young woman from Nazareth. Her name is Mary and she is full of grace. She is not full of power and strength-at least not in the way we usually understand those words. She knows herself, and who God is. In her heart, she ponders the angel's invitation: bear the Son of God and be the Mother of God? She speaks with trust and hope: "How can this be?" All the angels, all sinners, all the victims, all of creation leans forward-waiting for her response. Mary answers, "Fiat! Yes, let it be done to me according to your word."

What is the Father's response to our sin and the sins of the whole world? Jesus. God gives us a greater love, a greater gift than we dared to ask. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."

This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. In the Gospel, Jesus prophesies about the violence and fear that we will witness. He is right, of course. The effect of sin and disobedience is always destruction, whether big or small. He also promises that we "will see the Son of Man coming," and that our "redemption is at hand." He comes as the tiny child in the womb of Mary; this is the King of the Universe. He is God's 'Yes' to mankind, and Mary's 'Yes' to God.

-Fr Joe Laramie SJ