Dear Blogging Family,
It's been a long while since I posted a blog! Time just marches on... Thankfully I am able to steal a few moments today to share with you a very important part of our life here at Our Lady of Solitude: Priest Retreats!
Upon moving to Tonopah, we were able to build a small retreat house for priests: Karol Kottage. It is a modest 5 bedroom house complete with all the amenities (laundry, full service kitchen, library, and lots of silence and solitude). Thankfully, the diocesan priests of Phoenix have been making good use of the house (and we pray that they continue to do so and more!) for their monthly days of prayer and retreat. We've also had priest visitors from around the country - some old friends and some priests who found us online and decided to 'come to the desert'. We thank the good Lord for old friends and new friends alike!
Karol Kottage provides priests with a place to 'come away and rest for awhile' with the Lord. Their presence is a great help for our community as well, since we do not have a permanent chaplain. Priest retreatants are asked to offer the nuns' conventual Mass each morning.
An important part of the charism of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration is prayer for priests. Without the priest we would not have the Blessed Sacrament. Our foundress, Mother Marie de Ste. Claire, once said the praying for priests and praying for more priests is 'essentially a Franciscan mission.' And it is one that we take quite seriously!
I recently came across a excerpt from a heartfelt letter that Cardinal O'Malley wrote to his priests:
As priests, we must be men of prayer in a world that exalts activism. Nothing prepares us as well to announce the Good News, as a life of prayer and friendship with Christ. A prayer life survives best when there is a plan, a rule of life and the support and good example of our brothers. Then we can share the fruits of our contemplation with our people. That is the greatest service we can give them. ...Too often we are like Jonah, a reluctant prophet, or Simon of Cyrene, shouldering the cross under duress. We must learn to bear one another’s burdens. When we share the burden, it is lessened, when we share the joy, it is doubled. Our priestly fraternity is Christ’s plan to make the Good Shepherd present to God’s people. Tabor is shared so that Gethsemane can be shared. - from the blog of Sean Cardinal O'Malley
Let us continue to pray for our priests and the heavy burdens that they carry. It is our hope and prayer that Our Lady of Solitude will provide a place for priests to encounter the Lord in prayer, on Tabor, in the desert, and most especially in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Help us spread the word to Priests you know about Retreats at Our Lady of Solitude:
To remind you of the efficacy of intercessory prayer:
"The day was long, the burden I had borne seemed heavier than I could longer bear and then it lifted - but I did not know some one had knelt in prayer; had taken me to God that very hour, and asked the easing of the load, and He, in infinite compassion, had stooped down and taken it from me. We cannot tell how often as we pray for some bewildered one, hurt and distressed, the answer comes, but many times those hearts find sudden peace and rest. Some one had prayed, and faith, a reaching hand, took hold of God, and brought Him down that day! So many, many hearts have need of prayer. Oh, let us pray! -St. Maximilian Kolbe