The seed sown among thorns… “They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches and craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit.”
This can be a danger for even “good people.” We get so busy with work, family, school, social media, health concerns, paying bills, etc. We are surrounded by noise, with so many people trying to get our attention. We put off praying, meditating, and spiritual reading. We start to lose an awareness of God’s presence, forget to ask what is his will, forget to thank him, and just go about our daily lives living on the surface.
How do we ensure that we are not living among thorns, that we are good soil, so that the word bears fruit? The answer: A Passionist retreat.
At a Passionist retreat there is the gift of silence. This produces an atmosphere that is conducive to hearing God speak to us. On a retreat there is time for listening, learning, reflecting and being present to God in ways that are often not possible in daily life.
Through the preaching, through participation in the Mass and other forms of prayer, through the sacrament of Reconciliation, the soil of our hearts is prepared and nourished so that the word of God can sink deep roots, grow and bear fruit.
The sower in today’s parable sowed seed not just on a small patch, but lavishly, all over the place. He was not efficient; he was magnanimous. On retreat we grow in awareness of God’s love. Then we are sent forth to spread that love lavishly, all over the place. God’s magnanimous love flowing through us will bring a harvest of joy.
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/