“Brothers, Lift up Your Hearts.” Franciscan Provincial Retreat – Opening Night.
As friars began arriving at Tweed Heads, some taking the scenic route on the way and some taking the scenic route once inside the venue, a real sense of something positive had started to spread around the place. Of course, friars are known to rush in where angels fear to tread so the gathering at 5:00pm was a great opportunity to renew fraternal bonds and answer practical questions.
The Ongoing Formation Committee of Stephen Bliss, John Boyd-Boland and Matt Hufer had a great opportunity to have everything in readiness, having arrived on Saturday afternoon. Being Retreat Master Mel Jurisich’s birthday, we headed out for a Greek meal and, in this regard, Father Stepped Out.
But back to the Retreat …
The friars will be reflecting on “Brothers, Lift Up Your Hearts”, an affirming cause for reflection that we so need to hear. How do we find that uplifting part of our life today when the world tells us that we are foolish and irrelevant, a throwback perhaps to another era? Where do we find our hearts rejoicing? What is the best way to keep ourselves in concert with God’s call for us? Mel’s answer: to dance.
After the evening meal, Fr Mel invited us, among other ideas, to headFather Mel’s Rules of the Dance.
1.It Takes Time. Nothing is learned over night so be patient with one another.
2. Talk With One Another. Communication is to fraternity what blood is to life.
3. Keep the Circle of the Dance Open. No one can dance alone.
4. What Goes Around, Comes Around. (a saying invented by Mel’s Uncle Tony) Stinginess and self-obsession make the circle very small.
5. The Dance of the Cross. Suffering is a part of life.
6. No Dance Is Possible Without Talking to God in Solitude. And we now have time to practice our dance with God.
Concluding our first day in beautiful Tweed Heads (see Fr John to the right), we held an extended night prayer. Tomorrow begins our first full day of retreat. Pray for us as we will pray for you.
If you would like a copy of the Retreat liturgies, click here for download in PDF.