Our gathering for the Spiritual Exercises continues today after a full Friday evening and Saturday.
Late in April more than 25.000 people met in Rimini (on the Adriatic Coast of Italy) and Fr. Julian Carron led the Spiritual Exercises for the Communion & Liberation fraternity.. This annual gathering meets in a rather strange retreat environment: while the numbers have to be accommodated in hotels and travel each day to the venue in cars and busses, they spend the weekend largely in a silent retreat environment even in the hotels and while travelling. The gatherings are taken very seriously.
However not all those who wish to can make it to Rimini, and the content of the Exercises is shared with people all over the world in similar retreat gatherings with people like myself being asked to lead the gatherings for groups in different parts of the world.
Later today we will return to our homes. There is an inevitable anxiety in many of those who are gathered as we ponder the week ahead and the return to home. In a monastery we might appreciate being a little distant from the demands of work and the complexities of home life and here we have the tangible support of other disciples of Jesus who consciously seek to live in the gaze of Christ who know their desire to live every moment in His gaze.
The key reminder for all of us in these days is that Christ is seeking us in the heart of our present reality, even in the difficult circumstances, wherever we are. When I return home Christ remains with us and if Christ is with us then we have everything that we need for abundant living, wherever we are.