New Ways Ministry Retreat with Anthony Padovano
November 18-20, 2011
Bon Secours Spiritual Center, Marriottsville, MD
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Why am I here? No, that’s not meant as some deep philosophical question about the meaning of life. It’s meant, rather, in the very concrete sense. Why am I here, in this actual physical place in which I find myself right now?
As I ask this question, I am on a retreat at Bon Secours Spiritual Center in Mariottsville, MD. It is 5:21 am. The retreat is for gay “former” priests/religious and the broad focus of the retreat is sexuality and spirituality. Sponsored by New Ways Ministry, the facilitator is Anthony Padovano, a man who has been so influential in the life of American Catholicism since Vatican II.
Why am I here? The ‘expected’ answer no doubt involves God in some way. To spend time with God….To get away from the busy-ness of life and spend time in prayer and reflection.
Why am I here? Some might see this as self-centered or even narcissistic, but the answer is really to spend time with myself.
Padovano talked last evening about Thomas Merton and one of his insights — so simple and yet so profound — is that the only thing that I can do in this life that absolutely no one else can do is be me. Merton said, “To be a saint is to be myself.”
There is no one who has ever lived, is living now, or who will ever live who can be who I am.