The talks at the 2014 Men’s Retreat sponsored by Christ the King Parish in Ann Arbor were given by Dr Edward Sri. His talks are available in their audio archive. I haven’t yet listened to them, but will surely be doing so in the near future. Here are the links:
Archive for the ‘Audio talks’ category
Brothers, they are tearin’ it up in Michigan! Recently, I posted Paco’s men’s retreat talks. Today the Archdiocese of Detroit had a mini-conference for men. Here’s the talk that Fr John Riccardo gave to the guys this morning. His basic theme was “The Real Crisis in the Church is This: We Don’t Know Jesus!” Get ready to be challenged to ‘drop your nets’ (cf. Luke 5:11).
On the website of Christ the King Catholic Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan (so prominently mentioned in Forming Intentional Disciples as an exemplary Catholic parish), in their Audio Library, you’ll find the four talks given by Paco Gavrilides at the parish’s recent men’s retreat:
The theme of the retreat was “Discipleship, the Authentic Christian Life.”
Paco is a member of Christ the King parish, works for the Archdiocese of Detroit, teaches at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, and is part of the Speakers Bureau of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men.
At the beginning of his first talk, Paco recalls his mild pre-retreat anxiety concerning the potential low turnout of men for the retreat, and shares something that the Lord said to him in his prayer time:
Don’t be afraid for the lack of men. Rather, be afraid for the lack of grace.
As history has proven, God can do great things with just a few committed men, empowered by the Spirit of Pentecost, who are open and willing to cooperate with his grace!
We’re now into June and headed for Father’s Day. I wanted to post this now (knowing how busy our schedules can be) in the hope that you will try to find time before Father’s Day to listen to this tremendously inspiring talk on “Fatherhood” by Fr John Riccardo. He delivered the talk a few years ago, but I find myself coming back to it again and again. It is encouraging, convicting and challenging. The manner in which Fr Riccardo honors his own father throughout the talk is an example for us all. Enjoy!
In what will likely be my only attempt to participate in this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (in addition to a few meager prayers for that intention), I took time today to breathe with the other lung by watching/listening to this recent talk by Metropolitan Jonah of the OCA. His prior training in eastern monasticism gives his presentations a credibility and a depth that really draws me in.
The title of his talk, “Do not resent, do not react, keep inner stillness,” proposes three principles of living the Christian life taught by the Eastern Fathers. Underlying the successful implementation of these principles is the practice of intentional silence – a proposition highly incongruous with the busyness and wordiness of our current American culture.
Met Jonah begins with a quote:
St Isaac the Syrian:
Let us take refuge in the Lord and ascend a little to the place where thoughts dry up and stirrings vanish, where memories fade away and the passions die, where human nature becomes serene and is transformed as it stands in the other world.
He proceeds to teach how, through, silence, prayer, and repentance, we can ascend above the rational two-dimensional “Etch-A-Sketch” level of consciousness to attain the highest levels of spiritual maturity, having our senses transformed through the grace that comes with entering into cooperation with God. Then the entire creation will shimmer with God, and we’ll see God’s presence in everyone and everything, and all of creation is made new before our eyes. The highest level is to know the Father in the Son by the Holy Spirit, so that we can dare to say “Our Father”.
As we grow deeper and deeper in this spiritual maturity, we can become more like God, especially in his compassion and forgiveness. The grace of God’s presence within us will enable us to root out the criticisms, condemnations, and judgments to which we are so prone. Our increasingly compassionate and forgiving heart will empower us to practice not reacting, not resenting, and keeping our inner stillness.
As an example of the effectiveness of this path, he concludes his talk with an emotional testimony of apparition, healing, and forgiveness involving Matushka Olga, who has been supernaturally assisting abused and battered women.
For the record, I’m not one in the manner described below.
I was listening to a podcast with one of my favorite business book authors, Michael Gerber. Back in the 80’s he wrote a fabulous book called ‘T’he E-Myth – Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It’ ‘ which is a bestselling manual on how to gain the right perspective in running your own business.
Well, Michael is about 75 years old now, and has added some of that valuable commodity we all pray that age brings us — Wisdom. In this recent interview, Michael’s perspective had matured. I was just about floored listening to this because I completely expected a secular free-enterprise approach. So was the host, he never saw it coming and didn’t quite know how to react
Understand that if in my life I don’t feel inspired to discoverwhat it means to be alive — to discover what my true purpose is on this earth in the time that I have here — If I’m not moved to go deeper within myself, then I’ll be moved to go superficially outside myself. And as I go superficially outside myself, all of my plans and all of my objectives will be Under the value of what I could potentially reach. So my model says that the human being is a significant thing. The human being is a remarkable thing. I don’t even know what a human being really is. I don’t even know why I’m here — but I NEED to know, I need to pursue it. And everything that I do can become an expression of that as I begin to discover it. So to me, that’s a living equation that has a life force to it. The life force is extraordinary. The life force is everything. And I don’t know what the life-force of Google is. In other words, I don’t see the imagineer at Google creating something beyond belief for any other reason other than wealth.
Does Bill Gates really need to make 16 billion dollars a day? Does he really NEED to do that? Is it really WORTH doing? Understand that that greed is absolutely resident in almost every business that is created today. And I’m simply saying, you gotta go beyond that. It’s gotta go beyond the Trump factor. It’s gotta go to something absolutely unique. What would it mean for example, if Bill Gates had the same passion as Martin Luther King? What would it mean if Martin Luther King had known what Bill gates knew? Can you imagine taking the skills of the one and putting them into the other — the drive of the one and putting it into the other — the spirit of the one and putting it into the other? Can you imagine the profound impact that would have on the KIND of companies we create? Then you begin to understand the extraordinary vitality of an enterprise that set about saying what Martin Luther King said in ‘I have a dream.”
What do I say to the individual who has the dream of being an entrepreneur and wants to know where to start? From here you simply look for the pain in the world, and you try to heal it. You look for the pain in the world and you invent a company that is designed to heal it. What’s the pain — no water, no food, no fresh air, a young woman with 2 kids and no husband or father. You look in the world and look at the pain and you’ll discover the opportunity. The opportunity to transform pain into health — into whatever it is that the counter component of it is — you have the opportunity to do that.
On January 23rd, Fr John Riccardo addressed the Bravehearts Men’s Group of St Joseph Catholic Church in Lake Orion, MI. Fr John’s talk was entitled “What Makes Kings from Slaves – Courage.” With his usual focused passion, Fr Riccardo brings to life Matthew 8:23-27 (Jesus calming the sea), as well as the martyrdom of St Maximilian Kolbe. He gives the men three questions for reflection:
What are the storms in my life? What is tempting me to be afraid?
What do I need to do concretely on a daily basis to know that the Lord is with me?
Do I really know who I am?
After his talk, you’ll hear the audio of this video which was played at their gathering:
Fr Riccardo then concludes the event with this prayer.