Thursday, May 14, 2009

Updating Part One: Cursillo

Lots has been going on for me lately, all of which I have wanted to post about. But time has made it difficult to do so and so they have all piled up. Now, having just returned from vacation I am going to attempt to post about three recent events over the last two weeks. Up first: my Cursillo Retreat weekend.

Cursillo was at the end of April and beginning of May. It was a women's retreat, although the Cursillo Movement is composed of men and women, the retreats are held separately. The retreat takes three full days, beginning Thursday evening and ending Sunday night. It was a very full weekend!!

I am not going to divulge a lot of information. This is the kind of thing that you really have to experience for yourself. It is a spiritual retreat and each individual will be affected by it in different ways. So it is actually best for me not to say a lot; only, if you are curious I encourage you to pray about it and consider taking the time to experience it for yourself.

I did learn that Cursillo is an active movement in the Catholic Church worldwide as well as in the Anglican community. Protestants also have something similar called "A Walk to Emmaus."

The higlights for me during my Cursillo weekend included, first, an incredibly moving "Way of the Cross" on Thursday night. The prayers read during the 15 stations included meditations in Mary's voice. It was so moving for all of us and there were lots of tears as we moved through the various stations of Christ's path to His crucifixion.

Second, the community that was formed over the three days was amazing. There were 24 of us attending the retreat, and about 10 people on the team, which included two spiritual directors (both priests in the diocese, the only men on the retreat, poor guys!! But they did put up with all us women quite well!). Many of us were strangers, coming from a variety of churches in Lexington, Frankfort, Versailles, Paintsville, and maybe another city or two. But after three days we had formed a bond with each other. It was truly amazing how quickly that bond formed as well.

Finally, I was amazed at how much I learned and how much I grew spiritually. Without really knowing that I needed this, I came away knowing that this was exactly what I had been needing in my life. As I said above, this is an experience, and one that is worth trying. No matter what your relationship is with God, Cursillo can do nothing but make it stronger. And who doesn't want a stronger relationship with God?

One of the things I find most encouraging about Cursillo is the ongoing part of it once the retreat is over. Cursillo teaches you a method and through regular group meetings following the retreat you are encouraged to keep this method working in your life. The group meetings are pretty flexible and there are a number of ways to do them. I have been to one large group meeting following the retreat and it was a great way to renew myself. I haven't yet found a small group to meet with yet, but hope to soon.

So that was my Cursillo weekend. The next Cursillo in the Lexington Diocese will be in October for men (the next women's retreat will be next spring). If you are considering it, pray about it and let God guide you to making this decision.

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