Retreat at Norcia — summer 2010

Beautiful countryside outside the town of Norcia


The following is part of a journal kept by Rome Experience seminarian Trent Schmidt, class of 2010, during the silent retreat at Norcia.  

“Today was the fourth day of our silent retreat.  Our first meditation was on the Mass and in particular how the Mass manifests our Lord’s great love for us.  As He told His disciples how greatly He has desired to eat this Passover with them, in the same way before every Mass he says the same thing to us. Because of this reality we are also privy to the same graces as the twelve apostles during every Mass.   

The second meditation of the day centered on the 15th chapter of John’s Gospel, (I am the vine and you are the branches,) which is an exhortation to be holy as He is holy.  We are to become like Christ.  But holiness comes at a price.  Its met with resistance, but the pain is about growth.  The Church was born from the wounded side of Christ, and our wounds can be joined to His.  

The third and final meditation of the day was on prayer –in particular the filial prayer Jesus had with God the Father as something we must incorporate into our prayer lives.  That relational commitment is integral in our noisy world, and can only be accomplished through time set aside daily for mental prayer .  How we are to best serve the people of God, practically and spiritually, will best be discerned in prayer.  

Fr. John Heisler also gave us a great talk that evening, on following Christ and living in the Holy Spirit.  He focused on practical ways we can incorporate the fruits of the Holy Spirit into our lives as priests, while strengthening their effectiveness in our ministry.” 


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