I went on a retreat this past weekend. It was one of those super secret ones, so I can’t say much about the goings on(it was an ACTS retreat – go if you have a chance!), but I had some revelations throughout the experience that I wanted to share with you. This was one of those retreats where everyone bares their heart and soul, resulting in many tears. I don’t think my eyes were dry for most of the weekend.
A theme that I noticed was a general dissatisfaction with the things of the world. Because we humans are stubborn we usually try to attain our own happiness and satisfaction through worldly things and activities. All the speakers fell into this trap but at some point during their journey, they finally realized that God is the only person who can truly satisfy us.
And then there is the lie that we are not good enough. When we think that about ourselves, who/what do we think we’re not good enough for? Often our standards are the problem. In a way our standards are not high enough. Our standard should be heaven. I believe it was Jackie Francois that said, “Stop lowering to earth and start rising to heaven.”
The only person you should be comparing yourself to is the person that God wants you to be. The truth is that this world is not good enough for us. We were made for more. We were made for eternity. Temporary things will never satisfy our desires, will never bring us complete happiness.
We can fall into this trap in terms of good things as well, which makes recognizing the problem a little harder. For example you could be married to the most wonderful person, who is a perfect Catholic and always provides for your every need. Yet, that person still cannot satisfy you completely, although that may be hard to recognize. I’ve heard of couples who tell each other once in a while, “I love you honey, but you just don’t satisfy me.”
Fulton Sheen said, “”The human heart is not wrong in wanting love; it is wrong only in thinking that a human can completely supply it.”
In looking for a community to join, I had to be very careful not to lose sight of this important lesson. It is easy to start talking about finding a place that feels like “home” and then get frustrated when that place seems impossible to find. That’s because heaven is our true home. When I went on the first vocations retreat with the TOR Sisters, during adoration, I heard in my heart, “everything you desire, great and small, you will find here.” I made the mistake of thinking that God meant in Toronto, OH, at that particular monastery. No, he meant in the small white host in front of me. He meant in his Son.