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HEALING OUR WOUNDS: Forgiveness in the Spiritual Life
Monday, August 28– Friday, September 1, 2023
We give them, we suffer them, our bodies hold on to them for years: Wounds. We can imprison ourselves in them and wither emotionally far too long without the transforming power of forgiveness. It is Divine Love that liberates us from resentment, self-pity and isolation. The love that forgives opens a path to inner freedom. God reveals such love in Jesus. When we experience authentic forgiveness, we begin to live again in hope and gratitude. When we ponder such experiences, we desire to enter more personally into the mystery for forgiveness toward others, to become reconcilers ourselves. The process of forgiveness requires the full engagement of desire, willingness, and courage. The whole person-body, mind and soul-must engage in this endeavor. Without forgiveness, our Christian life and our emotional wellbeing are incomplete. This is an essential part of becoming our truest self, the person God intends us to be.
Fr. Francis Benedict has been a monk of Valyermo since 1967. He earned an MA in Philosophy from Loyola-Marymount University and an MS in Theology from Mt. Angel in Oregon. He was ordained a priest in 1976. He served as the Abbey's Abbot for 16 years. His special areas of ministry include spiritualdirection, preaching retreats, and working with 12-step recovery groups. In addition to many responsibilities at the Abbey, he now serves as the Director of Oblates.
Dr. Audrey Spindler is an oblate of Valyermo and a presenter and facilitator of Centering Prayer under Contemplative Outreach. Having earned her Ph.D. and RD, she is a former professor of Foods and Nutrition and Director if the Didactic Program of Dietetics in the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at State University. She received over 10 teaching awards and published more than 40 refereed papers.
St. Andrew's Abbey Retreat Office
Phone: (661) 944-2178
(Closed for Mass and lunch 11:45am-1:30pm)