by Tim Chik
Hello and welcome to a brand-new column! My name is Tim Chik and I am the director of Savior Pastoral Center, a retreat and conference center for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
We host retreats, workshops and conferences throughout the year for various groups. I have gratefully served here for the last five years, working with some wonderful people on the staff of Savior and the chancery.
“Retreating Forward” is the name of this new column and I will be writing about spirituality, retreats and hospitality. It is my hope that this column may spark some increased interest for our readers in moving forward along the pathways of prayer.
“Retreating Forward” is often a theme in my mind when I think of the spiritual life. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “The great figures of prayer of the Old Covenant before Christ, as well as the Mother of God, the saints and he himself, all teach us this: Prayer is a battle” (2725).
Imagine for a moment Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in the Civil War. His objectives were clear and laid out by President Lincoln: Move forward and win the war for the Union. At times, though, the best move for Grant was to retreat momentarily, to review the next step in the plan and to strengthen his troops. Then, refreshed and renewed, Grant could move forward again.
You are the general of your spiritual battle. Are you winning the war? Perhaps, like Grant, you need some time to retreat, to refresh and to strengthen your inner troops. It’s possible that you need to stay in closer contact with headquarters, where our Commander in Chief knows the big- picture plan for your future . . . and for you.
When we go into battle in the spiritual world, we need to be armored in prayer, Scripture and the sacraments. We should use our most powerful weapon: the rosary. We ought to “put on the full armor of God, so that [we] will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Eph 6:11) and join our efforts with our community. Grant would never have gone into battle without his brother soldiers on every side of him. Don’t fight the spiritual battle alone either.
Our ministry here at Savior Pastoral Center lies at the service of the church, to be a place of refuge and retreat for many “generals” in the spiritual life.
Whether it is a women’s retreat with the Apostles of the Interior Life or a Men’s Cursillo retreat or a personal retreat, we all need time to retreat . . . in order to go forward.
Come away with Jesus and be renewed for the battle!