The presenters were Fr. Antonio O. Moreno (spiritual director of the Little Handmaids and the Legion of Mary) and Cami Murphy, director of the Little Handmaids.
There were about 65 people who attended the retreat.
In this email I would like to share with you a portion of
Fr. Moreno's Introduction, as well as my own reflections on it. The retreat began with Mass, and in his homily, Fr. Moreno spoke to us about Mary as the best spiritual director, the one who best directs us to Jesus.
In his typically funny manner, he said he wanted us to have the best spiritual director, and that person was...and he extended his arm and hand in the direction of a large statue of Mary at the front of our church. And then his arm and hand seemed to spring back to point to himself. Then back to Mary, etc. (A very good illustration of our ambivalence about surrendering our lives to Mary.)
Then we walked to the parish center, where most of the retreat took place.
After time for registration, coffee, pan dulce, and fruit, Fr. Moreno gave us a deeply insightful introduction to The Spirituality of St. Louis de Montfort.
I spoke to Fr. Moreno on the phone recently to refresh my memory and to increase my understanding of what he shared with us.
What was most anointed for me is what he said about consecration being at the center of St. Louis de Montfort's spirituality. "Jesus," Fr. Moreno emphasized to me, is the Consecration.
I am reminded of the Scripture, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."And I think also of the Scripture of the Presentation in the Temple, in which Simeon said: "...mine eyes have seen Thy Salvation..."
Jesus is the Consecration, the Gift (as Fr. Moreno proclaimed to us), the Holiness that we are called to. Jesus is the Way. Jesus is the Truth. Jesus is the Life. Jesus is the Salvation. "I am that I am," God said to Moses.
St. Louis de Montfort emphasizes to us that, to be a Christian in the most profound sense, is to be filled with the Life of Christ, to share in His life. Christ lives in us.Jesus is the Holiness that we are called to. It is in Jesus that we become holy.
It is through union with Him, a fruit of our consecration, which originates not in ourselves, but in Christ, through the will of the Father. That is our primary vocation as Christians, according to St. Louis de Montfort.
And the angel said to her,“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;therefore the child to be born will be called holy,the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)
Mary participated (and continues to participate) in the Consecration of Christ through her yes, and our consecration to Mary enables us to have the grace to say yes.
This is only a portion of what Father shared with us in His Spirit-filled, grace-filled, joy-filled manner; and my reflections on his teaching.
--Little Handmaids of Our Sorrowful Mother
And Mary said, "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." (Lk 1:38)