I just returned from and experiential retreat the likes of which I have never entered into before and this was the second time I attended this specific retreat albeit the first time I was a retreat participant and this time I was part of the retreat leadership team.
Why did I go? What was I was I looking for? Why does anyone go on retreat? I can only speak for myself. I want to get closer to Jesus. I want to build my relationship with Jesus in the most intimate way possible and He wants to do the same with and for me and you. Secondly, I want to go deeper in my faith as a Christian. I want to study it. I want to learn it. This is a process that never ends. Third, I want to help others by walking with them in faith in Jesus.
For men, there is no greater band of brothers then those brothers you walk in faith with. There is no greater brother than Jesus! I am sure many women feel the same way.
Why is it called a healing retreat? A healing retreat simply heals. Jesus is the Divine Physician and He heals like no other. At this retreat each man is touched by Jesus personally and intimately in a special way and the experience is unique and special for each individual.
Why is a healing retreat even needed? Because of original sin, which entered the world through the first humans God created, Adam and Eve, who stumbled, went against God’s will and were wounded by their actions we need healing. That is why Jesus became man and entered our world exactly as we are. We use the term concupiscence, which means lust; strong sexual desire. We can lust for another person or an object or an idea or for anything. It weakens our will to resist sin; therefore we need healing. The sacraments of the church are outwards signs, instituted by Jesus, that provide grace interiorly. We need grace. Grace is God’s very life within us. With grace we can resist temptation and avoid the near occasions of sin. Therefore we need healing ongoing.
Why is it called Samson? Samson was a real person God created some 4000 years ago who is a Biblical Old Testament figure. He was a Judge. The Israelites had a period of time when Judges from their own tribes ruled over them before Kings were established. Samson is one of their most famous Judges. He is a Herculian character. The story of Samson only takes up 3 chapters in the book of Judges. His story is not long but it is very powerful. As strong as he was, he was very wounded, but God used Him anyway. God can use you too. I recommend you go to the book of Judges and read the story of Sansom, starting at chapter 13.
You may think you are not wounded but you are. We all are. Why? Yes, as I mentioned above because of original sin and concupiscence. Christians are washed clean in the blood of Jesus, however, if your parents divorced, you are wounded. If you are divorced, you are wounded. If you never married, possibly you are wounded. If you are married and never had children, whether it was by choice or not, you are wounded. If you view pornography you are wounded. If you drink alcohol to excess you are wounded. If you use drugs you are wounded. If you played sports you are wounded. If you never played sports you may be wounded. For men especially, if your father ever said anything hurtful or belittling to you, you are wounded. If you lost a child or parent or sibling or loved one or friend to death you are wounded. If you experience same sex attraction you are wounded. If you are not living a chaste life whether married or single you are wounded. There are so many other ways you could be wounded. If you have ever been physically, emotionally, mentally or sexually abused, even if you have inflicted self wounds in these areas you are certainly wounded. If you suffer from depression or any other disorder you are wounded. If you have ever abused another in any way, you are wounded!
Guess what? it’s okay to be wounded and you can still live an abundantly joyful life.
Name it, claim it, tame it!
Jesus was not only wounded, he shows His wounds and He still has His wounds. When we meet Jesus in the flesh He will have the wounds from the cross marked on His body.
This retreat helps us to learn to unite our wounds to the wounds of Jesus. Suffering in any way, whether physical, emotional or mental or in any other way should never be wasted! It could and should be redemptive! Jesus wants you and me to enter into His passion and unite our suffering to His, which in turn not only helps redeem us, but He will use it to redeem others.
Sansom was an Old testament Christ figure. He was wounded and abused and he abused others. Jesus allowed Himself to be wounded and abused on our account.
Sansom and Jesus were manly men. We make Jesus out to be a nice guy. He was so much more. He spent long hours outdoors; in the wilderness, in the desert. He was a carpenter. Trust me, Jesus was a manly man. The most manly man who ever walked the earth. He is a warrior! And we are His soldiers! He was the Truth and He spoke the truth to all!
Men, have you ever swung and ax, used a saw, spent time in the outdoors, built something with your hands by only using things found in the outside you can use to build. Have you ever really used your imagination? By the way, I am not handy at all and I love these retreats. They make you feel fully alive by doing some things you normally would not do.
It’s time for men, and women, to step to the plate, and answer the call to be the best version of themselves; to be the best man and woman God created you to be.
The next Samson healing retreat for men is in July and I encourage you to go. We have men from all over the country attend. It’s time to step out in faith, reach out for the hand of Jesus and come to this retreat. You don’t have to be Catholic or even Christian to attend. We have men of every race and we have men who are same sex attracted attend. We are all striving for holiness. We all make up the body of Christ! He is the head, we are the members. We grow in Christ together! All of us!
Come experience the love of The Father, Our Father, who created us, and of the Son, our brother, who redeemed us and of The Holy Spirit who sanctifies us every day. You will experience a love like you never have before!
Please click on the link below to learn more. Spread the word to all men. Ladies, encourage the men in your life to attend this. You won’t be sorry! Let’s continue to build each other up in our words and actions!
All men 18 years of age and older are invited to attend. Men who are contemplating the religious life are encouraged to attend.
May God richly bless you and may you and I keep walking by faith to live! Even when we cannot see!!!