Testimony of Matthew S., who took part in the Family Day Heart’s Home organized upstate NY on May 23rd.
On Sunday, I took my family to the International Center for the Culture of Compassion (ICCC) in upstate New York for a one-day family retreat with Heart’s Home. Several families mostly from New York City and nearby also came to share in the retreat from the powers that separate the family to retreat toward the power that unites the family.
If you have ever been to the ICCC you know that it is a place where you could have the time to read the long meandering sentences of William Faulkner. In the way you are treated, in the way that you are surrounded by beauty, you feel that there is nothing to do but be present here, together with the Lord and each other, enjoying long meandering conversations.
The topic of the retreat was on Mary as model and mother. While outside the children played (this is a meditative sound for parents), the soon-to-be ordained Deacon Paul Anel led us in reflecting on Mary as the model of the Christian life who is not an unapproachable figure of perfection, but instead she is above all the mother who intimately guides, nurtures, and loves us toward this perfection of the Christian life.
We all shared a lovely meal, walks around the cool lake and through the rich grasses. We completed the retreat with a family Mass. At the retreat, I grew closer to Christ and Mary with my family. My oldest daughter asked, “Can we do this again?” I said, “I would love that.”