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 | By Father Charles Irvin

Can we feel safe?

There is a place for us

We do not feel safe in today’s world. The economy is in chaos, terrorism looms up in our daily news reports, many of our marriages are in trouble, our teens are surrounded by forces from which we seem unable to protect them, our jobs are not as secure as they once were, our retirement accounts are shrinking in value and our emotional lives are anything but tranquil.

There are many among us who are especially disturbed by abuses they have suffered in the past; abuses which they recall every day and cause them personal insecurities about themselves. Their relationships with others are skewed because their feelings about themselves are anything but settled. Where can they find a modicum of peace? Where can they find the peace and security they once had earlier in their lives? Where can they find relief from the besetting memories of the abuses they suffered in their pasts?

There is such a place. It’s called St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt. There the gentle spirit of St. Francis resides, offering shelter and more than shelter. It offers a new way of living, a healing spirituality for one’s renewed soul.

The peace of which I speak is not so much found in a place as it is found in one’s spirit. It comes as a gift. And that being so, its effect is not simply bought, won, or achieved –  it can only be received. But to be received it must be sought.

There are times of the year when Father Larry Delaney, Pat Martin and others who know about abuse and its effects are there to help you, or to help ones whom you know that are searching, searching for relief, peace and a recovered sense of wholeness.

Do yourself a favor. Give yourself this gift. Or show your love for those about whom you care by getting them in touch with our loving God in this place of recovery, strength  and peace. God’s peace is found in his tender, loving mercies – if we let him give them to us. Let him! Be yoked with him so that with him you can together pull your load through life.

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.

In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me; you restore my strength.

You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name.

Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side;

your rod and staff give me courage. (Psalm 23)