The Wyoming Catholic Men's Retreat has been extending its outreach beyond the Casper, Wyoming area over the last few years. This event is a result of the prayerful efforts of the Shalom (Charismatic) Prayer Group in Casper. It certainly has spread its wings. I think we had men present from quite a number of communities this year including Casper, Riverton, Cody, Rock Springs, Rawlins, Laramie, Cheyenne, and even someone from Colorado as well. The impact on a man's life to gather with other men striving to be better Christians can be phenomenal. This retreat is certainly filling a need in that regard.
Charismatic spirituality has had a profound impact on my life personally. A Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group in Canon City, Colorado prayed with me many years ago prior to a major cancer surgery. The power of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit was almost palpable in that gathering. I went into surgery with a great sense of calm because of what I experienced with this prayer group. Words cannot adequately describe the sensation of peace I was given by the Holy Spirit in the midst of such a major crisis. It is truly a peace that only the Lord can give.
The greatest impact on my prayer life offered by the Charismatic Renewal has been quite simple. It has been the process of helping me to be cognizant of giving thanks and praise to God in all things. I will admit that I have struggled with doing that when life is hard. However, the Charismatic Renewal has kept that aspect of prayer in the forefront of my mind. I still don't do it well all the time, but through the grace of God, I think this component of my prayer life has improved overall.
Each time I have the privilege of leading a retreat or a parish mission I am deeply touched by the openness and candor of people in regard to their spiritual struggles. It is obvious that we are all on a journey, and sometimes our pilgrimage is filled with a lot of obstacles and potholes along the way. I am in awe when I see the grace of God provide answers for those striving to overcome the challenges. I know that some of the men this weekend received insights into some of their own personal challenges. Our God truly is an awesome God!
I wish to thank the leadership of the Wyoming Catholic Men's Retreat. You created an atmosphere in which we had the opportunity to encounter our God. Who could ask for anything more? May God bless each of you abundantly! On behalf of all the men who reaped the benefit of your hard work, I simply say, "THANK YOU!"