"remembering his mercy"

Yesterday I got a note from Ken Kalina, someone who may be able to refer people to us for retreats. I hadn't heard from him for weeks and was becoming concerned that he had lost interest. Happily, he's still in. So now we're trying to arrange an introductory retreat for him and someone from Emmaus Ministries in Chicago, and maybe a few others, to meet them in person and let them see what the retreats will be like. In about a month, I think. I'm excited.

We're thinking of focusing the retreat on Mary's words to Elizabeth, the magnificat (Lk 1.46-55). They are part of my prayers every morning:

My soul glorifies the Lord.
My spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.
He looks on His servant in her lowliness;
henceforth all ages will call me blessed.

The Almighty works marvels for me.
Holy His name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear Him.

He puts forth His arm in strength
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.

He protects Israel His servant,
remembering His mercy,
The mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons and daughters for ever.

Those words should be good for discussing the main themes we want to have in all our retreats (summarized in our essay "Good News to the Poor"), and also inspire discussion that would be relevant to the particular folks that will be at that first retreat. We may use Heather's short story about Mary, and the Marty Haugen song based on the magnificat, too.

I was beginning to wonder if God had forgotten about us, but now I'm suddenly amazed at how things seem to be coming together in just the right way, and in the right time.