2021 Retreats & Events

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Leadership and the Rule of Benedict: Purity of Heart

April 1-3,  2022 
3-day Retreat
St. Andrew's Abbey
Valyermo, CA

Dr. Mike Carey

The goal of the desert monks of the 3rd-5th century C.E. Egypt, Syria, and Palestine was a deep interior stillness. For John Cassian this path was through purity of heart: stability, steadiness, integrity, and tranquility. Cassian’s concept describes a purity of intention and a singleness of heart; in the context of addiction, obsessions, and compulsions, purity of heart is radical honesty about the self. The end result of this purification process, according to 20th century C.E. American monk Thomas Merton, was "a clear unobstructed vision of the true state of affairs, an intuitive grasp of one's own inner reality as anchored, or lost, in God through Christ.”

This retreat will use the film Of Gods and Men, which tells the story of monastery of Tibhirine, where nine Trappist monks lived in harmony with the largely Muslim population of Algeria, until seven of them were kidnapped and assassinated in 1996 during the Algerian Civil War. What do John Cassian, Thomas Merton, and the monks of Tibhirine have to offer us in our own struggles to purify our intentions by overcoming our addictions, obsessions, and compulsions. We’ll find out together at this retreat.

Register for Retreat Here