I visited the Marygrove Retreat Center four or five times in the period of 1994-98, a time of great healing in my life. My visits to the Upper Peninsula were always an occasion of grace. If you are within a few hundred miles of Garden, Michigan, on the Lake Michigan shore of the U.P., you should go. Fr Tim is a wise and gentle director.
My first retreat there, I had a troubling dream about an old friend. Upon waking, I realized I could not get that person and the harm we had done each other out of my mind. I was confronted with my own powerlessness to heal the relationship, or really even myself. I realized I had become emotionally frozen for the past three or four years, and was really deteriorating spiritually as well.
I found I could do no more than lay on the floor of the chapel in my grief, simply praying that God would see fit to heal me. After a day or two of anguish, I felt as though a plane of invisible glass was being passed through my body, straining out my anger and other strong emotions. At the end of prayer, I was amazed at the sensation of it all, having had only one such prior physical manifestation in my life. I emerged from that retreat refreshed, which is exactly what I needed. I knew I was being set on a new path, thanks to my experience there. I returned to retreat there for many years after, breaking my previous pattern (1986-94) of never returning to the same place for a second eight-day retreat.
I’m getting excited about going to Conception in three weeks. It will only be for four days this year, but I’m looking forward to meeting with a new spiritual director there.