I am pleased, feeling I am growing, learning about myself, through this blog. One of the things I hope to accomplish with the upcoming time off work, during the retreat, a time of religious concentration, writing and reading, is an organizing of this blog. I will conduct no work, not even work around the house or cooking. My time will be dedicated and focused upon God, therefore channeling activity creatively. I am proud, pleased to perceive, God working through my writing efforts, fiction and poetry both blossoming. I do fear my writing mind, due to it previously being a source of waywardness. Writing can lead to severe drinking. Now, I am convinced it can assist in sobriety. The desire to write is not evil in and of itself. If creative efforts, any efforts, draw me away from God, distract and negatively affect my prayer efforts, they are useless, something to be abandoned. I will not remain attached to anything that leads me away from God. I remember in a previous post, months ago, when I was working with Abbot Lehody a lot, I think it was him, who made the remark that the greatest, no it was Henry Suso, that the greatest spiritual exercise is to abandon the pursuit of God. That is, an effort to pursue God can be in truth nothing more than the pursuit of one’s self, a detrimental attachment to egotism. Self-love futilely drives many toward God. Can I give up God in order to allow God to reveal Himself to me? The point I want to make clear is that I am proud of my writing efforts. My writing is properly associated with a healthy identity. In the coming week, I want to organize more, linking back to previous posts, categorizing better. I will also add a page. A one year sobriety inventory will be taken, exploring where I am, and what the future holds, even if that is a declaration I lack complete clarity regarding the future. In the blogging beginning, one of the points stressed was the importance of finding our individual way within the vastness of the Church; revealing our effective role within the magnificence and immensity of the Church. Not allowing the intense magnitude of everything the Church is to overwhelm our smallness. How do we become properly small, as the Little Flower teaches, within the enormity of the Universal Church? An incident Sunday with the Benedictines focused my attention in this direction. My friend Carol commented during a slide show with one of the brothers, an intimate viewing limited to Carol, myself, and the Benedictine monk, quaint and personal. Carol pointed out a priest in one of the sixties looking photos as the former Bishop Pilla, stating she recalled as a child playing with him. It made me comment that it is amazing the intimate stories we all have with Church hierarchy or other powerful assets of the Church. Though the Church is immense, vast, intricate, complicated to the highest degree, its simplicity touches us all profoundly; tenderness and closeness for every individual. The monk smiled, stating, ‘yes, it is so true’. That is why I find it so moving to be taking the retreat to the Our Lady of the Pines retreat center. Once, I conducted research regarding the origins of the title for Our Lady, I felt invigorated that I discovered a Spanish touch to the matter. When I told my Spanish mother, about the Canary Island apparition, she became excited, informing me how when she was young her brother took a vacation to the Canary Islands. The islands seemed so exotic, remote and mysterious to her. The world was a much larger and unknown place in the fifties. She said her brother Tony brought back photos, telling her of black molten rock, volcanic activity, and how different the islands were from the home they knew as children. So once again, I feel Our Holy Mother moving about, playing out Her grace-providing role, touching with love the life of myself and my mother. That also connects back to an earlier post I did. One I link back to now. My parents were married in the El Pilar Basilica. The church honors the first apparition of Our Holy Mother, actually a bi-location as she was alive during the appearance to the apostle James. Bottom line, I am pleased with blogging efforts, although there will be another page added and more interconnectedness with previous posts during the upcoming retreat.