I just returned home from an evening spent with friends, an evening we call "grouping". There are 6 of us women and most of us have been doing this together for at least 15 years. We began by attending a "retreat"(not necessarily together, all at different times) entitled A Cursillo Weekend that has it's roots as far back as 1944 that began in Spain. In brief it means a short course in Christianity and takes place over a 3 day weekend. During the weekend there are 15 talks given by both Priests and lay people and it's purpose is to teach us to take what we have learned after these 3 days with Christ back into the world to what is now referred to as our "fourth" day. This weekly gathering is our group practicing and participating in our "fourth" day, with the emphasis on our spiritual growth and participation. Each week we gather and share our past week together, our "closest moments", our study, our prayer life...a very private and personal time together. This is not just a "Catholic" movement. Many other Christian religions have adapted this model, modifying it's contents and some changing it's name, but they are all 3 days in length.
Now that I have given you a little background into what Cursillo means I now invite you to spend an evening with us as we "group". At least once a month we gather at Joan's home where she has coffee and treats awaiting our arrival.
Tonight a fresh batch of cookies had just come out of the oven and Ruth has brought her famous Toffee....(my total downfall at Christmastime)
As we poured our cups of coffee and helped ourselves to the treats, Joan began to set-up tonight's grouping.
Most of the time we "group" at the church in a small room without treats or coffee, but these evenings at Joan's are special. We "group" with a member that has moved to Arizona by Skyping. As Joan sets up the computer we gather around her dining room table to visit with and "group" with Janet.
We wait and through the magic of technology, Janet appears on the screen....
We are as happy to see her as she is to see us.
Sitting and sharing together around the table is special for each of us. We have gone through the happy and the sad times in our lives, sickness, cancer, death, marriages, births, successes & failures, and we continue to gather to "group" each Thursday evening and join Janet monthly. We are a special group, I cherish and love each and every one of these ladies....they are the gold standard of good Christian women.
Closing the evening with prayer, holding hands, sharing those special needs and thanksgiving are moments that sustain me until we meet again.
I hope each of you have special friends like these to share those memorable moments in your lives. They help to sustain you during the highs and lows, they give you comfort and share your happiness as well as your tears. And I encourage any of you, if possible, to attend a Cursillo Weekend, it may just change your life.
"Life without friendship is like the sky without the sun." ~ Unknown