At the Annunciation, was she not presented with an invitation for the rest of her life that she could either refuse or accept? Saying yes would have incredible consequences, would literally turn the world upside down and inside out. Her youthful heart was ready for the adventure, and in authentic femininity, her active receptivity was the catapult toward the greatest Romance and the most amazing adventure. She spent more time than any other with our Lord. What did she see and how did she move and respond to the God-man in a perfect and womanly response?
These are the questions we want to ponder on our retreat.
By forming our young women in authentic femininity after the role model of Mary Immaculate, we desire to assist them and open their hearts to responding to good and holy vocations within the Church as wives/mothers, Consecrated Religious, and Consecrated lay faithful. Additionally, we wish to help them cultivate and maintain a firmly rooted spiritual life of prayer and receptivity to the grace of God.
One day, after speaking to the crowds from Simon’s boat, our Lord invited the Apostle to “put out into the deep” for a catch: “Duc In altum” (Lk 5:4).
“Peter and his first companions trusted Christ’s words, and cast the nets. “When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish” (Lk 5:6). Duc In Altum! These words ring out for us today, and they invite us to remember the past with gratitude, to live the present with enthusiasm and to look forward to the future with confidence: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8). (Pope John Paul II, “At the Beginning of the New Millennium”)
As women, we naturally tend to plumb the depths – whether of our relationships, our emotions, or even reading into facial expressions, voice inflections, or written words. We are not satisfied with the surface. For better or for worse, we want to go deeper.
Do we have the courage, though, to plumb the depths of our interior lives and the fantastic journey of love initiated by our Lord?
Launching the first annual “Duc In Altum” Retreat for young women in our diocese, our desire is to bring these young women into the School of our Lady and a fervent prayer life by leading them deeper into an understanding of their present vocation as Daughter – Daughter of God, Daughter of Mary, and Daughter of the Church.
As we lead our young ladies into this School of Mary, we will be entering into the mysteries of her life, genuinely praying to her and asking her to share her thoughts, her actions, and her words – everything that prompted her authentic response to the movements of grace.