Diocesan News

A Lenten retreat with Carmelite spirituality

WAVERLY (SNR) - All men and women are invited to a Lenten retreat with Father Karl Millis.

“St. Teresa of Avila’s “The Interior Castle” in light of The Joy of the Gospel” will be held March 8-10 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House near Waverly.

In this weekend retreat with a Carmelite spirituality, Father Millis will examine the “seven rooms” of The Interior Castle: understanding how entry to each room in the castle is obtained; what sometimes keeps people from wanting to progress from one room to the next; and how sometimes people even regress from the progress made.

“The goal of the journey is to be joined completely to God’s will, where the intellect, mind, and will are united together in perfect harmony with God,” Father Millis explained. “Here one experiences the fullness of God’s joy (mysticism), a theme that resonates throughout Pope Francis’s encyclical The Joy of the Gospel.”

Some of the questions the retreat will address are: How do we attain joy? What is lasting joy? How do I deal with distractions at prayer? How do I learn to detach from material things? How do I overcome fear? How do I live and share joy in my life? Is holiness possible for everyone? Is mysticism only for the few? How is it possible to be joyful when one is sad? What is the one virtue necessary to enter the first room of the castle and all the other rooms? Why do most people remain only in the first three rooms?

Father Millis said that copies of the St. Teresa of Avila’s “The Interior Castle” and Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel) can be downloaded for free on the internet, although his preferred translation is “The Interior Castle: Study Edition” by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD.

“I consider ‘The Interior Castle’ to be St. Teresa of Avila’s best work (and my favorite),” said Father Millis. “It is written in a way that is readable and understandable, yet contains a deep spirituality and profound theology. It addresses the burning question of our modern society: How do I attain lasting happiness and joy? It is a perennial work that touches on many of the modern questions addressed in the encyclical The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis.

“As a Third Order Carmelite, I enjoy sharing Carmelite spirituality with others. It is said, ‘The Carmelites may be one of the smallest religious orders of the Church, but they have produced some of the greatest Saints.’ To know, understand, and live the Carmelite spirituality in one’s life, gives to one an amazing gift to assist one on the journey to heaven.”

Father Karl Millis was ordained in 1999 and came to the Diocese of Lincoln four years ago, serving at St. Joseph in Auburn, St. Clara in Peru, and as chaplain of the Newman Center in Peru.

Father Millis has been a Third Order Carmelite for more than 30 years, and has studied Carmelite spirituality extensively in both Rome and the United States. He has helped to establish Third Order Carmelite groups in several parishes, and is beginning a new group in Auburn this spring.

Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House offers a peaceful atmosphere of prayer and recollection, with single rooms and private baths. Retreat include meditations, silence, prayer, adoration and the sacraments and typically begin with a rosary and Mass at 8 p.m. on Friday, and end with Mass on Sunday followed by lunch.

Other Lent retreats for men and women will be held March 18-21, a four-day silent directed Ignatian retreat with Father Gary Coulter; March 22-24 on the rosary and the Eucharist with Father Sean Timmerman; March 29-31 on Scripture and mercy with Sharon Doran, and April 12-14, “Renewing Your Sense of Wonder” with Bishop Ronald Gilmore and Jacqueline Loh.

To register for a retreat or more information, go to www.goodcounselretreat.com, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 402-786-2705.

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