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Yesterday I posted a reflection from my good friend, Bob Magness, and I promised to post a second one from him today.  One of the witness topics on the WELCOME retreat is Reconciliation.  Following the witness, Bob invited all team members to visit one of the two priests on hand for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Once again, Bob’s way with words brings me much joy.

Reconciliation and a Rock

by Bob Magness

The Welcome team formation process culminates with the weekend retreat.  Here, members of the Giving Team give witness to this process.  The miracles that occur every day to every-day ordinary men.  One of those witnesses is about the miraculous power of adding our sins to the burden that is Christ’s Cross. 

Reconciliation and a Rock

There’s an old metal bucket full of rocks.
Take one. Look at it closely.
Hold it in your hand. Rub it with your fingers.

How old is that rock?  How long did it take to form?
Are those broken edges smooth and worn or rough and jagged? 
Maybe a fossil- the mineralized remnants of the past.

What if you had to carry that rock around…day after day…weeks to months…and months to years? 
That weight in your pocket…maybe it’s light enough that you only notice it occasionally…maybe it’s heavier.
Those edges – smooth or do they still cut?

Our sins mineralize and become like that rock – fossils reminding us of that broken past.
Thankfully, we can stake those rocks to the Cross, 
Christ takes those rocks, the weight, the sharp edges,
Healing those wounds.


There’s an old metal bucket full of rocks,
Each a little different, 
But the same story. 

Let go of your rock.

It can be a powerful weekend.  It takes a willingness to listen, to be present.    The weekend provides a chance to make sure you’re still oriented – to find the proverbial North Star.  Perhaps one of the most rewarding parts of the weekend is the realization that on this ship you’re not rowing alone.   In the words of Chesterton, “We are in the same boat, and we are all seasick”.   Everybody has a story.  Everybody.   

I pray that other Team members understand the impact they had on the men brave enough to attend the weekend.  I pray they understand the impact they had on me.  Brothers in Christ… Iron sharpens Iron.


(Reconciliation and a Rock was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic)

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