Joe De Matteo

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Cornerstone: A Beginning

Cornerstone: 1)a stone uniting two masonry walls at an intersection.  2) a stone representing the starting place in the construction of a building, usually carved with the date.  3) something that is essential, indispensable, or basic: A free press is a cornerstone of democracy. 
The Random House College Dictionary.

Cornerstone can be a new beginning in your life; joining the you that lives in the temporal society, with the spiritual you.

The Cornerstone Retreat has been a great help to many people who have felt that something was missing in their life, or, if not missing, lacking.   Some question their purpose in life, others their personal relationship with God.  Many have doubts or questions about their life and its worth, or feel lost or unfulfilled.  Some have even heard the barest of whispers calling to them. 

 Too many times we are afraid of what a Divine demand upon us might be, but what if that call were just to make you your-fullest self?  What if the answer brought happiness and satisfaction to your life; gave you direction and peace.

Coming together with others who have felt a similarly will, at the least, kindle a flame within you.  We all have something in us that needs nourishment.  There is One out there, calling you, ready to give that nourishment, that you may grow into the complete being that He intended you to be. 

Cornerstone Retreat is meant to be a small first step.

Cornerstone 1) a stone uniting two masonry walls at an intersection. The Random House College Dictionary.

The world and its demands on you are real and in many cases important: You have responsibilities to your family, your home, your country and the community in which you live.  Often they make demands on you that add to your financial responsibilities.  Sometimes these responsibilities and demands can be overwhelming.  So much so, in fact, that you can get lost in the juggling act of dealing with your world.  You have a set of morals that are a part of you and subconsciously guide your decision-making, no matter how overloaded you are, and you live a good and honest life. 

However, you must do more than just not sin; you know that you are obligated to be a pro-active child of God and that requires more than positively answering the requests that are made of you to extend a helping hand or to donate money.  But life is too busy for you to reach out pro-actively; what can one person do by himself?  You are not a Mother Theresa, after all!

Too often we look at extremes and they overwhelm our comprehension, then we fall back and do nothing...but our feeling of inadequacies grows and makes us more restless, more dissatisfied.

Through the Cornerstone Retreat you will find the beginning of the answers to all of your questions.  It is like a door that opens into a wonderful new world...
 

... but it is only the door.

Cornerstone 2) a stone representing the starting place in the construction of a building, usually carved with the date. The Random House College Dictionary.

I imagine a humble, but strong stone that is carved with the date of my first Cornerstone experience, the Retreat.  My cornerstone was a lonely building block for some time before I learned enough about myself, God's designs, and my place in the world - all of which are still in considerable shadow, I should add - but now my cornerstone has been joined with new, small but also strong building blocks.

The Cornerstone Retreat is only a beginning, but like its namesake, it is an important beginning.  Sitting atop your moral and religious foundation it initiates a building project, of what may be for you, a whole new wing in the structure that is your life. 

The most immediate impact will be the people you meet.  I have met dozens of individuals, and am always surprised by the diversity of these men and women.  Trades people, salespeople, government officials, police, firefighters, accountants, lawyers, truck drivers, bureaucrats; gentle souls, life hardened people; with incomes and homes that cover the breadth of the financial spectrum.

However, these men, who I can speak of from first hand, are all brought to a common ground, and a unity that is unmistakable.  A bond of some spiritual substance groups them into common cause, and gives them power to achieve wonderful things, both individually and as a group.  A true fellowship is born among these men that is awesome and productive.
 

Cornerstone 3) something that is essential, indispensable, or basic: A free press is a cornerstone of democracy. The Random House College Dictionary.

An analogy: The Cornerstone experience may be looked at as a group of homeowners meeting with an architect.  Like yourself, these other folks have at the very least decided to take a good look at their home with an eye toward improvement.  The experience will provide those who feel the need for improvement with a solid cornerstone for their project.  You may even, like the Amish farmers, group together for a "barn raising," from time to time, as you proceed with your own needed improvements.

Cornerstone in your life: Sometimes a major enlightenment happens to a retreatent in the form of an understanding that God gave you certain talents because he has a specific job for you to do in this life; maybe you feel unfulfilled because you are not doing what you were meant to do, not living the life you were created to live. 

The whisper you've been hearing may very well be God trying to tell you what he wants you to do.  Cornerstone Retreat can open your ears and heart to God's design for you.  Not magically.  Probably not in a flash of light and a clap of thunder, but slowly once your cornerstone has been set in place, helping you to see the stones that are provided to you; guiding you to put them in the proper place.

Think about the power in living a life that God specifically created you to live.  To wake each morning with purpose and direction; knowing in the very core of you that you are successfully using your God given talents.  This can bring you personal peace and self-satisfaction in the toughest of times. 

It was the knowledge that He was successfully completing the purpose of His creation that got Jesus through His trial, scourging and crucifixion.  God's plan for you may not be so demanding, but He does have a plan for you, as He does for each of us.  In the adoption and implementation of that plan is where each of us will be at personal best.

You will be comfortable at a Cornerstone Retreat, it is a relaxing time.  You will meet some wonderful people, who are neighbors and fellow parishioners.  Some will be as new to Cornerstone as you are, but most of the people you'll meet will be there as new friends keeping you company with conversation, guiding you through the retreat, and cooking and serving you your meals. 

Here are a couple of important facts about Cornerstone Retreat:

  • The Cornerstone retreat is 26 hours.  You will have 4 hearty and enjoyable meals and a bed to sleep in.
  • Lay people run Cornerstone, however there will be a priest among you for guidance.
  • The only hierarchy at a Cornerstone Retreat is that those running the retreat are serving those visiting.
  • The Cornerstone retreat is not judgmental or preachy, nor is it 26 hours of prayer and contemplation.  It is a friendly, open hearted gathering of with people like yourself, people who love God. 
  • Cornerstone is meant to be a peaceful, contemplative, examination of different life experiences, working in the belief that by knowing ourselves and others better we can develop a closer relationship with God.  You should leave with the understanding that God created you as you are and loves you. and that there is great hope.  The wonderful by product is the fellowship that is developed at and after a Cornerstone retreat.

Come and join us for a 26-hour Cornerstone Retreat; you will experience a retreat from the pressures of the world, and leave with new friends and hope.  And you will be reminded that you are not alone.

 

by Joseph De Matteo

Joseph De Matteo, FalconRun, Inc., 31 Walnut St, New Windsor, NY 12553

Joseph De Matteo

 

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