Sadness, Hopelessness & Anger: Being Present to the Suffering of a Nation & World

Sadness, Hopelessness & Anger: Being Present to the Suffering of a Nation & World

September 20-22, 2019


“Ours is the task of telling the story, inviting repentance and initiating change.”

– Ravished By Beauty // Belden C. Lane

Our culture is in a rapid period of growth and change. The way we define ourselves, as men needs to change too. We often define ourselves in relationship to what we achieve; our labors, jobs, careers, professions and successes become who we are. The focus is on human doing, instead of being human. While this affords a sense of purpose, it conflicts with who we are in deeper places, especially when we lose a sense of how others are affected by our actions.

When our external motivations no longer serve us, where do we find meaning? This weekend will help us uncover the energy that has always been within us, and when accessed can become a clearer expression of our true selves.





Retreat Focus

By exploring the Lover archetype in the context of the four traditional male archetypes, the retreat will support men seeking to deepen their spiritual lives. Our hope is to affirm that our sexuality is beautifully woven into our being and hence our spirituality. We hold it to be self-evident that all people everywhere are created in the image of God.

What Will I Learn?

The weekend will provide a safe environment were men can speak without being judged or shamed. By diving deep into the affirming light of who we are as well as facing the pain of our shadow in the company of other men, we stand steadfast and confident that we will become better men!

This gathering will be enriched through teachings, rituals, individual time for reflection, small group gatherings, the Way of Council, and through hearing stories and reflections of a small panel of women on Saturday evening who will share their experiences, words of wisdom, affirmations, and hopes for us as men.

Some poetry for reflection on the retreat theme:

“Four Mighty Ones are in every man. A perfect unity cannot exist but from the universal brotherhood of Eden.”-William Blake, The Four Zoas

“The seed of a pear tree grows into a pear tree, the seed of a nut tree grows to be a nut tree, the seed of God grows to be God.”-Meister Eckhart

“You have never felt completely safe in your body.”-Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love

“The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal.”-William James, Collected Essays and Reviews

“Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.” – Celtic motto

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

“In our view, patriarchy is not the expression of deep and rooted masculinity, for truly deep and rooted masculinity is not abusive. Patriarchy is the expression of the immature masculine. It is the expression of Boy psychology, and, in part, the shadow—or crazy—side of masculinity. It expresses the stunted masculine, fixated at immature levels.”
― Robert L. Moore, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine

“What the Addict is seeking (though he doesn’t know it) is the ultimate and continuous “orgasm,” the ultimate and continuous “high.” This is why he rides from village to village and from adventure to adventure. This is why he goes from one woman to another. Each time his woman confronts him with her mortality, her finitude, her weakness and limitations, hence shattering his dream of this time finding the orgasm without end—in other words, when the excitement of the illusion of perfect union with her (with the world, with God) becomes tarnished—he saddles his horse and rides out looking for renewal of his ecstasy. He needs his “fix” of masculine joy. He really does. He just doesn’t know where to look for it. He ends by looking for his “spirituality” in a line of cocaine. Psychologists talk about the problems that stem from a man’s possession by the Addict as “boundary issues.” For the man possessed by the Addict, there are no boundaries. As we’ve said, the Lover does not want to be limited. And, when we are possessed by him, we cannot stand to be limited.”
― Robert L. Moore, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine

“Most people confuse their life situation with their actual life, which is an underlying flow beneath the everyday events.”
― Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”
― Richard Rohr

Details and Location

7:00 pm Friday, April 26 – 11:00 am Saturday, April 28, 2019

This event will be held at Lawrence Lodge at the De Sales Center, 1124 Ventura Drive, Brooklyn, MI 49230


The retreat leaders:

David Wenger – An Elder on the Council of Indiana-Michigan M.A.L.Es, a Spiritual Director, a Massage Therapist, Facility Coordinator of the Hermitage a contemplative retreat center in Three Rivers, MI, and a good listener.



Donn Redford – An Elder on the Council of Indiana-Michigan M.A.L.Es, a semi-retired Nurse, an active cancer survivor, and a wild spirit





Jamey Bontrager-Singer – Convener of Indiana-Michigan M.A.L.Es, a trying auto mechanic, a spirituality enthusiast, an engineer, and a maker of peace with depression


We invite you to join us on this journey of illumination 
as we seek to become Learners and Elders.