SALT LAKE CITY — The devil is a great deceiver whose biggest lie is that God cannot be trusted, said Fr. Dan Dorsey, a Glenmary Missioner who is head of his order’s formation program and the novice director, during the 2018 Diocese of Salt Lake City Lenten retreat.
Lies are part of everyday life and the basis of all the crises in the country and family life, he told the 130 people at the March 3 retreat in English at St. Vincent de Paul Parish’s Benvegnu Center.
A similar retreat in Spanish was given at the same time in the parish’s Holy Family Hall. Presented by Jose Antonio Medina, PhD, the Spanish retreat drew more than 250 participants.
A youth rally in the parish school’s gymnasium had more than 300 participants.
At the conclusion of the day, all three groups gathered in the church for a Mass at which the main celebrant was Bishop Oscar A. Solis, who in the morning had welcomed participants at each of the venues.
Lent “gives us a wonderful occasion to reflect on our relationship with Jesus, to reflect on our own relationship with God and with one another,” the bishop said in his homily.
Reflecting on the readings for the Sunday liturgy, Bishop Solis said he hopes that his listeners feel angry when they “see that the poor and the little ones are subjected to all kinds of injustices and abuse.”
Fr. Dorsey’s retreat also dealt with people’s relationship with God and one another.
Jesus spoke the truth, and “as people of faith we are called to be people of truth,” he said. Men and women of faith should remember that “the truth is not something, but it is someone. It is the person of Jesus Christ, and each day when we get up, we have got to ask ourselves, ‘Am I going to be a man or woman of faith that lives in that truth, that is going to tell the truth, that is going to be the truth, that is going to try to live that truth?’ And it’s tough.”
During the retreat, Fr. Dorsey allowed several occasions for silent reflection and small group discussion.
“Lent is really a time for us to probe into our lives and ask ourselves some challenging questions: What is the area of my life that lacks integrity, that could use more integrity? ... What is the area of my life where I’m being deceived, where it isn’t my relationship with Jesus Christ that defines me in this, it is the deception of the devil?” he said.
Continuing with the theme of “the big lie,” he said, “There is deception in all of our lives, and if you – if any of us – think you’re not being deceived, then you haven’t been out into the desert. The devil, the evil, however you want to say it, will not give up until you breathe your last.”
Even though people often succumb to temptation, Jesus “comes to heal us, he comes to touch our hearts in the darkest places that we live, he comes to set us free,” Fr. Dorsey said. “He tells us to get up and to walk, to open our eyes and to see, to be people of courage and of faith and of integrity. The real gift of Jesus is not that he saves us from hell but that he unites us and that he heals our relationship with our father in heaven.”
The retreat “was way beyond my expectations – it was just so joyful,” said Susan Northway, director of the diocese’s Office of Religious Education, who organized the Lenten retreat.