Mountain Top Experience

A mountain top experience is a time in your life when you experienced God in a deeply profound and meaningful way. A time when you felt closer to God than any other time in your life. It is the pinnical of both emotional and spiritual awareness. It is a life altering encounter with the Almighty. While the euphoria of the emotional component made fade over time, the power of the spiritual component should grow and increase.

The mountain top is not the culmination of the journey, but is in many ways the starting point of the next. You can’t live your life on the mountain top, as much as you would like to. Life is really lived out on the hills, valleys, and plains.

They say that lightning never strikes the same place, in the same way twice but mountain tops are a frequent target. We need to take the energy we absorbed on the mountain top and channel it into action. This may be to prune away the old dead parts of our lives and burn them up. It may be in stepping out in obedience to follow a call into ministry. Or it may be to return to our daily lives with renewed purpose and vigor.

Mountain top experiences are something that every Christian has at least once in their lives, when they are born again. But God wants us to continually seek him and when we do we will continue to have new mountain top experiences. Each one a unique and personal encounter with the living God, who loves us and wants our undivided attention, so that we can clearly hear the message He has especially prepared for us.

I wrote this meditation after I participated in a Keryx spiritual formation weekend while I was incarcerated in the MDOC.  This is a three-day short course in Christianity modeled after the Cursillos in Christianity.

Cursillos in Christianity (Spanish: Cursillos de Cristiandad, “Short courses of Christianity”) is an apostolic movement of the Roman Catholic Church. It was founded in Majorca, Spain, by a group of laymen in 1944, while they were refining a technique to train pilgrimage Christian leaders.

Cursillo is the original three-day movement, and has since been licensed for use by several mainline Christian denominations, some of which have retained the trademarked “Cursillo” name, while others have modified its talks/methods and given it a different name. In the United States, Cursillo is a registered trademark of the National Cursillo Center in Jarrell, Texas.

The Cursillo focuses on showing Christian laypeople how to become effective Christian leaders over the course of a three-day weekend. The weekend includes fifteen talks, called rollos, which are given by priests and by laypeople. The major emphasis of the weekend is to ask participants to take what they have learned back into the world, on what is known as the “fourth day.” The method stresses personal spiritual development, as accelerated by weekly group reunions after the initial weekend.

Today, Cursillo is a worldwide movement with centers in nearly all South and Central American countries, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand Aotearoa, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and in several African countries. The movement is recognized by the Holy See as member of the International Catholic Organizations of the Pontifical Council for the Laity in Rome.

This retreat is also used by Episcopalian/Anglican Cursillo, Presbyterian Cursillo/Pilgrimage, Lutheran Via de Cristo, Mennonite Way of Christ and various interdenominational communities as Tres Días.

Analogous retreats: The Cursillo method is used by ACTS, Encounter, Antioch, Search, Awakening (college students), Cum Christo, DeColores (adult ecumenical), the Great Banquet, Happening, The Journey (United Church of Christ), Kairos Prison Ministry, Kairos (for older teenagers), Emmaus in Connecticut (for high school age teens), Gennesaret (for those living with a serious illness), Koinonia, Lamplighter Ministries, Light of Love, LOGOS (Love Of God, Others, and Self) (Lutheran teen), Teens Encounter Christ (teen ecumenical), Residents Encounter Christ (REC) (a jail/prison ministry), Tres Dias, Unidos en Cristo, Via de Cristo (Lutheran Adult), Chrysalis Flight (Methodist Youth), Walk to Emmaus (Methodist Adult), The Walk with Christ (interdenominational), Anglican 4th Day (Anglican Adult), The Way of Christ (Canadian Lutheran adult), Tres Arroyos (Charismatic Episcopal Church). and Journey to Damascus (Catholic hosted Ecumenical with weekly reunion groups for alumni) in the Corpus Christi, Houston, and Austin, Texas, areas.


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