Businessmen's Retreat - 2001
September 21-23, 2001
Sponsored by Manhattan College

Conducted at the Passionist Spiritual Center
5801 Palisade Avenue, Riverdale, NY, 10471, Phone 718-549-6500

Retreat Links: [ Outline | Msgr Jim | Rev Rob | BillT | Fr Paul | JackK ]

Visual Tour

Conference: "Standing Tall Under Fire"

Speaker - Deacon William Toth

Bill Toth, Ph.D. is Professor of Moral Theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Seton Hall University; Director of the Institute on Work at Seton Hall University; Director of Leadership Development, Archdiocese of Newark, N.J.; Chair of the Justice and Peace Commission, Archdiocese of Newark, and a member of the Editorial Board of the Catholic Advocate, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Newark.  Bill serves as a Deacon in St. Elizabeth's Parish, Wyckoff, N.J.  For over thirty years, Deacon Bill was CEO of a maintenance and construction firm in NYC.

Outline of Talk

  1. Introductory Comments
    1. What's the difference between a Mafia don and a theologian?  The don will make you an offer you can't refuse.  The theologian will make you an offer you can't understand.
    2. Real freedom is that which is given to us by God so that we can craft ourselves.
    3. What good do we have that we have not received:  Life, hope, food, etc.  The meek will inherit the earth.
    4. We rationalize our sins; for example, "Mistakes were made."
    5. The humble person sees gifts in those around him.  God is a god of fullness.
  2. Start of PowerPoint Presentation
    1. "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, those crushed in spirit he delivers" (Psalm 34:19).
    2. "Proud men, one and all, are abominable to the Lord" (Proverbs 16:5).
    3. "Everyone who exalts himself, shall be humbled; and he that humbles himself, shall be exalted" (Luke 14:11).
    4. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:4).
    5. "God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6).
    6. In the Catholic moral and spiritual tradition, humility is contrasted with pride.  Humility is presented as the antithesis to every form of pride.  St. Gregory the Great called pride "The Queen of All the Vices".
  3. Pride
    1. The arrogant person can think so highly of himself and can believe himself entitled to:
      • What his heart desires - even if it belongs to someone else (theft, fornication, rape, adultery, etc.),
      • Deference and is easily angered when he doesn't receive it (anger).
    2. The arrogant person can be so self-satisfied that he refuses to activate himself in pursuit of spiritual goals (sloth).
    3. The arrogant person can come to believe that his "eminence" is an entitlement so much so that he will trample on the rights of others (greed, lust).
    5. ================================================
      Note by Pat Lyons: I hope to get a copy of the PowerPoint file
      and use it to create the rest of the Talk Outline.
      The above was wordprocessed from the hardcopy.
  4. Q&A (answers only)
    1. All of us, believers or not, have transcendental urgings.  Christianity offers one way to understand those urgings.
    2. We face horrific losses.  When they happen, we reflect on them.  There are no easy answers.  But there is death and resurrection.  The quintessential Christian virtue is hope.
    3. To a humble person, everything is a gift.  He is amazed at it all, is in awe.
    4. We confuse dominative power with true humble power.
    5. Humble people are down to earth.  They don't yearn for things they don't have.  They are aware of God's presence in their lives.
    6. Kevin Dolan: In outplacement, men who lose prestigious jobs often can't cope; they've lost the trappings of power.  I try to bring them to the realization that they are not their jobs, that they have other talents and opportunities.  Some can make the transition, some can't.  The ones who can't are unable to pull away from society's definition of success.
      Bill: The humble person anchors himself in his relationship to God.  It's the true source of his self-esteem.

(The notes of this outline were taken by David G. Price.  They were wordprocessed by Patrick Lyons.
These notes may not be reproduced without the written permission of the presenter.

This page was last edited on December 30, 2001 by Patrick Lyons.)