Hello my beloved friends! I’m back! I’ve accomplished a lot of task, ONE AT A TIME and was so grossly pre occupied with many concern with work and family. I am so happy that I spent less than a week of silent retreat in the Novitiate House of the Blessed Sacrament Brothers in Bulacan, Philippines. I had a very fruitful retreat. And for so long that I desire to revive my spirit from the fast pace of my lifestyle. I really find time to be in my sacred space.
In this entry, I would like to share some of my reflections from my retreat. To make it clear, I have no intention to teach but rather to share God’s love from my experiences, thoughts from my heart. I hope that with these humble reflections of mine, I may be able to accompany you in your journey to what life has yet to offer. I also posted “a lot” of pictures that I personally took at the end of my retreat. However, pardon me for I am not a very good photographer, but I look-in that you’ll able to like the photos anyway. It’s my first time to post so many pictures and putting it at the center that I will have more space to write my reflections. Enjoy!
To retreat is to “go back”. My goal is to be still and find strength and hope. To refuel and be renewed from the exhausting routine of life’s turmoil and strife. To be watchful and remind myself the disciplines that formed every foundation of my nothingness. And that is to trust God, to be enveloped by His everlasting love and to yield myself like a baby or much better…His beloved spouse. (Because Jesus is so much in love with me and I am so much in love with Him who loved me first.)
In my retreat, I was able to evaluate, to listen and to seek for direction, to be open to the reality of LIFE. It taught me to gain clearer perspective and deeper engagement with the SELF and my BIG God. My retreat is to go back to the center of my being. For much- doing is not always productive and solitude is not a paradox- wasted time, not to charge the spiritual batteries, not to escape, not to withdraw but simply a call to be at HOME where change and rationalisation takes place. To retreat is to partake in a feast on spiritual growth and maturity. To find liberty and pay forward the gift of freedom.
Retreat is simply to return and not to advance. It’s not an act of moving forward or gaining momentum spiritual merit. It is a call to refresh our faith, to be embrace and experience God’s presence intimately. The road to retreat is discovering that I am more precious and more than anything, that I need not to worry but to have a grounded trust in the Lord. Whom shall I fear? What a very astonishing experience within! Sweet surrender!
How I miss so much the intimacy and fellowship on praying (praying from the deepest recesses of my heart) with the God of the universe who is my Great Lover. He renewed me by His loving presence. Secure me with His living and unwavering promises of love that is forever alive and eternal!
Generally, we are good in slating others and even better in giving counsel, assuming that we know what is best for others. In my retreat, I was fortunate to journey with other novices who attempt to find resolution and healing in their struggles without withholding but to let go of everything in exchange to what is truly valuable and does not perish.
In my solitary where I seek my inner resources. I arrive that I can love much… because I experienced being deeply loved, I can care much… because I experienced being nurtured. I forgive, because I was forgiven. What a grace! And indeed I thank the Lord for all these, not because I was so pampered with love and care, but changing my attitude and way of thinking to the circumstances and every situation whether good and the not so good.
In my retreat, I seek deeper to the centre of security and compassion that I may able to understand more myself and others. And the seeking never ends.
In my being silent, it’s not the will to be just physically silent. But to tamed the lashing tongue and release all the evil in my heart that I may progress my inward disposition and find true serenity that comes only from the God of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ. However, these consolations are not the essence of being silent but to be passionate and authentic with the acts of love, with our deeds and having the genuine service for others. For peace is not a fruit of circumstances but can only found down within… true silent “within” and it can be discern because it radiates from the person’s aura, the way he act and speak in the manner that illumines overflowing peace that is profound.
As I end, may I share a quote by Charles Ringma in his book Dare to Journey… “The secret of the spiritual life is to recognize that the Great Lover welcomes us as we are- not to pity us, but to gently transform us and inspire us with new hope.”