As Christians our faith is based upon a relationship with the living God, who seeks to use the out workings of our life to bring our hearts and minds to a closer and more intimate understanding of His love for us. With confidence we can look back to events not only in our own lives but in those who have faithfully walked with God before us, to remind ourselves where we were and where God has lovingly lead us to. It can be difficult at times to consider the good God has done in our lives; often it is easier to remember our struggles. As we look back we inevitably look forward to the promise that God will lead and guide us onward.
Everything I have is a gift from God no execptions what so ever. These gifts are to be shared with others. I am more responsive toward God's word. For example on Good Friday the homily was on trusting Jesus no matter what. Even my darkest and gloomiest times He is with me. I encountered this here in this retreat and was very responsive to father's talk. It has made a difference, of that I am sure. Certainly in my awareness of the presence of God in all aspects of life, whether I am outdoors riding our tandem with my husband, in the quiet of a retreat house, in the OR giving anesthesia or driving my car.
In the past few months I find myself waking up with a prayer of thanksgiving for another day of life and again at night as I pray the Examen. It used to be that I had to consciously remember to do this - not it's 'just there'. I have the deep understanding that 'all is gift' - a gift that flows from the hands of a gracious, loving and merciful God. And even more, that gift is not only meant to be received, but to be shared. Nothing I do or am is on account of anything I have done or am -- it is all pure gift, and with that knowledge came a profound sense of gratitude.
God has been so gracious and merciful in His love and forgiveness of me -- I still don't totally understand it, and probably never will, but I know I will never be able to say "thank you" enough. All I can do is hope and pray that my life, words and actions in some way reflect the love I know I have received. I also think that during Holy Week the Lord allowed me to enter into his Passion in a way that I have never been able to do -- which made the joy of the Resurrection even more profound.
The retreat helped me take myself out of the cetner of every experience and to see myself more in communion with others in my work community. I am still sorting through the graces. Mostly, I have felt moved to get more involved in my parish community. It has touched all areas of my life, but I move slowly, and changes inside me take a long time to show.
It has made a profound difference. I've received the grace to accept myself as a loved sinner. I am able to recognize the patterns that lead to pride. I'm trying harder to be less judgemental of others. I've become more aware of the obstacles to peace and justice. It has helped me to focus more on what is really important in life. I have realized that I had become unaware of some of the things I knew and believe earlier in life. I had taken many things for granted that I am much more grateful for and much more in awe of now.
I am in a very difficult situation at the present time. I am a full-time caregiver for my 90 year old mother, who is an invalid and cannot be left alone. I have felt very alone often during the last year and a half. However, participating in the retreat has made me feel that I am never alone, because the Lord is with me.
Remembering God’s Faithfulness
I have known a greater peace and reassurance that God has me in the palm of his hand, that he wants me to be willing to follow him regardless of the cost. It is easier for me to consider the potential loss of my beautiful home and family as I follow him. Not knowing what he wants me to do for him across the sea in 6 weeks is a little daunting, but I begin to understand that it is not a task he wants from me, but a presence, a walking-alongside those he puts in my path. It was almost like having a spiritual companionI live alone and need a source of encouragementI find I am more calm and accepting of God's way for me in these declining years.
I found this retreat very exciting and remained with it for about 26 weekstoo many personal interferences--I went back to it on week 27 and this was just about at the end of the lenten season and couldn't have been at a better timeit was a source of hope and consolation as I had experienced some worries over the health of 2 of my family members. I think I'm more convinced that I'm forgiven and above all, loved.
I also find myself more at peace with my husband's death almost 2 yrs. It helped me solidify my desire to be more positive, and to recognize all the good in my life.
Reflections of God's Faithfulness - Olive Press Publisher
I feel less bitterness about some areas of my life and more grateful in others. It has saved my life. It has saved my marriage. It has given me a newly profound relationship with Jesus. It has given me a support system. It has given me hope. It has given me courage to go ahead and risk a risky surgery.
It has given me strength to live each day placing my life in God's hands. It gave me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to love in new and different ways.
This retreat has made a major difference in my life!! The grace to know Jesus more intimately, love him more deeply and be drawn into the pattern of his life more completely is now a reality I have experienced. The retreat has brought me to a wholly new relationship with Our Lord, and in week 10 this led to my being reconciled with the Church after an absence of many years.
Because I am introspective, I had never realized that about myself before.
I know that just realizing this about myself does not mean I will automatically change, but, wow, just shining a light on that dark side of my soul is a step in the right direction. The retreat has helped to deepen my relationship with and commitment to Jesus. I feel like I know Him better and in comtemplating His life, come to some experience of His experience.
In not so short, I feel that I know Him and understand His teachings better what discipleship means for me. Having long had the desire to make an Ignatian retreat, ever since I first heard about it, I am most grateful for the opportunity to do it online. He has become the true love and focus of my life in a way that I have not experienced before! My biggest grace is probably that regardless of how I feel, I make time every morning for God, for prayer. That when I feel desperate I know that all I have to do is read a passage, or guidepost and that it will bless me in some way and I will be able to move from my stuck position into God's point of view.
It has been a source of strength for me. I am reminded each day that Jesus is here for me in joy and sadness. It has been a source of grace to me knowing that 'I'm not in this alone! For the first time in my life I'm almost fifty , I feel truly cherished by God and his son Jesus. I have come to recognize the ways in which Jesus has been with me, even when I was not wholly aware of it.
And I have discovered some ways in which I can return His love, by rededicating myself to nursing as a ministry as well as a job, and by becoming more involved in my parish community. This retreat has brought me closer to God. I have grown in virtues and see people and all of creation in a different light. I recognize the presence of God all around me.
This retreat makes me long to grow in holiness. It feeds my soul. I've never made a retreat before. I've always been part of mission parishes or lived quite a distance away. I know I will continue on with the daily readings. It has enhanced my Sunday masses, and any other mass I get to because usually I have been reflecting on the theme of the liturgical week every morning.
The Glorious Assumption of Mary: Our Hope and Future Glory Against the Devil
It has helped me to handle difficult people and situations in my life. I know I am loved by God, and important to him - I grew up not feeling important to anyone, and not feeling particularly loveable. It has enhanced my ability to see Jesus in others, and particularly Jesus-suffering in aggressive, angry people.
I feel I can step back more from these people and not feel threatened or angry at their behaviour - I don't react to them, I feel compassion for them because I see this massive battle going on inside them. The graces we received from this retreat have been many. Having gone through this retreat, it gave us a new perspective in our sacramental vocation and aided us in our presentation greatly. I feel that I can now converse with Jesus as "one friend to another" in freedom.
What a blessing! This was a real time of renewal for me - a strong invitation to further develop my relationship with God. Mass is a much more vibrant experience of time with God than it has been for me in years.