I have just concluded my six day silent retreat. The theme of this year’s retreat was “Desiring His Light” and under the direction of Mother Marla Marie, I was given online conferences by the late Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. on selected Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. This was a blessed time for me to receive new graces: to thank the Lord for great things He has done in my life and will continue to do, to progress in self-knowledge, and just be still and know that the Lord is here with me, loving me, in His Word, in the Eucharist, in the Mystery of Penance and in the beautiful nature surrounding me (here in Dighton).
I enjoyed this precious time of retreat, and through spending more time with the Holy Scriptures, my desire to live Jesus’ light and beatitudes, and to love Him whole heartedly have intensified. In listening to the invaluable conferences I was enlightened in many ways. In particular, I came to appreciate more deeply how my religious vocation is not a gift just for myself and for my own holiness but for the salvation and sanctification of others. I am called by God to be a channel of grace, to reach out to others by using my gifts and talents to build up His Kingdom of love here and now. I am to be a witness of Christ’s love, mercy, healing and joy, and to put others in direct contact with His warmth and light. What an awesome privilege and responsibility!As Maronite Servants of Christ the Light we take six to eight days for silent retreat each year, and monthly we have recollection days (we call them Hermit Days) where the sisters spend the day in solitude and prayerful reflection following an annual theme. Overall my days of retreat were well-balanced and structured with scheduled conferences, meditations on Scripture, reflective walks, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, spiritual direction and sharing, daily Divine Liturgy and Divine Praises, fasting, video clips on the life of Christ, and creative art. I am grateful for all the time, love, and attention Mother Marla Marie put into preparing and facilitating this retreat for me. May I with the grace of God generously live out the fruits of this retreat.