It was Ash Wednesday. I and 24 other young adults were sitting in a circle. We didn't know each other, but we had all made the following commitment for Lent:
We had different reasons for saying “Yes!” to “The Busy Person's Retreat” organized by Faith Connections, Regis College, and the Toronto Area Vocation Directors. But we had one thing in common - we needed more of God.
Like dried leaves
One of the suggested prayer activities was to look for dead leaves, feel their roughness and compare that to any feeling of barrenness in our soul. How I felt like a dried leaf when I started the retreat! I was so busy and my prayer times seemed superficial. I felt drained. I was looking for real nourishment.
The listening heart
Diana, my spiritual companion, had a serenity about her. Every time we met, I felt like her peace was flowing into me. In the prayerful atmosphere of our meetings, I felt renewed.
And it's not like Diana spoke a lot. She didn't actually. I did more of the talking. But it was that she was fully present. She listened and helped me discern the movement of God in my life.
Without my journal of my “progress,” I wouldn't have noticed what had happened in six weeks. I began the retreat struggling to spend 10 minutes in prayer. I was always running against the clock. By the end of the retreat, I was actually eager to pray. I wanted to wake up early and have my “morning coffee with God” – just God and me. My desire for God had grown.
The springtime dance
On April 8th, all 25 of us met up again for a prayer service to close our Retreat.
We sat in a circle like before. In the centre of our circle was a prayer table. I noticed that the angel figure on the table had its arms raised. Maybe it was reaching out for God. Maybe it just wanted to dance!
The words of the concluding song were fitting: “Join in the dance of the earth's jubilation! This is the feast of the love of God. Shout from the heights to the ends of creation. Jesus the Saviour is risen from the grave.”
I believe “The Busy Person's Retreat” was meant to teach our soul to dance in the love of God. We learn to dance when we start to let go, when we begin to trust, and when we simplify our lives.
Reflection and Photo By: Mary Rose Bacani
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