Week 1 begins this retreat at the only place we can begin: ourselves and our own story. Your story is uniquely your own, as is mine. You begin with what you have that is uniquely your own. The ultimate end of this journey is that’s where you will find God. Not, however, a god of your own making, but a realization that you are of God’s making!
To know where we are now, it’s important to know where we have been. We cannot ignore our past, even if there are aspects of our past that it is still difficult to to come to terms with. During this week, as we look at our past, we realize that there are things we can be proud of and things that we turn away from in shame. That’s OK. God is still with us, and God does not turn away from us. God has only one goal in mind, and that is that we join Him in eternal union with Him in the fullness of His Kingdom in eternity.
If you haven’t already done so, please first visit the home page of the online retreat. Read the linked pages that can help navigate your way through the online retreat site, and help you to derive more from the retreat.
Go to the retreat guide for this week, and try to be faithful every day to the readings and exercises it suggests. Don’t rush, and especially don’t panic. even if you fall behind. Just try to put a few minutes several times each day reviewing the “slide show” of your life. Perhaps you’re inclined to do it chronologically – childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, etc., as you move through the week. That’s OK. Perhaps your thoughts will range in random without much order or sequence. That’s OK too. The important thing is take a good look at your own life by visualizing whatever about your past that comes to mind. If unpleasant things, such as old hurts or desires to right past wrongs, come to mind, that’s OK. Just don’t dwell on them, don’t let them control or dominate. Just let go of them, and move on.
This is a retreat. You might ask, Why aren’t we doing something holy? Why are we concentrating on ourselves? Don’t worry. There’s an old very Catholic saying, “Grace builds on nature.” To find God, we have to first find ourselves. Jesus said that we must give up ourselves. But we can’t give up what we don’t have.
Thank you for joining me on this wonderful retreat adventure. Please share any reflections you may have in the comments section below. That way we will all be able to share and enrich one another with our thoughts and reflections. Perhaps we can even get a lively conversation going. May you allow the Holy Spirit to be your companion on this journey.
My own reflections are on the homepage of this website. You may enjoy commenting and getting into a dialogue.