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At beginning of week 4 today.
The kingdom of God is Justice and Peace. I am involved with a drug addict, so it is said!, whose job is in jeopardy. His employers are divided amongst themselves. Those that I admire on my list are those who are or were, brave enough to speak out for the poor and the weak without compromise, up front and not dodging the issue, who risked their lives and reputation to speak up for the sake of the Lord. I had a friend who did just that for me when I was wrongly accused who is obviously on my list. Am I willing to make that commitment fully, or am I seeking to uphold my reputation so as to be favourable to others? God help me to be brave and have the courage to be completely honest in helping those who trust me and look to me for support. Courage, courage to walk on the water for the sake of another and not to count the cost. I must be willing to pay the price, otherwise, all I hold dear is inwardly false. Those who I admire were transparent. This week helps so much in making the step out of mealy mouthed self!.and to follow the example of such as Thomas More. -- Week 4
This retreat is definitely inspired. My family is going through a very rough patch. We are trying to harmonize our lifestyle with our beliefs. We had a plan, but the plan is not working as intended. A number of events have occurred which we can’t control – economy, job losses in the community, etc. This has created a hardship and we have been feeling a bit like Job. We have been learning through this, expanding our prayers, and focusing on our faith with full knowledge that God has a plan – we just don’t know exactly what it is. God has his timing and it may not be our timing. The prayer that was suggested for Week 4 just hit home in a huge way – it articulated exactly what we are feeling. Just knowing that others have been in situations and feel the same way is so comforting. It has helped calm a very stressful situation in our lives. - Week 4
So as to resist distractions and getting above myself, go back to addressing my desire as William Barry sj says 'for I know not what' and so, I continue to praise the Lord with the fact that he 'prospers my work and defends me'. Surely, 'in his goodness and mercy he daily attends me'. So goes the hymn and continues to remind me that he nourishes me, befriends me, restores me and befits me for the tasks that are before me. In this, he is like a mother, speeding to spread his wings of grace over me. I am aware of adopting the words of the hymn to express my desire for 'I know not what', but Barry's pointer is leading me.
What is gratitude? Being led away from every evil, past, present and coming under the shadow of his wings!!!
Save us Lord while we are awake and protect us while we are asleep! That we may watch with Christ and rest peacefully as we go. (Apologies for taking the text from compline!) - Week 4
I see the day dawning
Crossroads! Muddled relationships. Temptation. Gaze at my crucifix, not at his suffering, but at his gaze at me whom he loves, and who answers my plea.
Wait for the Lord, his day is near, wait for the Lord, keep watch take heart! Gratitude! Efficacious in solving problems. Realisation that the Tempter is thwarted.
Our lady untied the knots. Deliver us Lord from every evil, past, present and to come - Jesus, love him, love him in the morning, love him in the noon time. Jesus, love him, love him when the sun goes down!
Sharing, sharing, ..... Caring , caring........and so on! ad infinitum.
Aren't I a lucky girl at 80 years old!!
God bless us all. X - Week 3
I am enjoying this retreat process, the gratitude and awareness. Tonight as I start week 3, I think of scenes and pictures for which it is easy to feel gratitude. I pray for the daily grace of awareness for what I see and am grateful for. I also think of the situations and people where gratitude is not the feeling that leaps to mind when I encounter them. This is what I also pray for a keen and peaceful awareness of. That each of these people, things and scenes are gifts from God, which I can become aware of. - Week 3
At the beginning praise comes to the fore in the Anglican hymns sung as a child a school hymn:
Praise to the Lord, the almighty the King of Creation O my soul praise Him For he is my health and salvation Come ye who hear Brothers and sisters draw near Praise Him with glad adoration
Now as a convert to Catholicsm these and other hymns after 60 years still spring to mind as I pray! Especially beginning week 3.
I have been reading – “Peace is Every Step” by Thich Nhat Hanh. He has worked with several groups to bring us to “mindfulness” and to help look at the world as it is, with perspective, and being present in the current moment. Much like what this week of the retreat is intending to do. Over the past few weeks, I have stopped and noticed things that I have tended to pass by, because I am looking to see the world around me as well as my place in that world.
It has helped me to focus on what is important, a smile to someone passing by, a recognition of integrated-ness, and how we impact the world and others. This re-enforces that notion of our purpose, and our creation. - Week 3
In week 2 the question of crossroads in my life made me realize that God's unseen hand had been at work in my life many times and He had steered me away from making some very serious mistakes. I am truly grateful for that. - Week 2
It’s early in the morning of Thursday in week two, and yesterday, while driving to work, the focus of my week 2 became clear to me. I returned in week 1 to a fact of my life that’s never been far from my mind, that I was blessed beyond all telling by receiving the gift of my particular parents. With rare exception, they embodied the very love of God for my sibs and me. (I’m the oldest of four.) I have neuroses like the rest of us, but I have a confidence and risk tolerance that can only be traced to feeling so completely safe, and watched over, and cherished when I was small. I will be giving thanks for that gift all my life!
Now my parents are aging fast, and I know I won’t have them for long. They’re physically very healthy, but their minds are failing, my 92 year old mom first, with my 91 year old dad, as we joke together, “on the same train, just one car back.” It’s affecting my mom’s health now, and she’s getting very skinny and hallucinating sometimes and generally feeling disoriented. I’m filled with grief and gratitude at the same time, and I’m called to rest in that as part of my prayer this week.
In the same moment that I realized my parents were emerging as a focus of my week, I was also drawn to the contrast with my own parenting. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been a very loving parent, much like my own parents, but like my dad, there were moments when my temper flared, and I hurt my children with my words, undermining their power and sense of self, and I’m heartbroken about those occasions and want so much for the Lord to heal my children’s hearts from those experiences. I believe God forgives me, but I feel unable to forgive myself, so that’s the other place I’m drawn to pray. (Some months ago, in an overwhelmingly difficult period, I received the assurance that, like the loaves and the fishes, “I will make your not enough, enough.” I must trust that in this, as well.)
Thank you for this retreat and for the many gifts of the Creighton Ministries community!
Marc - Week 2
I am so grateful for this retreat. I reflect back at my life and see God’s hand in everything. Through good times and bad, I have been molded into the person I am today. An imperfect, searching soul. I will spend my entire life searching. The Bible is my entrance into the world of God. And I love every minute of it. I shared my childhood with my dear sister, (and later a brother) and through it all we had each other. My parents loved us even though they did not love each other. And I had the most awesome grandparents who constantly lead me to the Lord. Those are my most precious memories. Seeing the total faith of my grandparents who were very simple people. I thank God for all of these gifts. And I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.- Week 2
It is the start of week 2. I reflected on my whole life, 61+ years, which was not perfect growing up. And the things I really noticed where the moments of love, where I can really see and hear God's presence in my life. In a sense, I am more connected to God through these moments than the difficult ones. The sense of God as nurturance is pervasive for me. It is why I believe in God. - Week 2
This is the third time I have gone through The Retreat in the Real World. Each time is a different experience. Different images from my past came up for me as I was allowing God to show me the photo book of my life. I was particularly struck with one image of a very frightening time when my husband was in the absolute depths of despair, pain and depression. I almost lost him. But I absolutely knew God was with him and with me at that moment and at that time and we were not alone. I knew it then, and I recalled it now with such certainty that it reinforced the prayer of gratitude that I have been speaking this first week Thanking God for being with me at every moment, in joy and in sorrow, in moments of confusion and fear and despair and in moments of peace and consolation. Thank you to the people at Creighton University for providing this retreat.
Nancy - Week 1
As I finish up week 1 I returned to find the sharing page. How lovely it is for me at 68 to know that others in my age range have had similar pasts.
I feel so fortunate to have had the parents that I had - the first ones to have taught me about God's love. Loving people. I thank Him daily for this blessing. My daughter-in-law is a case worker at a children's home. Children abused or neglected. Their stories must be horrendous. It makes me so grateful for my mom and dad and the childhood I had. - Week 1
Thinking of my childhood, I recalled something I haven't thought about in years. That is opening the Sunday bulletin and finding my name listed as altar boy for the daily 6:30am mass. At the time I thought my mother volunteered me as some sort of punishment.
The mass was held in a small room and attended very poorly. Often times it was just Father, the creepy neighbor and I there. So the service didn't last long. I'd get home before anyone else was awake. Painful for a teenager.
Looking at it now, I can see God's Grace in this. I learned at a very young age that God is in the quiet still times of the day. Whether I knew it or not, I was being exposed to God's word, God's spirit and Godley men.
Grace. - Week 1
I have just begun my first week of the retreat and am truely excited. I plan to share my thoughts along the way so I can look back at them after the 34 week journey and reflect on them. This week is special in looking at my life's story beginning from the beginning. I now realize that God was present and responsible for all my experiens during my life, good and bad. I give thanks to God for being with my through every second of my life, from before birth to this day. I pray I am aware of Gods presence in my life today and everyday going forward, and allow God to guide my life as he has in the past. May his will be done in my life and during this journey... Jay - Week 1