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I entered this retreat for a reason. I needed to prayer about the position cuts at my work. I prayed that I would be ready to accept the lost of my position and move on. As it turned out, my position was not cut. The prayer of moving on has become accepting the job in my job description and the addition of responsibilities. This has been very hopeful and helpful for me.
Conscious of the presence of God in every moment, More intimate relationship with Jesus, and Willingness to solve some ongoing problems in my life.
I see the little things a little different. Not irritations of the day, but 'gifts' to deal with and opportunities to recall a bigger purpose.
The greatest message from retreat is message that Jesus loves me. I know it now and I want live with this always in spite of many sorrows of my life.
This retreat has changed my life. It has provided me with ways in which to come to know myself, and get to know Jesus better. I have fallen in love with Jesus, I will never be the same. I am a loved sinner,very much a work in progress. Each day and week I felt blessed and graced by God. God is indeed more generous than I can imagine. I have been graced by getting to know God, love God, and hopefully serve God. I have been given the grace to see that the presence of God will be with me always, and is not just for me , but for all. I have been given the grace to forgive and be forgiven, a task which is lifelong. I realize that I am a loved sinner, truly my life is in His hands. I have come to see Christ people , those that I love, and those that are difficult to love. The graces go on and on.
My life is different in that I have a greater understanding
of Jesus and His Mission.
It was a revelation to walk alongside Jesus in his early years and growing up. Getting to know the Holy Family as a proper family with the same problems we encounter. I have come to realize Jesus is my brother as well as my Lord. I hope I have become more human. But realize how far I have to go.
Week 5. The beginning and end of each day. "Our consciousness of evil would be too great for us to bear, without the second image: God's loving, merciful response." "asking for the grace to see the outrageous, rebellious evil of sin in the world, and the merciful love of God in the death of Jesus for the sin of our world. Week 6. "That we might know our sin - completely and profoundly - so that we might know the depth of God's love for us personally." We are asking for graces. That tells us, from the beginning, that we are not going to achieve what we desire on our own here. It will not be the result of our work alone. It will be a gift - a gift from God." Week 9. "Our remembering of our sins and the sins done against us, does not mean we have not been forgiven, nor that we have not forgiven others." "I'm a loved sinner, on the path to healing, because of your faithful love for me." "God's love for us is so strong that it heals us." Week 6, again. "The essential nature of this retreat remains the same - it's about unifying my day, from the time I awake to just before I sleep, with a sense of God's presence with me on this journey."
The retreat kept me aware of Christ in my life, and has been a support in some trying times. It is so difficult to 'trust' that everything will work out when things seem to be falling apart. The retreat brings me back to a level of trust that may be less than ideal but is nonetheless enough to keep hope alive.
I have a greater sense of being loved by God. I have also learned to be patient in the midst of desolation, knowing that God is present.
It has improved my spiritual life and enhanced my private conversations with the Lord.
I have come to understand how being grateful to God for everything being a gift to me, can prompt me to live my life more fully and with love for others. I feel a very strong connection to God through doing the retreat, which I didn't feel before doing so. Prayer has also really helped me to feel more connected.
The love and acceptance of me by a God who loves me to the extent that he smiles on me even in my moments of greatest weakness. That is a great grace I believe.
This retreat has help me reprioritize my life. It has helped me understand the importance of my kids and wife and my true calling as father and husband. The Lord has spoken to me as a result of this retreat and clearly told me that my vocation in life "Is to be a father and husband to the best of my abilities"
I have a deeper relationship with Jesus which is based more on his understanding and compassion for my weaknesses and the suffering I have experienced. I still find it incredible that he accepts me as I am because I'm well aware of my short comings.
Getting more of the feeling that God truly accepts me as I am and I can be honest with him. There are truly no barriers there--- I only imagine there are when I don't want to let him be fully involved with me.
This retreat has been the greatest gift I have ever received. It has been a real love feast and awareness of how much I am desired and cherished by God. This relationship has become the most important thing in my life. I'm already getting saddened by the retreat's drawing to a close.
I used it for my own personal prayer, and at the same time as the basis for directing another in her spiritual life.
I think that it helped me to grow in union with God, with emphasis on an intimate knowledge of God, and an increase in love and following of Christ.
My intimate relationship with Jesus has grown to the nth degree. My profound gratitude for the healings that have occurred throughout my life and within the time frame of this retreat are one of the many graces. The balancing act of life between ministry, marriage and children is another grace that has been afford to me. The joy of knowing and feeling the love God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit is another.
Being Catholic from birth, I think I'm easily
lulled into a bland faith, just attending Mass and paying lip service
to Jesus. But this retreat really did set my heart on fire with
love for Jesus. It modeled ways of thinking and acting and praying
that I can use in real life. I'm at a crossroads where I'm considering
changing careers from a fairly lucrative software career to a distinctly
challenging career as a high school science teacher. This retreat
has strengthened my resolve to turn from the world's ideal (money,
power, prestige) to the ideals of Jesus. I will need all the tools
this retreat has
Although I was raised Catholic, I had never been on a retreat before and consequently did not know what to do or expect from the experience. At the time I discovered your website, I was in the midst of taking the first tentative steps for returning to the faith after having been lapsed for over 20 years. Given this circumstance, I would not have signed up for an in-person retreat and was very uncomfortable about my predicament. I was experiencing a lot of confusion and had many questions but realized that I lacked the language to try to adequately explain my feelings and was feeling embarrassed and somewhat overwhelmed by the situation. So, accidentally finding this retreat was truly a blessing! I found that the materials helped to slowly, methodically and non-threateningly direct me towards important faith-issues for consideration. Having an entire week to process the topic and read the supplemental explanations/reflections was extremely beneficial for demonstrating how to read/use scripture and to learn how to meditate/internalize the reading. The materials helped me to formulate thoughts and questions, assisted in directing prayer/reflections during the week, and helped me to develop a language and confidence about my faith. I believe none of this would have occurred without the safety and anonymity of the online format as a starting point.
I don't think I would have successfully returned to my faith without the online retreat experience. Since starting the retreat I have had the courage to seek out spiritual direction with my pastor which has been very helpful for getting answers to my questions and helping me to enter into the life of my parish. I have been made very aware of the many gifts that God has given me, and have experienced such gratitude that I began volunteering this year at a homeless shelter/food pantry in my community. Finally, I am most grateful for being able to develop a personal relationship with Jesus, a concept which I never understood or pursued. For me, God used to be some distant beam of energy - powerful and dangerous - something to be feared. I don't feel that way anymore and truly enjoy the time I can spend listening to God and being instructed by Him through scripture.
I have shared it with others in the way in which
I approach life and relate to those who touch my life.
A whole new way of praying, not in words, but in my thought patterns. This Lent has been a beautiful experience for me. The Holy Spirit has truly been with me and I have used the guides. I loved the resources, a whole new way of praying for me.
It opened the scriptures to me in a more visual, present way. My sermons grew as a result.
Last week, I kept thinking of the picture of the fisherman and Peter going back to fishing. I knew that I am changed forever by this retreat and can not go back to "fishing" like I did before the retreat.
Yes, I think the retreat has made a big difference. To be honest I never thought I'd actually do the whole thing from beginning to end. I am thrilled I did. I think the retreat has kept me focused on what is important in life. I work at a very prestigious firm and there are a lot of trimmings. I am a secretary and I see people with a lot of material goods and it's hard not to get depressed and want more and more. The retreat kept re-focusing me if I lost my way.
I thank the Lord for finding all means to make it clear that He is here constantly guiding me. Ever since we immigrated to the U.S. , I missed a lot of things. But what I miss most is my daily masses.The daily reflections and the online retreat that I have been taking online has sustained me these past 4 years.
I have matured in my ability to read and relate to passages. It has helped me to make major decisions for my future--to see how I can follow Jesus in every situation. Further, I am able to offer this grace to others I meet who are in need of empathy, companionship, and love.
I have received innumerable graces, including letting go of a lot of the protective shell that tends to keep me from being hurt at the expense of keeping me from being open to serving others.
I don't even know how to express what a difference
this retreat has made in my life. I know I am a different person
and I know that it is all God's doing. I can now look back on my
life and realize all of
Many graces... with long term effects I'm sure. In particular -- taking up my cross daily -- I don't see it as a personal experience of ascetism -- I take up my cross when accompanying others who are being crucified because of oppression, such as homelessness. I truly take up my cross when I work for systemic change, so that others won't have be "crucified" because of poverty, racism and other forms of oppression.
It has helped me let God work through my words and actions in dealing with people in difficult circumstances.
The retreat has been the single most helpful spiritual aid I have ever experienced. I closely followed the suggested format, and found very helpful the use of imagination in bringing me into each situation. Jesus has come alive. I feel his sacrifice and servanthood is a calling for me to try and follow his example.
It has given me another way to start my days. I was already starting day with prayer time, but it gave me a guided program. My graces were to remember Jesus as my guide and to "surrender all" to hard, which is a daily challenge as I attempt and then laugh at myself thinking that I'm in control.
I found myself thinking about the week's topic
as I drove to work, at school during small breaks, and even at times
while I was with students a thought or phrase would creep into my
thinking. I feel like I
believe that this retreat has been and will continue to be a life-changing experience. During the early parts of this retreat I became more aware of and focused on my banal, everyday sinfulness. Along with this awareness there came a recognition of my need to be quiet, to listen, to be humble. Later in the retreat I became convinced of God's abiding and abundant love for me. Since the retreat, I have tried to reflect on all that God has given me so that, in gratitude and with commitment, I can say, " Take Lord and receive..."
I learned that there is a lot of almost-instinctive, self-centered, judgmental i.e. sinful, stuff in the my background times. By paying more attention to my background times, I became more aware of their importance - for good or bad - to my spiritual life. Paying more attention to background times focused me more on the here-and-now and minute-to-minute in what I think, feel and do. Although I did not use background times much to go over retreat materials, becoming more aware of background times was one of the key insights of the retreat.
This retreat has made all the difference in my life this year. Truly, our Lord led me to this in preparation for an extremely challenging year. Though I have the True Love and support of a wonderful husband and sons, other family and friends, there were many transitions we needed to prepare for this year and I don't think my spiritual, mental and physical strengths would have held up without the extra Graces from these exercises. Silly as it may sound, one of the Graces I was gifted with was just the daily reminder of what my Spirit already knew. Life has kind of layered all sorts of distractions and pain over the Heart of what I know and fervently believe.that Jesus loves me in spite of myself. And even with my weaknesses and inabilities, He has a mission for me in His world. So, the Graces of Love and Hope and Peace are intertwined within these exercises, too. Some days these Graces were so palpable, I felt I was enfolded in them! Other days, the awe!
Awareness of Jesus' Love and Presence brought tears to
my eyes and a sob would catch in my throat as an event from the
day's reflection would play itself out in my real life so I would
"get the point!" And all I could pray in awe of God's
Mercy was, "I believe, Lord! Help my disbelief." I'm still
a little overwhelmed by the Graces received during this wonderful
I learned that Jesus was a quiet dissident, He ate at the house of lepers and sinners, that no matter how many times his mostly band of 12 disappointed Him, He was still there loving them all. I have realized my need for the gift of indifference and all that means. I am still praying for it in it's entirety. I have received the grace to go beyond what I thought were my limit of courage and strength and talents , way out of my comfort zone to do what I might be called to do. I have also received the lasting gift to know that God is in charge, not me. The use of background times taught me to walk consciously with God throughout my whole day and made me realize I am never alone. Praise the Lord!!
The graces, I think, are that God's love is so beyond our words. We live, every moment surrounded by this love yet, sometimes we are unaware. God's will became defined in this retreat: to do what you're doing with the belief that God wants you to do it. I was struck by the diversity and the goodness of my retreat partners. I just felt that we should get together and celebrate a liturgy in thanksgiving and supplication for all of the needs.
I don't know exactly how the retreat made a difference
in my life, but I know that it did. I feel surrounded by an abiding
love and grounded and set on a path and in a relationship that --
even though I don't know where it will take me -- is right. The
graces I received that I can name are two. I feel, really feel,
that I am a loved sinner. And I really feel that God desires my
freedom and that the way to freedom is obedience. I have been aware
of continuing change in myself/my relationship with God, even though
I don't have specific words for the change. It has been a wonderful
experience. I intend to make the retreat again, beginning in the
fall so it coincides (as it did this time) with the liturgical year.
It has made a difference. I somehow managed to lock in at a time of the year where Easter and Christmas hit at the correct seasonal times. I have also been studying the Gospel of John for the past 12 months through Bible Study Fellowship and I was amazed at how the two overlapped each other on occasions, each reinforcing a truth in my life. It seems to have been a period in my life where God has been teaching me something and then giving me the opportunity to put that teaching into practice. I would say the most significant thing that has resulted for me personally is a stronger awareness of the presence of God in my life.
It helped me see patterns in which I shut myself off from realizing the presence of Christ
This is very difficult to answer but i will try. It has put PRAYER back centrally for me...it has helped me put my life events in perspective...it has helped me tuck in pain and disappointment to my prayer...it has made me face my vulnerably and use it to strengthen me...for example, last night I found jealousy grab me viscerally and I was able to face it for exactly for what it was and to move on.
It was very helpful to open myself up to listening
to God speak to me in the background times. This format has made
me hungry for more. It made me realize that God is like this
site--always ready to want to open my mind if I only invite Him
to by going online and make me feel cherished through His communication
with me. Surely, our Father will continue to bless your work.
It is not in vain.
It felt like it was helpful in my marriage with the graces given me for more increased patience, tolerance and unselfishness.
I found two great friends! I realize more than ever, that the heavenly reward is what we are after and the day to day world seems so trivial. I struggle with "am I doing enough for charity and family, etc?" or "should I be doing something different?"
There were many graces. One was the organized way of covering the themes of the Ignatian retreat. Another very valuable one was the E-mail sharing with the small group of retreat partners.
Yes it has made a difference. Graces have been abundant. Especially the grace of finding God in MY life as I am, and in my job. Some fears I have that hold me back have had to be confronted - I think that is a huge grace. It has made such a difference - not sure I can describe it
It is a guide to show me that I am on the right track. the overall graces in my life over the past year include a softer persona who has given over to God and has lost much hold on what I think I want.
When I read this weeks materials I realized I do see what patterns keep from life, how my love of comfort and my fears keep me in myself, and how I resist death and diminishment and how I am tempted. As I was in these exercises it did not seem clear but now it can be quite clear. I think to see these is an enormous grace. The greatest graces of presence is harder to speak of and more elusive.
There are too many graces to mention, but the most important was the urge I felt to receive the sacrament of reconciliation after 12 years of not doing so. I went the Monday of Holy Week, and have been experiencing a personal resurrection ever since.
Yes, it made we look with new eyes at my junior high students and to see more blessings that God has given me. It lifted me when I was down.
The difference is substantial. Now I have an active mission for the remainder of my life and I begin to see the effects of my own change upon my loves ones.
It has given me confidence and direction in my search for deeper spirituality and growth in my faith life. The graces have been numerous. Daily spiritual nourishment, companionship on the journey, excellent guidance , opportunity to delve deeper without the expense ! I am beginning to "live in Christ and he in me"-just as it should be!!!! and it's great !!! Deo gratias.
I realize more deeply that my vocation is to pray for and encourage priests and ministers (lay and ordained), especially those who are discouraged and depressed. I feel I am a better listener and prayer for those who wish to share their stories, especially those I visit as a spiritual care volunteer at our hospital.
I have more at peace with myself and others.
It has been wonderful. Jesus has become much more real and meaningful to me.
It was helpful in a way that you have something to start the day with. It gives a sense of direction. It made my lenten season a more meaningful one. I think at times I was able to rise above my weakness.
Through this retreat, I have come to a greater appreciation of my Faith and this has led to a greater commitment to it.
This retreat has made a difference in my life in that it provided a structure for my prayer over these last 8 months or so - and God gave me graces to see new insights into Jesus' life, and hopefully through God's grace I may follow Jesus more closely, as St. Ignatius' prayer so beautifully says.
I have been so exuberant about the graces of this retreat that I have spoken about it frequently to my friends and highly recommending it to them.
The primary grace that has changed my life has to do with the speaking-to-Jesus-as-friend-to-friend aspect of each week: compared to now my previous Catholic/Christian practice had a going around Jesus pattern; I seemed afraid of Jesus in a shy sense; I didn't hesitate to pray to Mary and the saints nor did I hesitate to address the Father and Holy Spirit. There is a movement "putting Christ in Christmas" and I am happy with the result of this retreat that put Christ in my Christianity. This retreat, I am certain, will help me in finding intimacy with God everyday for the rest of my life.
Wow. It was awesome. I did this with a friend, and that was extremely helpful. I am much more aware of Christ's presence in me, in others, in my family. I feel more intimacy with Christ than I ever have before. My Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter felt different than they had before. I sowed down more.. I paid attention more. I I still encountered my normal every day problems, yet I felt like I was using a new set of eyes to look at them. Generally speaking, I felt a sense of peace. I have never truly accepted such love before. I felt a strong pull to receive the Eucharist more than just on Sunday. I received many graces from just that
This retreat has been a real blessing for me (even though I had to get up an hour earlier!) I really looked forward to having this available every day. I'm grateful for all the work everyone has done to supply this. It was so easy to find my way around to all the sites, I enjoyed the videos. I felt good about staying faithful to the daily time I spent with the Retreat, & the graces it offered me. I wrote about some concern I had & it was very graciously answered by Fr. Andy, who was very helpful. I appreciated the response I'd get when I would email a staff or student on a particular reflection I found especially meaningful. I felt eveyone working on this Retreat really cared, THANK YOU ALL!!!!
I have become even more conscious of God in my life as a result of this retreat. It made very subtle, postitive changes in me over the long weeks, although I still need to work on my "defects". The graces were my awareness of God working mightily in my life,and directing me to answer his gentle calls. Gave me the courage to take on a new Volunteer job through church. Also it helped me to let go of some behavior I wasn't very proud of. This retreat gave me the most meaningful Lent I have ever experienced. I appreciated the suggestions about creating a "Lenten atmosphere" in my home.
I was very successsful most weeks. I have learned to recognize Jesus in everyone. When upset I imagine Jesus with me, taking bread, blessing it, breaking it and giving it to me. I have a more intimate relationship with Jesus. I have seen some additional shortcomings of mine. I have been overwhelmed by the Presence of God.