How Has This Retreat Made a Difference in My Life?

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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.
By understanding Jesus better, I am better able to appreciate His friendship. For instance, I should view, all of today's activities as God's gift to me. These gifts are countless.

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
provided as I move ahead in this new path with Jesus.

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.

I followed the suggested readings and steps as closely as I could. I now see what Jesus has done for me and I marvel at it.

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
the gifts God has given me and how he has guided and shaped my life even when I didn't know he was there. I find myself saying thank you to people around me for the little things they do for me because I am truly grateful. I find I have more patience. I have spent most of my life focusing on my flaws - never feeling that what I did was good enough - but now even though I still do that, I know that it doesn't have the same power over me that it had before. I learned to be honest with myself, I learned to talk to God, to tell him about me and in the doing I learned about me and about him. Most of all I experienced God's presence in my life and got to know Jesus as a human person, a deeply loved friend and brother who allows me to be myself with him - really freeing for me. Being able to tell him the truth about my fears, my hopes, my dreams, my desires has transformed me - it has given me a
release and a sense of acceptance that I have so wanted and could never find. And all of this has made me more aware of how others suffer And my gratitude has led me to try to be more loving
to those around me - as I recognize that God loves me in my imperfections and probably has more than a few chuckles about my rationalizations, I've learned to reach out to my friends and
family, to loosen up and cut them a little slack. Not only is God not finished with me yet (as our parish priest once remarked about himself), I feel that He has probably only just begun. And I look
forward to what the future with Him brings and hope that I can trust myself to His love. The graces were a deepening sense of hope, a lessening of the negative self talk which runs rampant through my brain at times. I found that I was able to be more grounded in my life

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
have "new eyes"! I see people and situations in a new light. This retreat has also strengthened my prayer life as well as lifted me up spiritually. There are too many graces to list but a few would be the deep, personal sharing by our sharing group. This retreat >gave me hope during a very difficult and trying time in Feb. I feel a closeness to Christ that became deeper and more personal each week. I feel an "intimate love" for Jesus.

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 retreat!

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.

One way it made a difference is to persuade me to take on a greater spiritual challenge. As a result, I had one of the most prayerful Lenten periods I have had in recent memory. I also came to grips with my sinfulness and how much God loves me despite this fact. I have also recognized how much God's grace is such a big part of my salvation.

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 has helped me put my life events in has helped me tuck in pain and disappointment to my 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.

Continuing this type of openness will help me after this retreat.

There were many, many graces. Most recently, joy.

This retreat has transformed me. A friend's father told me I had become "more me" and whatever it was I was doing, I should keep it up! I feel several walls have been knocked down between me and the world.  I finding myself acting on impulses to do good, as opposed to debating those moments.

Thank you for this retreat. It has been an amazing experience. I didn't know what a personal relationship with God was before, I didn't know how to find Him in my everyday life.

This has been the big "plus" for me.  During the past few years, I have developed the habit (for lack of a better word) of praying most mornings, but continuing to bring my prayer into the background of my day was lacking.  This retreat has been wonderful in helping me to do that and in reminding me that even if I miss my morning prayer time, God is still waiting for me and joyful to see me in the background times.  Thank you for that.  The nagging feeling of "what next" is more insistent. I rely on God's grace more and see his presence in small things that I believe I would have missed a year ago.

It deepened my commitment to do all for the love of my dearest Friend, Jesus!

Many of the insights made me appreciate my relationship with Christ more, and they made my relationship with Him even richer than what it already was.

This retreat has strengthened my prayer life as well as lifted me up spiritually.  There are too many graces to list but a few would be the deep, personal sharing by our sharing group.  This retreat gave me hope during a very difficult and trying time in Feb.  I feel a closeness to Christ that became deeper and more personal each week.  I feel an "intimate love"  for Jesus.

I yearn for a closeness with God, I want to spend more time in communion with the Trinity.  The difference is that I am really finding my self wanting more and dedicating time.

I feel more loved and closer to Jesus and I think I always was loved . And my relationship with the church seems to have improved.

The grace is that here it is nearly the end and at least in some way I walked through the whole Retreat, I think I will do better another time but I wanted to try it and I feel I have been more aware of Christ being with me in a very difficult time through the Retreat, I liked following the liturgical year.

Just keep keeping on with the Lord's work, this a marvelous site and such a great thing for someone like me 100 miles away from a Retreat house that I can use. Thank you, thank you, Praise the Lord!!

This retreat has made me aware that I can live out the Gospel in my daily life. I realized that I don't have to leave home to go on retreat, then forget or have trouble adapting those insights once I returned home. I have a long way to go to make that an absolute reality at all times, but at least now I know that it is possible to be aware of God and His great Love for us as we live "in the real world". There is now a great desire in my heart to live as a child of God at all times.   

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. 

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