Online Retreat Sharing
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At any time this week, if you have anything you'd like to share, that has touched you, you can share it by leaving a note here, even anonymously.

The Latest Sharing

As I finish the second week of the retreat I am distressed. First, the week itself was just discombobulated in general; last week was especially good—‘this too shall pass’—and it did. But that’s all part of the process and I adjusted. I teach high school in Colorado Springs, pretty close to the school where the shooting occurred this week. I find today that I am rather shaken by the whole event—in ways that I cannot explain nor quickly understand. I am sitting here, fighting back tears, because, after all, I can’t really just cry in my classroom. I know that ‘all things work together for good...’ but I just don’t understand how... and I’m ‘suppose to.’ Anyway, I pray for the continuing Grace to take the next necessary step—one foot in front of the other and to carry on with renewed seeking of God’s will in my daily life. How to be a good disciple; a good husband; and a good teacher—and to offer it all up to God for His glory and my salvation... Wow, what a week. Thank God it’s Friday for real.
At the moment I`m finished my first week of this retreat. And when I had reading this aticle "the courage to accept acceptance" for week 1 second time, after when I was prey for this, I felt that Lord Jesus by His Holy Spirit is coming to sit with me and open to me this subject to shed His light of understanding on this theme. And as i was hearing when his voice is spoken to me by this article so gentle and lovely as He is reveal His love to me.
I just started the retreat tonight and have already felt its special grace. I am looking forward to receiving the graces I need each week from this retreat. Thank you, and may God bless you.
I really don't know where to start for iam feeling so emotional right now. God is doing so much in my life. He reveals Himself un to me and it's so great. This week has done so much for me, more than any week. There are patterns of sin in my life that i have come to realise, like desire to be loved, to have everything, to be successful,to be respected and people to recognise me. These desires makes me do some of the things i never intended to do. For example, desire to be loved leads me to sex as i wouldn't want to disappoint my beloved or i feel like it at the moment. God loves me that is why He has revealed this un to me. He can do for you to .I put my life in his hands now to do His will in my life. I would like Him to take control of my life as iam so weak but very strong in HIM. His mercy is sufficient for me, for he reveals Himself in weakness. Corithians 12: 8-10 Week 7
Today is the first day of my retreat. I feel overwhelmed and can't seem to bring a focus to share my thoughts. My gratitude to Almighty God wavers like a palm tree blowing in the wind. I know I should be grateful at all times, but I am still working on acceptance. My faith will carry me through. (1 John 4:16) I made myself write this because I want to see the progress made during these days and weeks of this retreat. Hope is my banner. Week 1
greetings to you all. its a lovely spring morning here with the sun rising over the ocean in the distance. i hadnt identified my sadness with the retreat during the last two weeks till i read about the low grade discouragement of studying the crucifixion stories . during this week some joy has begun to return. my own favourite image is of mary in the garden and the voice which says her name . and her quiet response of Rabboni. so i have walked through this week with the familiar and beloved companion Again. After all the years of separation before i got clean and sober in 1987 - it has been a desolate place to experience living without Him beside me.
so i have been able to stop and listen this week for the voice which says Nell. and to stop and respond. Heart delighted as always.
i have also looked in the garden of my life this week to see which stones have been rolled from which tombs. and also to locate a tomb at the very centre of it - in which the most beloved of my life has been crucified and entombed.
and there seems to me to be a young woman rising . a sparkling unwounded woman. a girl. i know that life has tortured and killed parts of me and they have lain dead a goodly while. with stones blocking the caves. for years now - life has been restoring and this week was delightful. the stones which i cannot move are being rolled away. and my step is lighter and a smile on occasion surprises me.
my love to you all.
-- Nell from Tweed, Week 30

I feel so fortunate to have found this retreat- I just completed a 3 year formation program to become a spiritual director- a type of mystique had developed around the Ignatian exercises for me since someone told me you really need to do them with a spiritual director. But after I completed the program I was looking for something to help me continue to deepen my relationship with God and a former classmate told me about this web site and so I have begun even though I am a bit scared of it.

I am starting week 2 and I am moved already by the abundance of grace that God has shared with me. I want to share two insights I have received.Through past retreats and exercises, I knew that the loss of my mother at the tender age of 7 days had affected my whole life. I am now 63. As I was growing up,no one ever talked about her and it wasnt until I began asking questions several years ago that I started to find out who she was as a person and the circumstances of her death. But here is the grace of this retreat: today during Mass it came to me that God wanted me to forgive her doctor and to pray for him and bless him. This came about because I worked with the image that when my mother died, her doctor cried. A very elderly aunt shared that fact with me. As I stayed with this picture, I was very moved and I have forgiven him and offered that Mass for his soul. I had never thought about him in any way prior to this except to partially hold him responsible for her death which was from a blood clot to her lung.

The other thing I wanted to share was a dream I had that amazed me- I was so touched by a couple of the readings for last week and this week- especially the one that talked about how God accepts us as we are and how "God tends to us" I dreamt that I was taking care of a young baby and twice during the dream I couldnt find the baby. (This reminded me too of an old column by Erma Bombeck who said this was one reason that old people dont have babies- they would forget where they put them!)But in my dream both times I found the baby in the chapel and being well taken care of by others in the church. I am not an expert on dreams but I think given the context of our life review the past two weeks, that baby was me and God was reassuring me that He does indeed "tend to us."

I do presently have a spiritual director and I hope she will help me with this retreat but it is also very helpful to read what other struggling souls write on this site. You have permission to use my name. God Bless you.
-- Pat

A friend of mine suggested that I do this retreat and I have been wrestling with the idea. Last night, I read week one and believe that this is exactly what I need to do. I, however, have a request for anyone who feels led - I need prayer that I will remember my childhood. My memories are sporadic shadows at best. I'm not sure if I can do the entire retreat when I do not have childhood memories to reflect on. I'm afraid, but I'm willing to look and feel. To feel accepted by God is a great desire that I have. I loved the statement in week one's lesson that said, "It is one thing to know I am accepted and quite another to realize it." I need to realize! Thanks!
-- JB

Last week started Week 1 after waiting over a year to be well enough to start. As I expected it was tough! The photo hurt as at that age I was in institutional care (1952) and babies were not thought to have emotional needs. 'A baby who is not welcome is ruined at the roots of her existence' is very painful to read, but true, my whole life has been sabotaged by this. My desire is help others in need, but I dont cope and have had many years of stress related illness. I cannot - or will not? - see how God can be thanked for this wholly destructive beginning. However I have put this issue on the table, and will see what God does with it as the weeks pass. The advice to not look for progress but trust the process was very helpful.

I did move on to reflect on how I have managed to survive as well as I have - and could see aspects of my childhood which have cushioned me from the worst consequences of my difficulties. And recalled some early beginnings of faith which I had not remembered for a long while. I was surprised that by the end of the week a couple of positive ideas had emerged. Thank you.

I have been using the reading on Acceptance and spending much time with it.
I find each time that I read the piece I see something new especially in the light of my childhood, and begininng today in my teenage years. (I am 64.) This has answered so many question for me about who, and what I am. Praying Psalm 139 after reading the piece as lecito gave me feelings of comfort and peace. I am growing in comfort with me. It is a blessing to be able to look at my life as a young person and see God's presence there all the time even when I never really felt accepted. How did I know that God was preparing me to understand the "Theology of Subtraction", but God's gift has made me able to celebrate the "bottom".
-- "R" of RI - Week 1

Abandon your nets… go out into the deep

These works struck hard me this week…What could be the Lord impressing upon me?

As I was driving to work today (and for that I am grateful to the Lord for the job He has given me), I realized that when Peter and the disciples saw the multitude of fishes upon casting the net at Jesus’ command, I realized that was how He had revealed Himself to me also in the workplace. Despite my many shortcomings and my seemingly huge effort to carry out the “casting” here in my workplace on my own, He has been the one who was providing for every thought, every grace to complete every work. Much more so, He has shown His strength and might by being my Counselor through all my issues. Is this overspiritualizing? I don’t think so. The Lord just wanted to reveal to me how much He can do in my life if only I let go of the tight grip I have on my selfish expectations, ambitions and plans. When I freely let loose of the net of selfishness, pride and anger, then and only then could He show me how great the catch would be – the catch of joy, peace and love.

It is the same with my life. If only I would let go of my weaknesses, surely the Lord would reveal so much of Himself to me. In the face of adversity, instead of letting myself get angry, I should loosen its grip and allow the Holy Spirit to work in me to accept others for who they are and in faith, trust that good will come out of a seemingly unpleasant
situation. Even when words, seemingly hurtful, are hurled at me
unintentionally and struck a chord in my wounded self, then I should choose to let go of the tight grip of woundedness. “Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? (Luke 9:23-25)

Confronting one’s ugly self is very painful. But only if confronted with my real honest self would I be able to come before the Lord and ask for His healing, grace and forgiveness.

And so “the deep” which Jesus asks me to go out into is to face the bare and honest reality of how my woundedness will be with me. I could fight it.
Or I could allow Jesus to walk with me into the deep where only His light could shine the brightest.

At the end of wk one I invited lots of friends to join me on line retreat. Only one said yes. I am not sure how in touch I am with Jesus as life is fast and busy. I listened to Audio for this week at the end of the day. I have forgotten what it said. With the grace of God, I realized this is not a competition and there is no test of how much I have absorbed. I will keep on trying and I am glad to connect to other retreatants through sharing.

I feel so thankful for this week. I am reminded again of the people who have graced my life. Many I had forgotten about. Many more I have taken for granted.

In looking at the pictures of my early life I see that many of my current interests were fostered there. I wonder (and hope) that I did the same with my children.

In all staqes of my life I have seen areas of growth ... often unplanned ...
many times going off in directions that I did not intend at the time.

Then there are pictures around which I am truly embarrassed. Particular periods of my life which were certainly days of restlessness and darkness and sin. Yet in all these there were people of grace who helped to gradually call me back.
That call is still in my life and I resolved to listen to it intently during this retreat. - Week 1

Week 1
A wondrous picture encounter:
My God embraces me; human tragedy,
Him and I, something anew; a tragic beauty.
His grace transfiguring me like a newly created butterfly,
rhythmic wonder in wings melodiously beating, as a heartbeat.
Yet not without shadow; tragedy,
His love knows no bounds, otherwise, flightless I would be.
My God embraces me -

May God bless you

I have finished the first week although it could go on for a lifetime.. There were many broken threads but many threads that were strong, filled with love and laughter., As I have grown matured, gotten older (60) I have noticed that my parents, in fact all parents have done the best they could with what they had, So I pray for forgiveness and healing of those "broken threads" as I continue this journey of a lifetime. Lets us all pray for each other. God bless
-- Jim (NY)

Week 22. Although I move slowly, almost subconsiously, through this retreat, much is happening. Just as I am asked to be 'poor and humble' I am given the opportunity. And there I am complaining, so ungrateful. Really, it is a gift from God and I am trying to accept it. He shows me myself. But at the same time He is giving me the opportunity to be myself. To move from a situation that sits right with the world, gainful employment, to another where I am learning to pilgrim, to act out my trust in God. I can't even look for another job now because of 'disability'. Am I willing to accept that for myself, for others? Jesus is the vine and the Father is the gardener. He sure knows how to prune. And He tells me to be myself, the naked me. This really is a gift. Continue.
I had this moment at work on Friday where a patient, with whom I was visiting at home, had been unable to get up off the floor. I knew I had to somehow help her return to bed. She looked at me and said she didn't know how someone as small as me could help her. I wondered that myself, but instead confidently told her we would do it together. And I said a prayer to God for his strength. And I helped that patient get back into bed. She was amazed, but I knew it was all God's doing!! I share this today because I feel so blessed by God's loving grace in my life.

Sharing Archive

Read the Sharing for each week of the retreat, as people have shared their graces over the years.

Week 1
Week 1 (more)
Week 1 (more)

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Weeks 5-6

Weeks 7-8

Weeks 9-14

Weeks 15-19

Weeks 20-34