Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The First Week of Retreat

I have finished the first "week" of my retreat.  It took twelve (12) days, but it was a worthwhile journey.

I thought I was the only one who noticed that every time I had a scheduled session with my spiritual directress, heavy rains and floods would come.  During the first session, I was late due to flash floods.  On the second session, I had to cancel as traffic was at a gridlock caused by the sudden torrential downpour.  Last night, my friend who had finished this retreat texted me that she prayed that it would not rain today so I could go to my second SD session.

I woke up to news that there was Storm Signal No. 2 in Metro Manila.  I inwardly smiled at the Lord. Were my issues so bombastic that they had to be processed with a stormy background?  When I arrived at the Cenacle, my SD greeted me with an observation that blessings must be pouring upon me because the rainy season was truly upon us.  

I shared with her my struggles at beginning a new prayer pattern, my feelings of unworthiness, and my recurring distractions.  I admitted being unable to accept that it was I that God desired.  I was not sure if my desires were aligned to His.  I could not move to follow Him.  I could not open the door to my heart.  I was slowly beginning to realize the things I had set aside from my decade-old personal relationship with Him.  

SD said I am being honest and being myself.  Just me.  These things I bring with me are the waters where Jesus and I would swim during my RDL.  This is the forest we would travel through, together.  Despite the things I want to hide from Him, He still loves me.  What could be more profound and unfathomable than this love?

I had other loves.  Other desires.  Other dreams.  Yet I struggle now precisely because at my very core are values which God had firmly planted, and I want to clarify them and fight for them.  Yes, despite the other pulls and tugs within my own rebellious and indifferent heart.  What I really want is to be united with God, who is Love, bringing with me all my shadows and imperfections, all my sins and indiscretions.

SD gave me something beautiful - that RDL is a School of Freedom.  For only when I am free of this old image of God that I have been holding on to would I create space for His love to grow as He wants it to, today.  She said that if I let Him, God will set me free in this journey.  

I thought I did not do well at all during the past week.  But to be told that it was alright, that I could move to the next week, and that I was on the right track, left me pleasantly surprised.  Excited?  Not really, for I know the depths I have to dig through to uncover the things I had hidden even from my God.  

Yet, maybe just a little bit hopeful.  That I will find God if I seek Him with all my heart.  Find Him again.  Find Him knowing who I really am.  Find Him, who never really left me, but from whom I have been running away.

NB:  I am going through the Retreat in Daily Life.  See previous posts for details.  I will be writing reflections on the themes of my retreat for the next three months.


studentdriver said...

This post puts a smile on my face. glad to know that you're having a fruitful RDL so far and that you're hitting your strides even though it requires a lot of re-orientation in terms of how you pray. Will continue praying for your journey. And if I may add, bagyo talaga ang dating ng RDL. ;) It will change your life. ;)

Ella del Rosario said...

Even if I thought I knew what to expect, it's still different when you're at the eye of the storm. :-) I just know this is life-changing in a way that is not exactly similar to yours, but comparable enough. Where is God taking me with this??? I'm scared yet hopeful.