Friday, June 5, 2009

30 day retreat e-mail reflection: Week 4

Week IV

Alright! Almost there! I'm giving myself a self pep talk.

This resurrection week was very interesting for me. It was actually a difficult week for me, because I was really beginning to yearn to come out of silence. I was watching the calendar closely and the time. Just wanting it all to end. Running up the walls, so to speak. Yet, I knew that I needed to spend the time, and when I did, I always felt grateful of having spent it.

Ultimately, this week was a reflection of what the resurrected life means for me. What does it mean to go out into the world with this "new life" given to me during the retreat?

I had a hard time at first with prayer. I was imagining the resurrected scenes, but I was mostly watching them like a movie, with funny moments here and there. I wasn't entering into the scenes as I had in the second week. This was kind of an unintended result of my reflections during the third week, since I felt called just to watch those scenes unfold and not to interact too much with them. What I was doing more was watching without reflecting. Paul pointed it out to me like it was almost a game, seeing what would come to my mind. It was a calling back to reflect with the union of mind and heart, and not with just mind alone.

This matter of the heart was an important insight for me. The belief that God is speaking to me in my heart, and that my heart is where God resides. And to follow my heart after the retreat, to follow my instincts. In my prayer, I strove for it never it to be merely a matter of an intellectual exercise, but to infuse my heart into it. That was where the authenticity was; that was where the true me was. It's good to remind myself of that...I've already forgotten it.

Also, the enormous gift I received from this last week was the gift to be thankful. To give thanks for all that was given to me for me was so important. In the act of giving thanks, it daily reminds me not to take for granted what I have but to cherish them. For Jesuits, it is the challenge to "See God in All Things." Indeed, I have much to be thankful for. And, personally, there's just something liberating and freeing about giving thanks, a feeling I have throughout the day that I miss when I haven't spent those few moments to do so.

Closing of E-mail

What a funny subheading. Or, maybe I just think it's funny...

Well, if you have read through all of this, you are definitely a trooper. I hope in this long reflection that you were able to gleam something from it.

I pray that all of you are doing well as we enter these final weeks of the year. Especially for those in school and are in finals, you are in my thoughts.

While we were in this retreat, it became very apparent to us how many people were praying for us. The Jesuits from outside the community who would say Mass for us would say: "the 3rd graders next door are praying for you", "I was in California and they are praying for you," "Our Brother Columbians are praying for you," "The elder community at Regis is praying for you." In all of it, in all of our differences and beliefs, there is something very powerful in being able to transcend our prejudices and misgivings about one another and to just pray for each other, to hold others up in your thoughts, no matter how much you don't like the other. Indeed, some of the most influential and inspiring leaders have attested to the power of prayer.

So, I am so thankful for all of the support that I have been given.

I'll be sure to write when my next big adventure comes! If you have any questions about anything, just shoot me an email! Also, I'd love to hear how you all are doing.

You are all in my prayers,

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