No. 890 Diocese of Marbel, Philippines 30 August 2016
Forty-four (44) clerics – 41 priests and 3 deacons made their annual retreat on 22-25 August 2016 at Daughters of Mary Mother of the Church Formation Center, Pili, Camarines Sur.
Fr. Elpidio de Peralta, Jr., facilitator. Fr. Jun has been a priest for 23 years and is involved in on-going formation of the Clergy. Graduated from San Jose Seminary in 1993. Parish priest, Our Lady of Annunciation, Mindanao Avenue, Novaliches, Metro Manila.
Aug. 22. Evening Preparation. Silence and solitude
- Silence helps you in Solitude, i.e., alone with the Lord.
- Three things for a good retreat: Praying, Scripture reading, Resting (sleeping)
- During the retreat:
- it is better to rest than read
- it is better to sleep than to talk
- it is better – during actual prayer period – to remain quietly in one place than to walk around. (Charlie Wolf, S.J.)
Aug. 23, morning. Call to Interiority: Silence and Sabbath
Mk. 6: 30-31. “The apostle rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught. Then he said to them ‘You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while.’”
Let us report to Jesus what we did and taught.
- The Daughters of Mary, Mother of Church Formation Center is conducive to silence and rest. Modest but comfortable and the four DMMC sisters are very supportive and caring.
- Focus on God.
- Silence is a way of harmonizing external and internal sound.
- Connect with self, world and God.
- The soul needs to socialize as well as it needs to be alone in silence. Depth is created in and manifested by silence.
- “Nothing so much approximates the language of God as does silence.” (Meister Eckhart)
- Retreat as a call to Sabbath.
- Images of retreat as Sabbath. Rest of God. God at the center. An un-ordinary time (special). A time of celebration. A time of reconciliation. Remember Jewish Sabbath: a) 7th day; b) 7th year; c) Jubilee Year (after seven sabbatical years, i.e., 7×7=49) 50th Jubilee Year: Rest of land; Return land to original owner; Release of prisoners and captives; Remission of debts. An extraordinary time of celebration and reconciliation!
“BE STILL AND TAKE MY HAND” “LET ME BE YOUR SILENCE”
Aug. 23, afternoon. “Obstacles to Sabbath” (Rolheiser)
- a) narcissism b) pragmatism c) restlessness.
Story: “shattered lantern in a market place” man, searching for God, with a lantern during the day, in a market place. Didn’t find God. God is dead! Broke the lantern. Who “murdered” God? We are the murderers.
- “Great obstacle to spirituality in contemporary age is efficiency” (Thomas Merton)
B. Group sharing, by years in ministry, groups of 5.
- What were your significant joys and struggles in the first half of your ministry?
- What helped you during these years? What did not help?
Aug. 24, morning. “The call to deeper discipleship”
- The Rich Young Man. 19: 15-22
- The Workers in the Vineyard. Mt. 20: 1-16
- Song “Will you come and follow me?”
- Song “Wonderfully made are you”
a. The rich young man.
- Good person. Led a life of fidelity to God’s law.
- But searching for deeper commitment.
- However, he looks at eternal life as an achievement, something gained by his best efforts.
- Jesus’ invitation: GIVE UP EVERYTHING!
- He couldn’t give up. Went away sad. His sadness is not badness.
- He is good but not great. The difference from goodness to greatness is merely 10%; a small percentage but it makes all the difference in the world.
- The eye of the needle was a narrow and low gate in Jerusalem. Camels have to unload and bend to enter.
- It’s impossible; but with God’s grace it is possible.
b. Workers in the vineyard.
To be a great disciple one must fight jealousy and anger. (Notes from R. Rolheiser)
Aug. 24, afternoon. TIME. Substance of prayer is time.
- Ignatius “In prayer one is not in control.” God is.
- Prayer is a relationship with God.
- Set aside time for prayer.
- “My heart is restless until it rests in you.” (St. Augustine)
- Prayer is recognizing we are not alone! We are with God.
- Prayer is opening to God (Green)
- Song “I will come to you in the Silence.”
Aug. 25, morning. “Way of Praying A Psalm or Formula Prayer.
- Recite the psalm once. Notice words you can say most easily and words with greater difficulty.
- Choose the one line that appeals to you most.
- Recite it again and again. Feed your hungry spirit on it.
- Now, choose the difficult line.
- Recite it again and again and notice what you feel.
- What happens to you when you recite it?
- Then talk spontaneously to God about it.
- End your conversation with “Glory be…”
Retreat ended with closing mass and picture taking.