“We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls. ” –Mother Teresa of Calcutta
“In silence I found Him”. This was my realization after our four-day Vocation discernment retreat with its theme “Lord, I am Nothing… Lord, I am empty… Please fill me.” Facilitators were Sr M Rachael Arellano fdz and Sr M Ursula fdz.
The retreat included lectures with varied topics discussed by different speakers. True to its theme, I wouldn’t have reached a place where I found myself fully without God’s grace. From the moment we arrived the first thing I asked to myself was: “What brought me here?” I felt something unusual that made me feel more excited about the said retreat. Sometimes I have to find a perfect getaway from a busy lifestyle, away from work and home where I can breathe easy and move unhurriedly. To ponder on questions that play in my mind, to search for myself and develop a deeper relationship with God. To search is the very reason why I joined the retreat for I knew that life is a continuous search. People seek and strive for things which are lacking, things that would probably change their life and make them experience and savour contentment and fulfillment. We always look for something we desire and things that are not yet discovered within us. As we journey through life, things happen and we don’t understand, perhaps we are not supposed to understand, we’re just supposed to have faith and let it happen. However, it doesn’t mean that we are alone in facing life’s realities. God is always with us for He did not want us to doubt, to fear or to hate. He wants us to believe, to hope, to love and to see life the way he made it. Every time I begin to feel that there is no more strength in me, I always end up knowing that there is more in Him. God sustains me. The past is a lesson, the present is a gift, the future is my motivation. This is the answer I got after I reflected upon my life history. In my past experiences, I learned how to stand up again, to heal my wounds, and to ask graces from the source of all light. I learned that everything has a purpose – the bible says, “Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by complete change of mind and heart then you will be able to know the will of God”. This is how we learn from our mistakes, overcome the circumstances of life and live life smoothly according to His will.
Our second reflection was about remembering God’s presence in my life. As we all know we are created in the image and likeness of God. Man is God’s masterpiece. Therefore we are unique through the gift of life and freedom that God has given us. Each of us is so precious in His eyes despite our imperfections. We begin to realize how special we are to Him through His graces every time we ask for it. With it we are able to choose what is best for us – this comes into our hearts and we are guided by the wisdom of God. Abraham Lincoln was right: “We are as happy as we decide to be.” Furthermore, happiness is built through the foundation of life to praise, reverence, and serve God. Only in this one can find the true meaning and purpose of one’s life. To reflect on these end-goals of our life we must have the solitude in our hearts to attend to the invitation of silence because real peace cannot be found outside ourselves but within and with God. Openness, trust, and honesty determines how we share our life with others, and it is in sharing that our life begins to find its true meaning. From the time we touch the lives of others we become truly blessed.
Love makes life worth living for, but how do I choose to give my life? Where is God calling me? What does God want from me? And how can I follow God’s call in the midst of my doubts and difficulties?
It is through God’s grace and in the silence of my heart that I heard Him say “Be one of my labourers”. I have so much gratitude for being part of this discernment retreat which is another encounter with God that brought changes in my life and gave me the enlightenment I am searching for. Also, it nurtured my spirit and watered the seed of my vocation for I am now ready to grow and have the courage to say “Yes” Lord! Serving you is my passion; I am willing to give you my whole life because you alone fill me, you’re the light that gives me strength and dedication, what I am today is your gift to me and what I will be is my gift to you”. The gauge of our treasures is not what our hands can grasp but what our hearts can hold. As part of my discernment I will do my part to uphold all my learnings and put them into practice. Everything starts today, let us continue to pray for more Holy vocations “Rogate ergo Dominum messi ut mitta operarios in messem suam”
Khristine Anne Fabay
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