The Season of Lent is a time to pause and reflect, prepare, pray and fast. Let us rest awhile this moment…
The words of Pope Francis, “we should rest in the Lord”, which he spoke about the sleeping Saint Joseph during his visit to the Philippines in 2015, have never faded from my mind. Living in times of much social change and technology, perhaps we keep ourselves so busy with our own business and plans that somehow we forget to snatch a little time for the Lord – the time to stay and have intimate rapport with Him.
In the religious life we are so blessed for we are always reminded to rest in the Lord by the communitarian prayers and other activities. Moreover, all of us try our best to snatch a little time for our personal encounter with our Spouse in spite of the many works to be done.
However, we need more time to rest in the Lord, to stay longer with Him and to reflect more on our life, our vocation with Him. Therefore, every year we are eager to set aside all our affairs for the annual retreat. Last year we spent one week from 03 to 09 May in Bagiuo City, Philippines, for our relationship with God only.
What a beautiful Bagiuo! The city has an attractive view with a mixture of various kinds of multicoloured flowers, many rows of weeping willow trees, pine forests remaining green all the year round, and cool fresh air. Oftentimes in the mornings and evenings the whole Bagiuo id densely covered in fog which brings to it the beauty of wintry weather. Because of this wonderful environment and fresh climate, we all felt relaxed and spent our time with our Lord, meditating on “STARTING AFRESH FROM CHRIST” with many aspects in the religious life given by our retreat master, Father Alphonso Flores RCJ. I was able to immerse myself in the Lord’s love and be infiltrated by a profound relationship with Him. The place was wide enough for each of us to find suitable spaces for our reflection. This retreat was an ideal time for us to renew our commitment to the consecrated life – a special following of Christ, “a living memorial of Jesus’ way of living and acting as the Incarnate Word in relation to the Father and in relation to the brethren” (Starting Afresh from Christ).
Sr M Teresa Nguyen Thi Hao