It was a GREAT vacation that I had had, a real BONUS, something totally unexpected and I have to say, that it was not the first time I had been so blessed. I have been blessed all the days of my life, whether I was aware of that or not, and I will be blessed in the days ahead. Such is the goodness of our Lord.
I have it firmly etched in my mind – that God loves me dearly. One priest said – most accurately – that we had probably gone to the retreat thinking that we loved God. On the last day when we had our Thanksgiving Mass, he said that we probably realised that we were there because of how much God loved us! Indeed, I do agree.
This reminds me of one lady’s conversion to the faith when she was already an adult. When she got to know the Lord and got convicted of the necessity to give up what was most unbecoming of a follower of Christ, she thought that she was doing the good Lord a favour. As she learnt to see the many areas of her life that needed repentance and as she tried to make the much needed change with the grace of God, she also had a moment of pride in what she was doing. She thought that she was doing the merciful Lord a favour. She began to think that she was giving to the Lord and that what she was doing was admirable.
But our good Lord opened her heart and her mind and she realised, to her shame, that it was for her own sake that all the changes were being made. If she stopped being an extravagant spender, it was for her own good. It was just sinful to have that many dresses, shoes or hand bags, and to spend so lavishly on such costly items. If she stopped being wasteful with food, eating expensive meals in restaurants, it was because there was no need to be so self indulgent. One does not live to eat, for sure…There were many areas that needed immediate attention, and thank God, she could see where she was being led in her journey of faith.
In the retreat that I have just had, I wish to share that the good Lord showed me how much he loved me. I had no end of consolation and the retreat has given me so much strength to go on, to try to live as a real disciple of Christ. No, I have done nothing to deserve God’s love and mercy. He just loves me as I am, and because this is so, it is my desire to return that love. As St Ignatius has taught us, let us love with our deeds. Words are cheap and it is not enough to say that I love the Lord. I need to walk the talk, and may God help me!
I see my future in the hands of God. I know the plans of God for me are good and with eyes of faith, I trust that he will help me in the days ahead, as he has always done and will always do. In the retreat, I renewed my commitment to walk with him, allowing him to lead and to direct. I also begged for the grace to be generous. Won’t you join me to pray with St Ignatius and all who love the Lord?
Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and not to ask for reward
save that of knowing that I do your will, O Lord.