The lover and the beloved


Yes, I remember. This was my response more than a decade ago. I had been involved in retreat work but I was busy ministering to others who came to be healed and renewed. I had the grace to take time off and I signed up for a short retreat  which seemed to have been tailored for my needs.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the Cenacle Sister Bubbles who conducted the retreat was excellent as God’s instrument. She helped me and guided me so well that I came away enriched and empowered. How wrong I had been about so many issues, and how long I had been holding on to my own views.

It took a short retreat to help me have a paradigm shift, and I am so glad I went.

Praying Our Belovedness – The Unique Voice of Henri Nouwen – This was the title and I dare say that all would benefit from it. Praise God for Sr. Bubbles who incidentally is joyful and has a LOVELY voice to sing the hymns that are so very beautiful.

Retreats, long or short, are good for our well being. Truly it is a necessity to put time aside so as to enjoy a real vacation with the Lord. At the retreat, one is assured again and again of God’s unfathomable and immense love.

God’s  love is for all time, long before we ever get hurt by anyone or suffer any rejection. God loves us so much, and only poor creatures like us need to be convinced of the fact that we are God’s beloved children. Each person is so precious, so very precious in the eyes of our Lord.

Our true spiritual work has to do with letting ourselves be loved fully, completely and to trust that in that love, we come to the fulfillment of our vocation. This is Henri Nouwenʼs gift and challenge, his enduring legacy for all time.

I would like to comment too on the photo attached to this post. It was painted by my young friend Gerry and this was one of her earliest works and if I may say so, one of her masterpieces. The simple rendition seems to be an expression of her inner life. It is an honest rendition of one’s relationship with God, and this painting seems to say it all. One need only to look at the Good Shepherd and the sheep to see what kind of friendship is shared.

Yes, if one wanted to, it would be easy to pray one’s belovedness with the painting as well. Do try! Praise God!