Pauline Retreat Photo in St Thecla Retreat Courtyard
On September 21 - 23, 14 persons, some professed Cooperators and others who are interested in becoming Cooperators, gathered at our St. Thecla's Retreat House for a prayerful retreat experience. It was truly a blessed time filled with quiet reflection, and even in this prayerful atmosphere, some scattered whispered conversations were heard, which evidenced the joy of being together. I felt blessed to be able to be present among this graced and faith-filled group of people. Following is retreat reflection from one of the promised Cooperators - Marianne Toth. Learning From Jesus and St. Paul An opportunity to enter into prayer, into conversation with our God, to quietly be with God and hear His gentle voice, to get to know God better - gifts that I was given during our silent Cooperator Retreat the weekend of September 21-23. The theme of God's unconditional love for us, loving our neighbor as our self, the role of suffering in our lives and methods of prayer were some of the main topics of discussion during the weekend. A presentation at the end of the retreat on forgiveness, the key to happiness and peace, touched all retreatants and left us with food for thoughtful meditation to take home with us. Our weekend closed with a beautiful hour of adoration focused on learning love from Jesus, our Master, and meditating on how God is inviting us to grow in the virtue of love so that we can become true disciples of Christ and live our lives filled with love and forgiveness. The fruit of the retreat experience was to develop a simple resolution on how to live our retreat experience in a practical way. After reading St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians during our hour of adoration, I was moved by this passage and strived to be more loving, patient, kind, to not dwell on past hurts, to be calm and listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to guide me to daily follow God's will in my life, to be filled with joy and to be a reflection of Christ for other people to see. Interestingly enough, St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians was the reading at Mass two days before the retreat and served as a confirmation for me. Words to a popular song came to mind during the retreat (which was also sung by the Daughters of St. Paul at their last Christmas concert): " I need a silent night, a holy night, to hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise. I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here, to end this crazy day with a silent night." My recent retreat not only gave me a silent night away from the craziness of everyday life, but a loving, silent and reflective weekend. A special "thank you" to all of the sisters who gave their time to provide a beautiful retreat weekend and help us to grow closer to Christ. I am already looking forward to next year's retreat!
Retreat Reflections at St Thecla's in Billerica, MA