Cl. Nazarius Kharkongor sdb
DIVYADAAN, NOVEMBER 2, 2011: The community of Divyadaan attended their annual spiritual retreat from October 25 – October 31, 2011. The preacher of the retreat, Rev. Fr. Lawrence D'souza, the Rector of Resurrection Church Virar, facilitated and helped the retreatants to enter into self-reflection and to develop a relationship with Jesus during these grace filled days.
In his introductory talk, Fr. D'Souza spoke about Pentecost, the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit and His role in people's lives. The brothers were also reminded of their commitment to Jesus, personal responsibility for decisions and happiness in God. The time-table of the retreat was made in a manner conducive to pray and reflect. There were two talks on the theme of the day and this theme was also the focus of the adoration service.
The themes focused on during these grace days were prayer; temptation, sin and forgiveness; vocation and Salesian identity; Mary our mother and Jesus' resurrection. The preacher spoke to the attendants about prayer as a personal relationship with God. Highlighting the Strenna of 2009, he emphasized: 'You all are a Treasure - a Treasure in the Salesian Family which has grown from a Seed to a big Tree and now into a Wood'. He reiterated the truth that prayer is the gift of the Holy Spirit and also urged the brothers to pray for the gift of fidelity in order to relive the life of their founder, Don Bosco. With some input, anecdotes and personal experiences, Fr Lawrence invited the brothers to a renewed conversion so as to become 'Alter Christus' in reaching out to the teeming millions of youth, fulfilling the Salesian mission of Don Bosco whose spirit is ever present and ever active. Return to Don Bosco is the call. Fr. D'Souza reminded the retreatants of their existence in this even changing world; yet clinging on to Jesus, the rock of all ages, who remains immutable. He urged them to be committed, creative and compassionate, in the service of the young, by putting on the garment of chastity in obedience and poverty.
He also underlined the role of Mary our mother, in life and that of women in society. The nursing of a mother was compared to the Congregation's love for her sons. Realizing the fact that their mother, the Salesian family, has never let them down, should require of them a self-sacrificing love of being at the service of her mission. A deeper knowledge of Jesus' resurrection evokes an experience of great joy. He stressed on the miraculous power of the Holy Mass wherein Christ is recognized at the breaking of the bread. He invited the brothers to be a source of joy to others especially the young, by their newness of life in Christ.
The retreat was brought to a graceful culmination by the Holy Eucharist celebrated by Fr. Savio D'souza, the Rector of Divyadaan. During the Sacrifice, he stressed on the Transfiguration experience that helps us live the God experience in our daily lives.
The annual spiritual retreat was well appreciated as it gave an occasion to concentrate on our relationship with Jesus. The brothers thanked and prayed for Fr Lawrence for sharing his deep spiritual insights and his Salesianity. The community was renewed and rejuvenated in their consecration to God, the Don Bosco way and ready to work wholeheartedly for the mission to the young at risk.