BOSCO INFORMATION SERVICE # 3202
THE LORD’S RANCH - GOD‘S OWN MEETING PLACE
Cl. Joyston Machado
DIVYADAAN-NASHIK, OCTOBER 30, 2012 : The community of Divyadaan travelled all the way to the Lord’s Ranch a place so beautifully clad by nature’s beauty. The community embarked with the intention of meeting the Lord in Silence, prayer and reflection. This retreat at the Lord’s Ranch has indeed been a moment of breaking out of one’s so comfortable cocooned living to allowing Christ’s love to guide us. Focusing on the theme ‘Heal me my Lord’, there were various topics which over the course of the days which would gear together to spell out this theme. We very often begin a spiritual Journey with ‘In the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.’ But this experience must not be one which would end by saying ‘As it was in the beginning, is now and at the hour of our death.’
The retreat was truly a changing moment for each and everyone. It showed us that we from being people who are so caught up in the routine of doing things, were slowly opening ourselves to allowing the spirit to work (rhythm) in us.
There were various themes that were selected for each day of the Retreat. At the end of each day a movie on the theme of the day was shown to all. The retreat preacher Fr. Richard D’silva through two sessions during the day and also animating the meditation and other moments of prayer made this retreat a lively spiritual experience for all. The Retreat was a moment of knowing our relationship with God and about God’s relation with us.
It was a moment to know that we are the amazing children of an Amazing God in life we are so often caught up in our little world that we think that our God is also one like us. But the truth is that we do not realize that we are children of a mighty God. Before I could make a shame of my life the Lord made a shame of his life by Dying on the cross. Before I decide what to do in my life, God has already decided what to do with my life. God is everywhere and in everything. From being in the deepest portion of my cell as Laminin as a CROSS, to revealing himself at the core of the Whirlpool galaxy in the form of a CROSS, God is there. And therefore we are the blessed children of a gracious God.
It was a moment of introspection within my life and a retrospection of my past this was a moment when we got to see ourselves as individuals who so often are busy performing things so selfishly, independently and boldly as we wander from one stage in life to another without making Christ truly the centre of our lives.
It was a moment of looking at my own ‘CALL’ our vocation is so very special. This was an opportunity to look at our individual vocation and our call. In the journey of life we are so often caught up with and are camouflaged by the things and people around us that the Lord’s call to ME – which is so special and unique, is almost lost in this journey.
Even when we take a look at our own Religious Life we notice it with a lot of negativity and pessimism. We fail to look at Religious life as a love being made visible through the person of Christ.
There is one thing the Psychologists says which is very true, that is the main problem that Religious face today is the whole question of,” Am I really called?” We often doubt whether we will remain faithful to the Lord, but in the long run forget that it’s not we but the Lord who is FAITHFUL to us.
It was a moment of sharing one’s cries with the Lord sometimes what triggers the most is that we individuals cry alone, little allowing our own parents, relatives, friends and even GOD know about what is going on within us. This is of utmost importance because when we only know that God who loves us so much is ready to listen to all that troubles us and all that hurts us, if only we can share it with him.
It was a moment to realize that our call is to be like Christ as religious we are called to be followers of Christ. We are called to follow Him by imitating him. Christ calls us to Holiness. To be alive is to be holy, and this is Christ’s wish for all of us.
It was a moment to realize that we are on a Journey our journey through life can be categorized into two halves. In one we are searching for a direction and an identity in which we are constantly striving to prove something to people (who I am? what can I be\do?) often relying on having more and getting more. And in the other we leave everything to find our happiness in Christ as we rely on giving more to people.
It was a moment of healing there are numerous of baggage’s we normally carry as we journey on in life. We little realize that this at times can cause a lot of harm to us, and in some way we lose our identity and direction in life. We give a lot of meaning to our burdens that we fail to realize that the Lord wants to touch our lives and help us to grow. There are loads of pain, suffering, troubles that we carry and which we are living with from the time of our birth. The retreat was an amazing moment of unloading all the unwanted baggages. In other words all our fears, anger, anxiety and guilt and all the others that stop us from being true witnesses of Christ’s through our very lives. The inner healing service which was so well animated by Patrick (the person who was responsible for our staying at the Lord’s Ranch and who was also co-coordinating the whole Retreat) these moments were indeed one which were so filled with an inner filling of one’s life with a little more of Christ and a much leaving out of our own past pains and hurts which for so long we have been battling with.
It was a moment of looking at the Vows as steps towards God the talk on the vows became so special and important in our search for God’s love
· Poverty: becomes so special because through it we ultimately take God as our greatest treasure and leave everything else behind.
· Chastity: is a complete giving of one’s love to someone who awaits it and is so madly in love with me. That is God.
· Obedience: is entering into a partnership with God when we listen and obey him through our elders and our superiors.
It was a moment of total surrender to God as religious we are invited to put our lives in God’s hands, so that I may change my life through Him. The Lord calls to a total giving up of oneself because its only in giving that God can make use of us to do the good that He intends to do through us. This is only possible if I allow Christ to work in my life.
It was a moment of looking at our communion with those in our community it’s so very easy to speak of community life, but so difficult to live in it. This is often the feeling of many. The thought that lingers in our minds of a community is one in which there are a lot of rubbing of shoulders, fights and misunderstandings, but that’s not the only meaning of a community. Living in a community means to be able to accept the other’s opinion, to be ready to have a good communication with all without setting barriers on some, to live in a family spirit completely ready to share one’s life selflessly to seek the good of the other.
A community is one which is built on Prayer and is fostered by an atmosphere of togetherness where challenges are a must for a united GROWTH of all.
We came for the retreat with our little Life in which we were Living In Full Energy, but we have to finish this experience with a Life in which we are Letting Christ’s Love To Flow In us and From us to Everyone
It’s said, “We know the tree by knowing the fruits”. These moments were not only a R-E-T-R-E-A-T without allowing anything really going deeper within oneself. But this has been a RE-TREATING of oneself with the true and selfless love of Christ in each of us and from us to everyone.
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