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"Into the desert with Jesus"
Around 85 people, many new, joined the Verbum Dei one day Lenten recollection in Christ the King Parish, Greenmeadows on 20 March 2019. The opening dynamic helped us deepen the Lenten means of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The 1st guidelines by Fr James focused on the Lenten message of Pope Francis where we were invited to enter into the desert with Jesus to allow Him to transform the barren land into a fruitful garden - Isaiah 51:3 “Her deserts he shall make like Eden, her wasteland like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness shall be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of song.”
The participants were also invited to enhance the perspective of their Lenten journey and transformation in line with the invite of Pope Francis: “by concretely welcoming Christ’s victory over sin and death into our lives, we will also radiate its transforming power to all of creation.” (Pope Francis, Lenten message 2019).
In the afternoon, Stella Deriquito, a Verbum Dei apostle gave a beautiful talk on the effects of sin. We were invited to see our sins not as a LIST but as a LOSS – where we lose out on our relationship with God, with others, with self and with the whole cosmos. We were reminded that our prayer during this time is not to close ourselves off in a purely private world. “To pray is not to step outside history and withdraw to our own private corner of happiness. When we pray properly we undergo a process of inner purification which opens us up to God and thus to our fellow human beings as well.” (Pope emeritus Benedict XVI).
The closing homily centered on the importance of the mission of the Church and that the whole of creation is waiting with “eager expectation” (Romans 8:19) to learn how to pray. “Let us not allow this season of grace to pass in vain! Let us ask God to help us set out on a path of true conversion. Let us leave behind our selfishness and self-absorption, and turn to Jesus’ Pasch” (Pope Francis, Lenten message 2019).
Happy onward Lenten journey!
With thanks to the WordNews team
Verbum Dei Musuan had its first ever silent retreat from 6pm on Friday March 22 to lunchtime on Sunday March 24. It was attended by around 20 participants, mostly youth. They did very well with the silence and were very participative. Many were coming from busy schedules and were hungry and thirsty for the Word of God. The retreat was run by an ecclesial team – Pearl (Rebusit) from the misioneras and James (McTavish) from the misioneros.
The retreat focused on prayer with the Trinity. The participants were reminded of the centrality of the Word in our prayer because we listen to God when we pray with the Sacred Scripture (see Dei verbum, no. 25). Following the advice of Jesus, we entered into our inner room, closed the door and prayed to our Father who sees in secret (Matthew 6:6). The mid-part of the retreat centered our prayer in a dialogue with our loving Father who has loved us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). Darwin, one of the participants shared that what helped him most was to experience the mercy of God. Jaime Bonet, the Verbum Dei founder compared the mercy of God to a blood transfusion - “In front of more sin, there is more love of God. The more the mercy of God is poured out over the misery of the sinner who has a very severe hemorrhage! God gives you more blood, more life.”
A time of prayer was also had with Mother Mary in the rosary followed by prayer in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The final part of the retreat focused on prayer with the holy Spirit. “In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings” (Romans 8:26).
For most of the participants it was their first experience of a silent retreat and they discovered God wanted so much to speak to them.
We continue to pray for the perseverance of Verbum Dei in Musuan!
With thanks to Pearl, James and the WordNews team
Lenten Season is a journey with Jesus. It is when we travel with him to prepare for his Passion, Death and Resurrection. That was exactly what happened in the last March 17,2019 when a total of 15 individuals that comprised of Singles and two priests had gathered together in the Lenten Pilgrimage Recollection organized by the Verbum Dei Pansol, Quezon City at Holy Land, Subic.
On our way to the Holy Land the participants were asked to draw of what describes their present situation in life which ignited the reflective mood of the event.
The activity of the day formally started with a Holy Mass and it formed part of our way of the cross. In the succeeding stations, there were different dynamics and testimonies given for the participants to enter more in the passion and death of Jesus on the cross.
Lent is a great time to journey within. It is a time to examine our lives and see on how we are doing in the journey. It is a time to view our lives in the perspective of Jesus Christ who gave his life for us (see John 15:13) “There's no greater love than this than a man would give his life for his friends". May this season bring us closer to Him.
Thanks to Francis Santos and the WordNews team
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