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A semi-silent retreat was conducted by The Verbum Dei Missionary Family over the weekend of March 23 and 24, 2019 at the Verbum Dei Center of Evangelization in Tagaytay City. Open to people from all walks of life, participants were invited to a weekend of prayer and silent reflection for a more meaningful celebration of the Lenten season.
The retreat started with a simple dynamic where participants shared their expectations for the retreat followed by a talk given by Sister Amy. She welcomed participants and invited them to a deeper prayer and encounter with God. She also introduced participants to the attitudes of prayer to be adopted during the retreat after which they were then given time to pray and reflect in silence.
The participants were then gathered again to delve deeper into the theme of the retreat with the second talk of the morning. Given by Sister Amy, she dove into the heart of the invitation to come home, exploring what it means to have a home and also what being ‘beloved’ by God entails. This was followed by lunch and then a short time of sharing where the participants were divided into small groups to share among themselves the fruit of their morning in prayer. Sister Marla then gave the first talk of the afternoon. With Jesus as an example, she explored with the participants how they can live being at home with God.
Later in the afternoon, Sister Amy had the participants reflect more inwardly with her talk. She invited participants to look at where they could have turned away from the home of God in their lives. This was to prepare for the moment of confession made available to the participants in the evening. During this time, Shiela Marie Ramos, a lay disciple of the Verbum Dei Family, also shared about her own experiences with God’s mercy and His constant invitation for her to come home in her life. The day was completed with the participants gathering together to pray the rosary and meditate on how Mary can help and accompany them in staying at home with God.
Sunday was started off with participants joining the Verbum Dei Tagaytay community in their celebration of the Eucharist at the chapel. Mass was then quickly followed by the last guidelines of the retreat. In it, Sister Marla challenged participants to the missionary nature of the Lenten invitation of coming home. Participants were led to reflect on sharing the joy they received in being at home with God as they had experienced during the weekend. To round off the whole retreat, participants broke up into their small groups again for another round of sharing, after which a few participants gave testimonies of their entire retreat experience to the whole group. It was truly a blessed weekend of coming back to and being at home with God.
Here are some photos of the event:
With thanks to Abel Paune and the WordNews team
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