Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Retreat accompaniment accross the Globe - Africa

An excerpt of an eight day encounter with Jesus!
Theme: Gratitude "All is Grace" - A Pauline retreat
Confessio Spei (The Birth Pangs) Gal. 4:1-7

“God sent his Son, born of a woman…born under the law…to ransom those under the law…so that we might receive adoption.”

As I reflected and prayed on this passage and on the reflection questions what came to me was Advent- the coming of our Lord. I saw it as a time of waiting…a time of hoping…with expectant hope…for the coming of God. At the end of prayer this is what I wrote:

Questions cross my mind
Seeking for logical answers
But there is no logic in your love, Lord
You desired to share your divinity with me
Without any reason
Simply because you want it and you willed it by becoming man
So I can share in your divinity
But your love does not stop there
You want to share, too, in my humanity, in my poverty so I can be rich
God becoming helpless and embracing poverty
What explanations can there be if not for the greatness of your love?
The patience that you bore when you were in the womb
To bring forth light and salvation to the world
O Jesus, that I may share in that salvific mission
That I may bring people close to you
That I may draw them to you
In my own helplessness and powerlessness
For in weakness power reaches perfection
In my weakness is your strength
Jesus, you know my desires
To bring all people back to your Father
May your Divine image be implanted in me.

It has been six days since I started my retreat. There are moments when prayer becomes dry and no insights come. There are times when I am moved with emotions and yet I have persevered in moments when there seems to be nothing. In that nothingness, time is pregnant…waiting to unfold…I am peaceful and content to be with my God. I don’t rely on feelings because it can be fleeting. I can only believe, trust, hope in your love, Lord, my God.

Confessio Pastoralis Gal. 6:18

At the end of prayer this is what I wrote:

God’s image desires to be free
Like that bird in my hands once day
It struggled to be free of the house which is not its natural habitat
To soar, to fly up in the sky, to hop from branch to branch of the tree with its fellow birds
Then it lay docile in my hands
Awaiting for what will come
I freed it from the window
I thrust it in the wind
And automatically it flew straight to the tree
It’s being telling it to fly
To be what it is
The image of God in me groans and cries to be free
But it had to be docile
To God’s plan and to my response
Like the head of the lion
Awaiting to be freed from the marble
To take shape, to be what it is
It has to be freed from what it is not what it is
Chip by chip part of me that keeps that image imprisoned have to go
The desire always to prove, to be better than anyone else, to be perfect
The desire to be loved and accepted so I tried to do things
During the accident I was nothing
But the sisters did the best they can for me
I was not valued anymore for what I can do
Because at that time I can do nothing
I lay there helpless, waiting
And I was loved and valued as a person
As a child of God, as a sister
Lord, I have so much to learn
So much still to learn
So your image can be freed!
Thank you…I always remain grateful for all that you are showing to me
I am grateful for your love and compassion
It is pure love and compassion that I am what I am now.


All these days as I looked at my life I’ve known and experienced JESUS as LOVE, COMPASSION AND MERCY, and his love is gratuitous. I don’t deserve it but it is just by his own choice that He has shown me love, mercy, compassion. All is grace! Tuttto e grazia! Lord, how great you are! I can only praise, love and thank you!

Practical questions came to my mind and doubts and apprehensions came: How can I proclaim God in my situation ( I am still having difficulty in walking). I experienced the reassurance of God in his words in Scriptures: I have loved you with an everlasting love so I have kept you for my mercy (Jer. 31:3); for I know what my plans for you are; plans to save you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29)

The way I see things and the future is different from how God sees them, different from my plans. I can only trust, believe, hope in His love. The future lies in His hands and He will bring to fulfillment what His plans are
PARADOX: In my seeming helplessness and nothingness is God’s greatness
In my seeming uselessness is the great power to preach not by my words but by
In my seeming uselessness, I am doing great things without my knowing for it is
not in my power but God
I bowed down and say my FIAT with Mary in faith and trust: Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be down according to what you said.
To bring Christ to the world like Mary is a mystery and God will fulfill it according to His plans. He will be made know in ways that He knows. I can only believe, trust, hope in His LOVE!
Lord, you are great!
To serve the Lord in humility, in tears and trials, give all my best, preach, catechize by words and example.

A M E N!!!!!
Sr. Elsa Solas, cm
Annual Retreat: 24 September-1 October 2009
Carmelite Missionaries, 25 Masai West Road, Nairobi, Kenya

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