What a week!!
I finished my first semester as a teacher, had to go without heat or power in my house for the 2nd time in like 2 weeks (3rd time in a year), AND had an awesome retreat with some amazing people.
My head is going to kind of explode with all the awesomeness/tiredness that is my life right now, but I just wanted to highlight the retreat 'cause I know alot of you were praying for us (thanks! ;).
My spiritual director led 13 friends and I on a retreat in Middleburg, VA this past weekend. Father picked the theme centered around "Intense Love" and gave 5 talks about 5 "amorous mysteries": 1 John 4 (God is Love), John 3:16-17 (For God so Loved the World), Matt 22: 37-39 (Love of God and Love of Neighbor), John 15:13 (No Greater Love ), and 1 John 4:16-19 (We Love Because He First Loved Us)
Some points that really hit home for me were some of Father's starting points:
- Love is based in trust and faith. If we don't have faith/belief and then do not trust in that faith/belief- we cannot love.
- We have to be open and accept love.
- God is the source of all love.
Father also talked about the love languages, four loves, and how God fits into and expresses all these types of love. I was particularly struck by the romantic love of God.
I still have to reflect on all that God is doing and has done in the past year since last retreat, but God has certainly proven His Love for me and I feel Him asking me to be open as I was when I was discerning the convent. The discernment process before I entered required this trust, faith, and acceptance of God's love- also, I had to examine the romantic love of God since He was going to be the main Man in my life!
It was really cool to see that from all different vocations- there were 3 couples on retreat, some singles, a married mom, and 2 engaged folks-we all connected to this theme of the "Intense Love of God" in different ways.
There were 14 of us- the same number of retreatants we had last year ;) Some of the folks were the same, some new. The snow and power outages put some kinks in our plans last minute, but the snow ended up adding a peaceful stillness for me in the end. As someone who has been vocal about how much I dislike snow and winter, I found myself enjoying the snow covered, quiet scenery on retreat.
I also find it interesting that we've had 14 people on retreat both years. Teaching Old Testament, I teach my students how the Gospel writer Matthew used the number 14 in his genealogy to bring the point home that Jesus was from David and therefore the Messiah. 7 is a symbol of a sacred oath or covenant in Hebrew culture and so the number 14 was doubly perfect! I like to think the same of our group: doubly perfect! :)
The retreat was definitely a great way to start 2011 and to end my first semester. I'm so blessed to have such great friends and spiritual director!
Here's to "intense love" in 2011 ;) Thanks again for your prayers!