HOLY THURSDAY SHARING

 

Thank you for joining us today.
Hope to see you tomorrow
for our Good Friday retreat.

But before you go,
consider posting a comment below.

 

sharinghands

 

How about sharing something
about your experience today?
You never know,
but what you share may actually help
a fellow online retreatant.

You may want  to share an experience
or an insight into God or into yourself–
a prayer, or just a question.

Or you may just want to mention a grace
or blessing that you received today
that you are most thankful for.

No need to identify yourself,
so you can be as honest as you wish.

Our online team of spiritual directors
will try to respond to you as soon as possible.

 

spiritual-conversation

 

If you feel the need to engage
in an online spiritual conversation,
feel free to go to our virtual chatroom
just in case one of our spiritual directors is available.

Click HERE to go to the chatroom.

See you tomorrow–
and remember to pray
for our virtual community of retreatants.

 

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images from shareable.net, soulshepherding.org

195 thoughts on “HOLY THURSDAY SHARING”

  1. This may be a selfish thought to ask but it is what came to mind authentically during the Holy Thursday retreat. I wondered how Christ managed when He made mistakes. When He succumbed to temptation like the rest of humanity does. And yet He never succumbed to the devil did He? How can I ask What Would Jesus Do after succumbing to temptation when I have no reference to What Jesus Did Do in such a case, because there was no such case? What is His way to repentance?

    The closest parallel I could think of between Christ and a sinner trying to find God again was when Christ questioned His Father why He had abandoned Him: The shared desperation in finding God. And yet, Christ ultimately surrendered Himself to God. And even though He was innocent He took the punishment of all sinners upon Himself, after graciously defending Himself before the Sanhedrin.

    It became clearer to me then, given Christ’s teachings and appointment of Peter as the Rock of the Church despite the whole rooster betrayal thing, that Christ’s role is not to be a model sinner, but a model forgiver. In a paradoxical way, knowing there is forgiveness, and someone willing to help us receive (and bestow) forgiveness, sinners on earth find it possible to seek repentance. In fact, without Christ, Who forgave humanity–and through Whom God forgave humanity–I find it difficult to find any other way of Divine redemption.

  2. Thank you for this online retreat. Since getting married, I have not been able to attend yearly silent retreats like I used to. Holy week has passed but I am only able to continue the retreat today (2nd day). May I request for prayers to be guided by the holy spirit and receive God’s graces during this retreat. Thank you.

  3. it’s simply stupendous and at the same time humbling to realise that what Jesus went through for our sake in his suffering and death – just to show us that he is truly Emmanuel – God-with-Us – in the darkest and most painful moments of life. what an awesome God he is. how blessed we are to have him as our Lord and saviour. may he always be glorified in whatever we do, think and say.

    1. Knowing how Jesus suffered for our sins shows how He loved His FATHER and us ! An obedient son of God and an awesome saviour of sinful mankund. And after His death on the cross,He sits at the right hand of our Father God still loving us,by watching over us,guiding,and repeatedly forgiving our sins, withough us being nailed on the cross like Jesus .Sins and mistakes are man maDE either by us,or by people around us.Therefore,we have no right to blame God nor Hesus. Anen

  4. I had so many before I got married though my parents did not earned that much. I had been comparing my freedom with friends….but as I learned that being married is like knowing my own values, what do I really need, and what he needs – I learn to give than to receive – is what I love to do. The experiences are enhanced as I changed job with the military. I realized how to show accomplishments or achievements without bragging through reporting system. Before I felt that this is too much…I cannot handle anymore. I thank God He has provided strength and endurance to bear all of the hardships and losses. I never think this how I can be strengthen not only emotionally but spiritually.

  5. today, I recognize the full humanity of Jesus … experiencing both physical and emotional pain, reacting as a man… shouting his ” resentment” for being left alone… for being allowed to experience this darkness, the darkness that exploded and opened the complete union of the human and the divine. Paradise is once again open, God is with us in this chaotic world we live in, we just have to recognize his presence.

  6. Such a difficult consolation, that is, to stay in the pain, without getting angry because there’s no solution or any way out. There are only tears for the loss of young and innocent lives, for those going hungry for no fault of their own, for so many who have no place to call home..

    To have faith in a silent God when the world is breaking apart before your eyes and your heart is ripped open by what you see, is definitely grace. It surely can’t come from me.

  7. there are so many spiritual enlightenment at the Last Supper. I can say that the one who leaves immediately during fellowship “owns” an evil heart.. like Judas. The one who plots against somebody, or worse, to everybody.

    Jesus, grant me the grace of the Last Supper. Let go of my fear of being betrayed by a friend. Let me obtain the gift of LOVE.. to love the “unlovable,” and to always seek God hidden in all things.. AMEN.

  8. I felt the immense love of the Lord whenever I recall the times that I was left alone in the midst of my journey. The realization that God never abandoned me showed up with the people that He sent in those difficult times. God is indeed never get tired of chasing us. He is always there for us and will never leave us.

  9. I never contemplated on what Jesus felt on the night of Holy Thursday when He was in jail. Neither did it ever occur to me that his greatest pain was not physical or psychological but His sense of separation. Thank you very much for this online retreat.

    1. Thank You ever dearest Lord Jesus for being ever present and truly alive among us today in Your Holy Eucharist–where You bring us to Your Home, to Your Heart of Love. Praise and thank You Lord Jesus for Your unfathomable love for us sinners. Never allow us to be separated from Your Perfect Love eternally united to the Heavenly Father, embraced by the Holy Spirit and cradled by the Immaculate Heart of Mother Mary. Lead us all to Your Eternal Banquet of Love in Heaven. Amen.

    2. Thank You ever dearest Lord Jesus, You are the Living Word. Let the power of Your Divine Word, enshrined in Your Most Sacred Heart of Love protect us and free us from the snares of the evil one. For You are the Son of God, Savior, Redeemer, Messiah, Emmanuel, Lord of all, Glory of the Father. Let us praise Your Name forever through Your Words, with the fire of Your Holy Spirit, and with Mama Mary and your angels and saints in Heaven. Amen.

    3. thank you Lord for the opportunity to experience you again thru this retreat. I am thankful for all the blessings.I do hope though to channel all of these to my special child.She has not been well.I pray that she will again want to experience the beauty of this world that you have created rather than limit herself to her own space.In Jesus name I pray amen

  10. I am simply grateful for God’s Love and thank you Jesus for dying for us. I am now enchanted..it is like the Universe opened and all pain and baggage of past..forgiven

    1. Be thankful for the wonderful grace you have received. We continue to pray for more graces for you in the coming days.

  11. Wow! 10 years. Can’t believe I am taking part on this meaningful retreat for the last decade.

    In the past years, I witnessed how disenchantment, disappointment, and disaffection coloured my career. I gave much of my self. And then I thought of making sense out of all these. I realized that I am privileged to experience all of these, to walk on water, and to still keep the faith.

    1. Thank you for keeping us company all these years. Let us keep praying for each other that we can continue walking on water.

  12. This retreat is very timely, indeed, because I have been wondering, for the longest time, why God just never granted this one request I had, and that is to find the one for me, my partner in life. And I’m far away from home now, and I was feeling really lonely. And I remember a day, just a few weeks ago, when I was crying in bed, begging, just BEGGING, God to save me from my loneliness, and bring me someone so I would no longer have to face my struggles alone. Because each day that passed by I felt closer and closer to despair. Everyone had someone, but not me. I was always alone, I never fit in, never.

    But the answer was always a firm “No”.

    But then, days after that, completely by chance actually, I found friends who made it feel so much less lonely here, and even opened up opportunities for me, opportunities that I never could have gotten on my own, because I was always so shy and anxious and afraid to ask for what I really want. So I realized that the answer may have been “No” to my specific prayer, but it was a “Yes” too, just not in the way I had thought. And I just had to have faith, even when it sometimes could be so hard, because I still wish someone would see me that way, and be loved the way other people are. I think God understands that, too, and He’s always there by our side, waiting patiently for the day we understand His plan.

    1. Hi Marie, thank you for sharing this. I feel the same. I hesitated to respond because a part of me would always dismiss my longing as “part of the sacrifice” that i have to do as i fulfill my vocation as a humanitarian worker in Africa. But I do tell God that I am lonely and I wish He would grant my prayer too. As much as I love my job/vocation and think that I am making God proud of my work, the separation from family and friends and the minimal opportunities to get to know someone have been tough. I beg for the grace to wait patiently as well. God bless you.

    2. Thank you for sharing this, Marie! I am in the same situation too, asking God to ease my loneliness and to give me friends and a community. But somehow, the answer has always been “No”. I have always wondered why. Your sharing has made me realize that maybe I was too focused on a specific expectation and am not open to a different way by which God will answer me.

    3. Thank you for sharing your story. You are not alone. I can understand what you must be going through. I, too, have yet to meet “The One” and I know the loneliness. While I haven’t cried that much, there was a moment when I felt so alone and lonely. I was in the ER, watching over my elderly. That was the time when I was freezing from the aircon room, wondering how I’ll pay for the medical bill, that I wished I had someone who would hold my hand, let me cry on his shoulder and tell me everything will be okay.

      I’m glad you’ve met new friends. It confirms what I’ve been told: that God will never let you be alone completely.

  13. I am struck by the phrase “divine indifference”, a sinking feeling that may be God does not care all that much. Actually, when I think of the countless ways that God guides us to live a holy life, sometimes it crosses my mind if He does not get exasperated from all our excuses and stubbornness. Of course He is hurting just like we parents feel when our children do not see the wisdom behind our words of advice. He allows us to use our free will even if we go overboard. But He is there patiently waiting for us to get to our senses. He does not let go of us despite our human-ness. Sometimes His silence is just too defeaning especially when we pray real hard and His silence just goes on and allows things to take its natural course. When we are at our lowest point to the point of desperation, this is when we see His Hand and clearly understand His Wisdom.

  14. This year for me is about coming home to God, who has been a trivial part of my life for the past 9 years. I feel unworthy but welcomed. One might say that the past 9 years has been a period of great disenchantment, because there were so many low points in my life at the time that I did not believe He cared for me. So why am I deciding to go back? Because I have realized that with Him I can truly find peace, and I have begun to understand that there are reasons why certain prayers are not granted. Like all good parents, God knows before we do what is truly good for us. Jesus understood this first and foremost, which is why he ended his prayers with the fervent wish that God’s will be done.

    1. It’s a struggle many of us share with you, Joe.
      Even as we are challenged by God’s seeming silence, we are continually invited to trust that he will never abandon us.

  15. The topic really strucked me. I was praying to God to give me a good man to be my bestfriend,my boyfriend, husband and father to my kids. But he failed me evrytime i met someone nice soon as our conversation gets better they just slipp away and gone. I did evrything to deserve the answer to my prayer but God refused me. I have no choice but to continue trusting him and leave it all according to his will. Even though my faith is shaken. After all i have nothing to do when he says “No”.

  16. What struck me today was the first sign after Jesus expired on the cross. The curtain of the Temple was ripped from top to bottom. This signified the “end of the separation of God from man. It made me not just cry but i sobbed. I sobbed deeply because i was deeply touched by God’s unfailing love for me…YES. It cost Jesus’ life for he who is the son of God, who shares his intimacy with His Father was equally not spared. He had to suffer and die for us sinners so we may have the privelege of gaining the unity with God once lost in the Garden of Eden.
    Tearing up the Temple Curtain is also like Opening the Gates of Heaven so that after Jesus’ death, all souls who died in the Grace of God were able to enter Heaven. Wounded for our transgressions, by His stripes we are healed!

  17. I shared earlier that I have never felt abandoned by God. More than ever, I realized that God has been listening to my prayers. I feel so blessed and my prayer now is to share this same faith with my children..that they too will recognized how much God loves them and how blessed they are..
    Dear God, Thank you for all your blessings and i hope to share these faith and blessings with others.

  18. If we would only realize what separation from God truly means, as Jesus Christ our Lord felt, we would embrace His invitation to believe & receive Him as Lord & personal Saviour. Then we will no longer suffer the second death, eternal separation from God, rather live eternally in the presence of God & Jesus Christ, His Son.

  19. Unlike other retreats that are so intellectualized, your retreat was one that talked to the heart as you shared your own personal experiences. Indeed, you subtly voiced the sentiments of many who are caught up in the turmoil of events today, not only in our country but in the whole world as well, and feel God is so distant. You were right that the most excruciating pain of Our Lord was the feeling of abandonment of the Father. And I also personally think that another pain He felt was the pain of disillusionment when Our Lord foresaw what would happen to humanity centuries after His death- hate, war, violence, and sins of immorality. In other words, Our Lord could have asked His Father ” Father, is this all worth it? Why are you allowing this suffering when the world will still remain sinful and destructive?” Your retreat was most relevant because many, especially, the youth of today who are caught up in the confusion and pressures of school, work and home feel God is not relevant in their live. Hence, the rates of depression and suicide rising, drugs as an escape, and the distanciating of themselves from the Church. Thank you for deepening my spirituality today.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Tess. Yes, personal is always best. :-)
      Hopefully, our insight into the Lord’s pain will also bring us to a better appreciation of his great love for us.

  20. I lost my only daughter when she was eight years old. That was 1988, 29 years ago. I felt abandoned, and desperate for miracles to bring her out of her coma. For so long, I struggled to understand the events that transpired. Slowly, one has to accept the Will of God. His plans may not be transparent and obvious to us at that point in time, but slowly, by maintaining out faith in Him we will realize that we have to share our Saviour’s cross.

  21. I never thought God abandoned me. He was always there. But I never knew (and still don’t know) what “His will” is. Perhaps this is my disenchantment; and I have been in “perpetual disenchantment.”

    Maybe a “perpetual disenchantment” isn’t that bad, because “there’s no other way but up.” It forces me to learn from the past, move on, and hope (this was never easy).

    Again, I face a crossroad. Is it God’s plan? Is it His will? I’ll never know until I try (again).

  22. Thank you LORD for the grace of having a close personal encounter with YOU specially in YOUR spiritual Pain through these 2 days of retreat. Thank YOU for making me understand “God’s none interference, His apparent Divine indifference & Divine Inaction”. Thank you LORD for YOUR Immense LOVE and I pray that I will be able to be faithful in reciprocating this LOVE through my neighbor. Amen.

  23. My first realization is that I learned very early to trust in God’s plan. When you lose your father at age 14, you can be angry and question why a good man has been taken away from his wife and children OR you can just pray and hope that it is because God has a plan for you. In retrospect, I will never know if it was for the best but I guess it was necessary for God’s plan to work.

    My second realization is that Jesus needed to be surrounded by his friends even at this time. We are made to be surrounded by people from whom we gain strength and whose company makes us feel loved. We want to be remembered by them. We relish the time we are together especially when those times are few and far between. I miss my son and my daughter who are now so far away from me but I trust in God to make sure that they are fine and living the lives they were meant to live.

    My third realization – :
    “Look for the God hidden in things.”

    Don’t take reality at face value;
    don’t limit your search to the surface
    because the Lord will not be found there.
    To find the divine, we need to look attentively.

    1. “To find the divine, we need to look attentively.”
      Yes to this!

      It can be tempting to think that unfortunate events in our lives are willed by God, but this runs counter to our understanding of a Creator who loves us immensely. God desires for us to be happy. But when these bad things happen, I am sure God is also working through various ways to manifest that loving concern for us. It’s not always easy to feel it, thus the need to look attentively. :-)

  24. That picture of the kids playing amidst the ruins was for me a picture that life finds a way. Amidst the destruction and the desiolation and the overwhelming hate that somehow pervades our world today, the human spirit prevails. It moved me. I need to believe that my God is ever present even during the time when it seems he wasn’t. He was in Gethsemane too but as every parent knows, there are times when you cannot offer your comfort because it is something the child must go through. I find solace in a God who is like that because eventually He always has my back. And I will be able to play amidst the ruins like the kids.

  25. To err is human..to forgive is divine…too often we err in thinking that just by praying..we can get what we want and it is very easy to blame others for not getting what we want. .remembering the Lord and how he accepted what is and continuing to forgive others for what has come to be..and moving forward to make ones life on earth a litany of good works for the good of mankind …ultimately without conditions. .this becomes divine with Christ!

  26. True enough that sometimes we doubt God during our difficult times if He was truly there. And sometimes we blame Him for our bad situations. I was once in that situation myself when I blamed God for all the hardships I encountered in my life. I doubted Him many times until I got to the point of disbelieving Him. But His love for me and my family is greater than my anger, greater than my faithless heart, greater than my doubts. One day He came to the rescue me when I was about to give up my life. One of my sister in laws invited me to join the Life in the Spirit Seminar (she used to invite us but I kept on refusing), but that day though I don’t have sleep yet from my graveyard shift something really called me to join that seminar so I did along with my Husband. At first I was just observing the people around us. Then later I found myself listening intently to the speakers and during the calling of the Holy Spirit, I didn’t realize that I was already crying because I felt something hugged me and something was telling me it is alright and I am just right here. I knew then that it was God or the Holy Spirit comforting me. And all the burdens I felt for the last 7 years of my life disappeared. I knew then and there that God never abandoned me. He was there all along. After that event, my relationship with my husband, my children and my family especially to my mother and siblings got better. We still experienced trials, problems and hardships in life but ever since I allowed God to be the center of our lives all of those became so easy to handle. And now my family and I joined the Loved Flock Community and serving the Lord. So to you brothers and sisters in Christ, if you ever feel like giving up just hold on to Him. Trials and problems arise even when we follow Christ but once you allow Him to be the center of your life I assure you that He will be there to help you. Just keep the faith.

    1. Thanks, Sarah.
      It’s so true. Trials will never leave us.
      But trusting that God will also be there makes a big difference in how we deal with our problems.

  27. Thank you for this online retreat

    I feel also like GOD, abandoned from my family & GOD, but in the absence of my family there’s no other person that i need to call only GOD, all my success its because the love of GOD, my life has a very long story that my inspired people and cry,,

  28. The key point that struck me most is that the most painful part of Jesus suffering was the Spiritual pain…

    I myself go through some sort of deep pain and suffering in my heart whenever I feel that I am alone and that my future is uncertain…

    It is wrong to feel envy but there are times when I feel envious of people who have found their lifetime partners, beginning to build their families and have kids of their own… those were my moments of disenchantment… that instead
    of being happy for these people why do I feel jealous? Why do I pity myself? Why do i see the things that I lack instead of the things that I have?…

    I allow myself to go to these rough times… be downtrodden and broken… and

    With this retreat, I realized how human Jesus Christ was… how he was like me… that he was deeply hurt… that he was alone far from the divine…

    Dear Jesus,
    You are with us in our sorrow and pain… and today, I remember the times when you were suffering for the sake of humankind… my struggles will never compare to what you had… but your example made me realize that I am just human and I just need to rise up from my miseries and disenchantments and be more like you… to pray and believe that God is just there… looking after us… Amen.

    1. Thanks for this, Anon_D.
      Jesus is one with us in our humanity. He knows our pain.
      But he is also God and his grace provides us with the means to achieve the divinity that we aspire to.

  29. Thank you so much for the on Lions retreat , I ❤️The Lord more each day .I will try to be more merciful and compassionate as the Lord has been to us, there’s is no ❤️Greater than his .We will never truly know Christ unless we have suffer and undergo the crosses on our own lives .What are we if we do not know Christ .

    1. How true. Sometimes, we get to know God better when we encounter pain and suffering in our lives… not just in those times of prosperity and joy.

  30. God bless you Father and your team for putting these retreats together for the past 10 years. A friend introduced this to me a couple of days ago. That first image, the war scene, triggered other scenes in the world I feel sorry esp. for the children who have had to suffer through all this. Then, there’s the famine as well in Africa. I couldn’t think of any personal experience which left me so so disenchanted with God (or maybe i haven’t dug deep enough) but i definitely feel despair at the world’s chaos and pain. Through it all, we are reminded that the Lord God is still in control and that He cares.

    1. Thanks for choosing to spend part of your Holy Week with us.

      Yes, we must all do our little part to make the world a better place for everyone.
      It’s God’s project and we are his co-workers.

  31. Typhoon Ondoy still continues to haunt me. Why did God let it happen? If I’m asked that same question I wouldnt know what or how to answer. You cannot say it’s God’s will to a person who lost everything and everyone in his life. So why didnt God intervene?

    1. Why doesn’t God intervene when there are horrible natural disasters?

      This is a tough question.

      Not sure there will be a satisfactory answer in our lifetime.

      But we can also ask, “Where was God when all this was taking place?”

      That question, I think, will be easier to answer.

  32. The thoughts of thousands of refugees here in Europe always lead me to ask question Where is God? Why they are suffering tremendously. But inspite of that question I still believe that God is journeying with them. This retreat reminds me to continue to trust that God is with us and He suffered much for us so I must not afraid to face the trials and challenges of life.I thank the Lord for choosing you to be instrument of His mercy and love for us.

    1. Yup, there are many things going around the world that make us feel that way, MSS.
      But the consistent invitation, like you said, has always been to trust.

  33. Thank you for this online retreat! I’ve always felt alone, and disenchanted. Always wondering where God is during the times I needed him most. This retreat reminded me that I am not alone – and that Jesus himself experienced the divine indifference I am experiencing now, yet, he went through his passion all for His faith, and His love for God and His people. I want to remember this always, and I ask for God’s grace to help me find Jesus in my daily life.

    Thank you again for this retreat!

  34. Most Holy Weeks I bring out DVDs as part of the reflection and prayer. I start with Jesus Christ Superstar.

    Though I have watched the film many many times, I was more teary eyed this time. Many challenges, feeling of aloneness but finding encouragement in family and friends.

    And God.

    “His Will is hard but he holds every card. I will drink the cup of poison, feel it burn me. Beat me and kill me now, before I change my mind.”

    1. I too get goosebumps every time I watch Jesus Christ Superstar especially the Gethsemane scene and Christ’s pleadings and debate with the Father. The ranting begins when Christ realizes that Passion was about to begin and once the ball starts rolling it could not be stopped… in the ends he relents and say “ok, I’ll die, just watch me die!”

      I often have situations when I feel that God’s silence is deafening. Because of that I have often lost the courage to ask Him or thru people: Things, answers to questions. I have almost STOPPED asking for.. for fear of rejection.
      I know I am wrong in not asking.
      Is it because I am I too proud? That I lack the virtue of hope?
      Or simply have been disenchanted a lot of times so I no longer wish nor ask for another round of heartaches and rejection.

      Lord please be here for me, though I doctrinally know you are here, please give me strength to believe, Amen.

    2. I too get goosebumps every time I watch Jesus Christ Superstar especially the Gethsemane scene and Christ’s pleadings and debate with the Father. The ranting begins when Christ realizes that Passion was about to begin and once the ball starts rolling it could not be stopped… in the ends he relents and say “ok, I’ll die, just watch me die!”

      I often have situations when I feel that God’s silence is deafening. Because of that I have often lost the courage to ask Him or thru people: Things, answers to questions.

      I have almost STOPPED asking for fear of rejection.

      I know I am wrong in not asking.

      Is it because I am I too proud? That I lack the virtue of hope?
      Or I simply have been disenchanted a lot of times so I no longer wish nor ask for fear of another round of heartaches and rejection.

      Lord please be here for me, though I doctrinally know you are here.
      Please give me strength to believe, Amen.

  35. The retreat was very timely in terms of what I’ve been feeling lately with what is going on in our country and what is happening around the world. One wonders how God figures in all of this, if believing even matters anymore? I was struck by the term, “divine indiference.” When my mother was dying, I asked a nun why this was happening. She said that one does not know, I remember feeling disappointed with that answer. Maybe it is not too late to know the answer to my question all those years ago.

    1. I can resonate with you, JR. My mother died when I was sixteen years old. I prayed hard for her healing so she could be spared from her agonizng pains as she battled with cancer. But she died….. And these thoughts raced in my young mind, “so this is how it is. i prayed that she be healed and she was taken away….. But Lord, I didn’t ask you to take her away. Why did you?” …… And now looking back, I can say that each one of us has an appointed time with the Lord. And when that time comes, even God would not interfere. We just have to believe that through their pains and sufferings, the Lord is on their side working on their soul…. And the challenge for us is always to look for Jesus to help us see the hidden learnings amidst these painful experiences.

  36. What struck me tonight was the phrase “Finding God in everything.” Also, “that God is always there.” Lately, I have been so worried and anxious about my future. It seems so shallow because it is centered on material comforts and lifestyle. I pray for the grace of having more faith and trusting the Lord. He is truly in control. He has never forsaken me throughout my life despite pain, loss and disappointment. Why should I start doubting now? thank you Lord. You have reminded me of what you experienced and suffered. In the end, you have accepted God’s will. All will be well. Thank you. God bless.

  37. I’ve never really thought of Jesus spending Thursday night in prison until this retreat. The temptation to abandon God’s plan and go against God’s will must have been great. I realized that what I’ve been asking all along is for God to intervene and interfere so that I may receive what I’m asking for in the way I want it to happen. I pray for the grace to recognize and accept God’s will in my life.

  38. Dearest Jesus, You are Our King! Thank you for speaking to me through thisonline retreat. May I always have the courage to let go & let God. Let Your Will be done to me. Please forgive me of my shortcomings. Thank you for loving me unconditionally through it all.

  39. Learned a new concept today – DIVINE INDIFFERENCE. But come to think it, God is really not indifferent, for He knows that by ourselves and by our own strength, we cannot overcome sin, that’s why He brought Jesus to us, to be our strength. Jesus is the sign that God is sensitive – sensitive to us being human, being weak.

    The world portrays God as someone very distant, that’s why we always thought it is our fight alone. That’s why we are easily prone to sin and stumble. But as long as we have the humility to accept that we need Jesus in our lives, we can face trials and temptations with a renewed spirit, for He is always with us and for us, fighting our battles as well.

    I am also reminded today of the importance of the Eucharist. It is indeed important to receive Him in the Eucharist as often as possible, and to devote time to meet Him at the Blessed Sacrament.

  40. I don’t know but i feel nothing at all. It seems that i stop being human…in the sense that i don’t “feel” anything, anymore unlike before. Then i easily get moved, compassionate, emphatised with those in need but now i don’t feel that anymore, i just let life goes by…Although i still believe, i am questioning my belief now whether it is real or am i just pretending to be a believer? I don’t know…maybe God is so disappointed with me…

    1. You can ask for that grace in your prayer this Holy Week- to feel for others again.
      Perhaps you can start by trying to enter into the Lord’s Passion.
      Prayers for you, EsAr.

  41. My previous comment didn’t make sense, so let me repeat that.

    I cannot recall any moment in my life where I thought God had left me.
    I know that it has been the other way around,
    I am the one who always forget about God.

  42. I have felt a great deal of despair and while not depression as I was still functional but not at 100%, perhaps, disenchanted is the right word to exact my sentiments…i used to call it “rolling depression” as while I feel down, I know I can’t and mustn’t and so I get up again but then the pain brings me down again. It’s a play really, I feel the pain of hurt and I despair; but then with faith, I get up; then down and up…rolling over. The result is that I have gotten weak, I despair. Last year, I learned through the mercy of God to forgive others and mostly to forgive oneself. I have freed a burden corrupting me inside. I have since then learned to be free from despair, to free from anger, hate and fear. Yet I feel sadness, sorrow. This is now my challenge. How or what must I do to free myself from the chains of sorrow, of self-pity, of pain alone? I want to learn from Jesus. With His love and courage, He went through the pains He knew so well as its God’s will. But surely it was great sorrow. But I think Jesus was able to conquer His sorrow which empowered Him to complete God’s will. How? Courageous Love, Courageous Faith, Courageous Happiness. I want to be happy, to choose to be happy, knowing how difficult my road lay ahead, but how? Jesus, how is it? Bless me with wisdom. I shall choose to be happy in all things, amidst despair, by having the courage to love You and all others. Am I right? Lead me Lord, Light my way.

    1. We will always be there for you my friend. Listen to other people; He may be speaking to you through them.

      There is always hope. I think this is the grace we ask for this Lenten season. There is joy and happiness in hope. Disappointments happen (always), and in these situations, we have to “run over them.” We learn and we move on.

      The anchor is always God.

  43. I have never thougth that at any point in my life, I felt that God had abandoned me.
    I know for a fact that it the other way around.
    It is I, who always abandon God.

  44. What struck me the most in this online retreat was the image of Jesus in prison in the first Holy Thursday night. If I place myself in Jesus’ shoes, I would really feel left alone. I was left alone by the one I love the most, and who loves me most. I would feel very afraid of what’s to come. I would feel hopeless and betrayed. True enough, I have experienced this many times in my life: when i lost my father when I was young due to cancer, when we didn’t have enough money to pay for tuition or to buy food or to pay for transportation, when i had my first heartache and many failed relationships after that, when I lost my mother due to liver failure, and when my best friend in a religious community betrayed me. I felt so alone and unloved during these moments. there were times, I have questioned God. Where was He? Today. I have remembered all these times and realized, that Jesus in so many ways and in more painful moments, also experienced this. I was…I am never alone. And God has sent the best person to understand what I had been through. He sent Jesus. He experienced being betrayed and being left alone. He understands fully what it means to be human and the great need for God. The way Jesus responded to suffering is very remarkable and inspiring. I feel so ashamed that I dared question God and told Him I didn’t deserve to suffer when most of my experiences was because I turned my back on Him. But He still chose to stay with me. Jesus stays with me and will never leave. I feel so loved knowing that I can always count on Jesus. I pray that I will never forget. I pray that I also stay with Him.

    Thank you for this online retreat. I am reminded of my life verse when I truly met Jesus.
    Yet I am not alone for my Father is with me. -John 16:32

  45. Truly thankful for this opportunity to go on online retreat. Today God has again made true His promise that we will never be left alone if we follow Him. That He knows the deepest desires of our heart. That His time is the perfect time.

  46. Today’s session really made me feel so blessed to be a child of God, to be a sister of Jesus. He did not have to undergo all the pain and suffering, the disenchantment; but He did. For my sake. For all of us. I feel a deep sense of remorse for all the wrong things I’ve done, especially during the years that I have gone astray, that I didn’t look unto the Lord, that I didn’t hang on to and trust Him.

    Lord, I am so sorry for losing faith in You. Despite all the pain and suffering Your Son endured for my sake, I still went astray. But Lord, thank You for never letting me go. This retreat reminded that You were there all along. I just failed to see it. I was too busy expecting for You to give what I wanted that I failed to see and trust that You were giving me what I needed. So thank You, Lord. I will never be able to bring back those years when I’ve hurt you so, but as I move forward Lors, be with me. Increase my faith in You that I may continue to march towards You – towards Your love, towards Your light. Amen.

  47. thank you for the time for reflection that this website has encouraged me to do this holy week. god bless to all organizers and staff!

  48. Lately I have been the victim of betrayals – by family, by colleagues at work, by superiors. In each situation, I have felt angry at the people who have betrayed me and a deep urge to cut them all off from my life. Yet the more I think and pray over these events, I realize two things: first, that these people are more like Peter than Judas. The former betrayal was due to human weakness rather than deliberate malice like the latter. And second, that I am not blameless, that I have also betrayed as much as I have been the victim of betrayal. And so I pray to Jesus tonight that I may respond as Jesus did. Not to cut them off but to forgive and then accept their apologies if they so choose to do so.

    I am also thankful for the two messages of Holy Thursday. Let me look for God in all things apart from the obvious and especially listen with my heart to what He has to say since He has never left my side.

    I pray that all of my fellow online retreatants find comfort and solace as they share this holy time with the Lord.

  49. I know I never doubted God’s presence in mylife. Even if things don’t go my way, I always know God has a way to give me what’s best for me. It may not be what I have wanted but it’s something that’s better for me. I have proven today that I never really doubted God. And I will always pray that God will give me a good heart all the time. That’s all I pray for me and my son.

    1. What a grace it is to be able to trust the Lord, even in times of discouragement.
      Something to be truly grateful for…

  50. Dear Lord Jesus,

    There was I time in my life when I was not interested to know more about You. I thought, if I get to know You more, the more rules I need to follow. I grew up with people whose frequent religious reminder was: God punishes those who sin. You do this and God gets mad at you. You do that and you would go to hell.

    Was I more afraid of Father’s punishment than my mother’s spanking? I could not tell. Maybe I was equally afraid of them. In first year high school, my values education teacher told us the God is perfect, therefore His son is perfect. She added something more, but what stuck was this: Knowing You, Lord, would highlight my imperfections because You are perfect. For a growing kid, self-imperfection is like in every inch of his body, in every action he does, in every word he utters. So, I was not really enthusiastic to know Son of God’s perfection. Also, my mother’s decision to leave my father did not really help in my endeavor of good-relationship building with God. Of course, other things happened.

    Years passed by and now, I seize opportunities that would let me know more about You.

    Lord, You really are something! The more I know you, the closer I get to You, the more I realized how Your not-so-perfect-moments make You truly perfect and Your perfection brings inspiration. Thank you for allowing this retreat to show me another side of You.

    You never told me before that You are very familiar with loneliness, disenchantment. I guess because You were busy dealing with someone else’s loneliness. Definitely, I am one of those people You were busy dealing with his disenchantment. Thank you for always attending to my needs. I know You do this because of Your love for me and this love is what I remind myself of whenever I feel that I am alone.

    Amen.

  51. This online retreat has refreshed my take on Jesus Christ as a human being. He is human—just like all of us. Lent is the perfect time to commemorate His human experience on suffering and grief.

    The nature of suffering is still mysterious to us all. Personally, God’s non-interference with the laws of nature remains an enigma to me. With his omnipotence, how can he allow some innocent lives to suffer so much, and the evil to prosper?

    I would just like to believe that His rationale (on suffering) is beyond our human comprehension, even beyond Jesus’ comprehension.

    But to Jesus, this is okay. His faithful, divine self is willing to submit to His will, but his human side can’t help but to weep from the pain he had to endure. It’s endearing to realize that His tolerance from pain is equal to ours.

    This experience in Getsemane reminds us that Jesus understands our thoughts, disposition and behavior in rough times.
    He is just like all of us afterall.

    Personally, His similarity to us strikes me the most. Jesus taught us something about faith and suffering:

    Faith is a wonderful thing: It can move mountains, It can save lives.

    But it cannot eradicate suffering. Faith just sets us in the proper disposition to handle it, and overcome it in the end.

    1. I love your comment. You were able to verbalise what I could not. I am most struck especially by what you said about faith. That while it can move mountains, it cannot eradicate suffering. But it sets us up to handle it and overcome it. Thank you very much for sharing!

  52. Kudos for Father J and the rest of the team of this online retreat! Another fruitful Maundy Thursday! #3rdyearparticipant

  53. Today Im reminded to always ask God the grace to be in prayer – prior to praying. Indeed He granted me the graces of focus and patience to sit through this retreat and internalize the passages and reflection points.

    Most importantly, I heard God speak to me. And all those he said I will treasure and use to guide me in what I am pursuing now – amidst disenchantment. Thank you Pins of Light! You also helped provide me an opportunity to respond to Him and to thank Him more heartfully than I’ve probably ever had. See you tomorrow.

  54. this is my third year of joining your Lenten retreat.I enjoyed doing it every year. Thank you so much to all who made this possible .To GOD be the glory.

  55. 🔆Thank you for a wonderful spiritual experience. You have opened the virtual doors to the heart of Jesus. May our youth of today take time for prayer and reflection.

  56. This online module really helps a lot of people. Let’s continue to spread this good news. I am so blessed by God. Grace of God is overflowing! Thank you so much to all the organizers for sharing this rare opportunity to all.. God bless you more. Please help me pray for my personal prayer intentions too. Thank you!

  57. I want to thank the organizers of this online retreat for this initiative.

    I wish my fellow retreat participants a meaningful and God-filled observance of Lent.

    Keep faith, be strong, the Lord is always with us in good times, in bad times and in great times.

  58. This was such an unexpectedly beautiful, prayerful experience.

    Hope the ones who made this receives many blessings.

    I just wanted to share an experience I had years ago. I had a relationship where my faith was shattered. My girlfriend at the time was disturbed by an incubus. It used to hurt her at night and we did not sleep for fear of what she might experience when she closed her eyes. One night, in an intense moment of the ordeal, I prayed for God to protect her at least one night. The next morning, I heard she was harmed again, but it was more violent than the other nights. This disenchanted me because at the time i was in a Charismatic group. Later I “boycotted”. Later the relationship became abusive as well.

    But with God’s grace and a number of Novenas prayed by my family, the relationship ended in peace. It still left me in peaces. For years I asked how could this happen? How could the Lord let it happen? Especially to me?

    One day when I was in the kitchen in my apartment, I felt the Lord speaking to me. He never answered the questions why it happened “per se”… But He reminded me of MERCY.

    I am a devotee of the Divine Mercy, and Jesus reminded me that I needed to trust Him, to pray for my ex, and to show mercy on her in my mind and most especially in my heart.

    There were even more blessings to come. Lately I have gone through a deep and convoluted trial in my workplace! It could have gone south really quickly and it tore at my heart and my mind. I could not even function well and it was hard to find a solution. But by the miraculous grace of God he reminded me of those times He saved me… where he gave me miracles and all I needed was faith. So I did. I prayed four rosaries a day, including a chaplet of Divine mercy, trusting it all to him. Also asking a number of people to pray for me.

    Now, the trial is over, and all I prayed for has been granted by His mercy. Even as I go through problems now, He showed me passages that tell me to keep trusting in Him and not to worry but share the burden with Him.

  59. It is not you who shape God; it is God who shapes us.

    In moments of despair – the despair comes from a wanting for God to respond in a particular way, a way that benefits us. And yet – and yet – in the midst of the seeming indifference of God, I realize that I have changed in response to my own response to a tragedy, a negative event, that moment of despair. And so perhaps he was never indifferent, but was calling for ME to respond in a particular way. And that was HIS response to my desperate plea.

  60. Thank you for this online retreat Fr J and team. You have no idea how many lives you have changed or moved bec of this

    I too experienced feeling disenchanted and felt that God did not answer my prayer. Up to now, my dad hasn’t returned back to us. But I’m not giving up. As you say, laws of nature govern and the human will is free. But still I hope my dad repents and walks on the right side of things.

    I would like to think that We have all been better after what happened to our family.

  61. Ever since I was diagnosed with a mental illness, i started to pray hard to God. But still i get swayed with distractions that i have become blind to His goodness and blessings. This online retreat taught me that even Jesus went through the same troubles as we did. I hope all our prayers will be granted and even though it will not, we must trust that the Lord has something better in store for us.

  62. I have always believed that a prayer of in times of disenchantment is still a valid prayer. Praying Martha’s words pull my heartstrings because of the realness. What this retreat has brought to light is what happens after uttering that prayer and not hearing a response.

    “Look for the God hidden in things.”
    There is a response. It is hidden but there is a response.

  63. It is well and good to know that Jesus suffers with us. But during times of distress and desperation, the only thing I want is that the cup of suffering be taken away from me.

    1. That is a perfectly valid plea, Vit.
      Nobody wants to suffer.
      BUt when we cannot avoid the experience,
      we pray that we can suffer with grace, knowing that God is with us in our pain.

  64. yet another knock on my head to remind me that Jesus knows how things are as He himself went through the same pains, if not worse, as we have. and so, it only means that He knows how to respond to our petitions and prayers.

  65. I am very thankful for all the people behind this retreat. You are true manifestations that God’s love and care are at work. I pray that you continue and expand your divine mission because I know that a lot of people are in great need of persons like you. May God bless you with more strength and wisdom.
    I know that a lot of individuals are really suffering in this world. It is truly saddening to realize that some people are in the state of some kind of torture. To be honest, I never been in any kind of great pain. That is why I can’t fully say that I know how sorrowful the lives of other persons are. All I know is that some people are definitely in pain.
    I hope that all individuals would be able to surpass all the hardships in this world. May they keep on holding on their faith in God. May they continue to have the strength to survive despite of anything.
    May each person take part in building a world full of true love and unconditional care to one another. May everyone will learn to live not only for ourselves but also to other people, especially those that are in great need of love and compassion. May all the people would be able to live with our Lord Jesus, the Christ in His Kingdom in Heaven.

  66. This gospel reading about disenchantment is very timely. I’m so touched by these words:

    “When things turn out really bad
    especially when they seem to be falling apart,
    Jesus will still be there.”

    No matter how far we’ve strayed,
    or how lost we feel,
    Jesus will still be there,
    trying his best to find us.

    Indeed, it is a testament of God’s love for us, giving up Jesus. Its the first time, I’ve really empathized with what Jesus was going through in that grueling hours of waiting for his death. It was really the spiritual pain that’s the hardest. What struck me the most is that, every pain I’ve experienced or will experience (disappointments, frustrations, betrayal, unfulfilled dreams etc.) there’s going to be a knock in my heart that will say, “Hey, Jesus’ spiritual pain is harder than yours. I must be strong. I must believe that there’s a reason for everything because Jesus endured, I must too.” This is the lesson I’ll bring with me and I’m really thankful I’ve stumbled upon your online retreat. It unanswered a lot of questions in my mind just like Martha. And a lot of this made sense. Now I know that every time I’ll experience pain, I just need to take a step back, breathe, pray, reflect and remember the lesson I’ve learned today, that I’ll never be alone and Jesus will be there to lift me up and share my pain.

    1. Amen to that Malou! Jesus will always be by your side. Stay strong in your faith, for God will always provide the Grace.

  67. “I’m right here
    in this bread and
    all things ordinary,
    every single thing
    that earth has given and
    human hands have made–
    now offered, broken, and shared.”

    this prayer we hear so often at Mass has a whole new meaning for me now! Finding God in all things! I did not see that before! Thank you for this grace which will make my masses more meaningful from now on!

  68. I’m also in the state of disenchantment right now. Confused, distressed of the fact that there is no answer to my doubts and uncertainties. My life now is turning into full irony, everything is going opposite to what supposedly should happen. I’ve always been praying for God to console my heart. I’m always asking, “Lord where are you? Answer me”. The prayer at the end wherein you prayer beside with Jesus, alone, in a prison struck my heart. I asked, “Lord what are you feeling right now? What doea it feel to he alone, to be unanswered?”. I knew at that time Jesus was also in deep thought, uncertain, doubtful. But Jesus knew that God is there, silent, but present. Just as what I am going through with my life right now, I felt that God was always present, and I knew Jesus will always accompany me through all these trials. I may not have my answers right now, after all lazarus was resurrected after days, so as my answers too will come in God’s own time. This day, I was reminded by my prayer, a prayer I almost lost grasp due to being consumed by disenchantment. My prayer was always “Your will be done”. I was reminded that God, though silent, will always will the best for me, present, just watching over me. I thank the Lord for this grace of consolation and insight.

  69. During a time in my life of disenchantment , I experienced His “miracle” when I cry out to Him in desperation, “NOT AS I WILL BUT S YOU WILL.” “YOUR WILL BE DONE.” And eventhough it happened ever so slowly, I have found peace after I realized that I am not in control but God is.

    Thank you for once again blessing this Holiest of Weeks.

  70. I happen to experience how it is to be in the darkest moment of my life. It was really excruciatingly painful. Everyday, I would ask God to take the pain away and to bring back the joy in my heart. That was my ultimate share of divine indifference, I did not get the miracle I was praying for. I thought God totally abandoned me. Despite God’s seemingly absence in my life, I continued praying and pouring my heart to him, hoping he’d give in to my pleas. I grabbed every opportunity to feel him, so I became more active member who attended all conferences and retreats in our community. Being disenchanted led me to seek a deeper relationship with the Lord. It took years before I fully understood and accepted why I had to go through those darkest hours. It dawned on me too that waking up everyday was already a miracle during that time. Now, whenever I feel God is nowhere to be found in my life, I stay still and remind myself of how much God loves me and to trust in his way……may God be praised!

  71. Reflecting more on the desperate faith of Martha, yet amazed of her certainty. I examine myself. I have come to a point when I have kinda accepted the “silence” of God especially in my moments of despair and crisis. I have come to a point of certainty that God will not do anything to alleviate my pains and condition, and that He would just allow me to get through all these on my own even with the pain of desperation. But I know deep in my heart I have not lost my faith in Him. And I am still searching the reason why. I am glad that I still hold onto Him, but the weird thing is that I could not name what makes me hold on. In the end, I am glad I still do.

    1. Hi RD! It is God’s grace that allows us to continue on search for reasons, but keeping alive in our hearts our faith in God.

  72. The past tears have been tough for more reasons than one. I have felt that “divine indifference” again and again but He has always brought me back to faith. I still continue to trust that my deepest prayers will be answered in the affirmative. And in my desert times, when my human frailties of anxiety, restlessness and impatience make me think God is being indifferent or uncaring, I know He will not allow me to be completely lost. He will find ways to fan the sparks of hope, belief and trust in His love and generosity.

  73. This lenten Reflection help me understand all that recently happened to my family. My dad passed away 2months ago and even though we prepared ourselves before it happen due to his sickness, sometimes we still ask ‘why he let it happen’. I saw my dad’s suffering but wanting to live. He even almost losses his faith because his body was slowly failing. But we encourage him to ask for mercy and hold on the Lord’s promise of everlasting. We also accepted that the Lord’s plan is better than ours. I questioned God multiple times but I also need to trust God. He guide us and comfort us through this process using the people around us.

    1. God is Good, Melissa! Your dad is in a far better place right now. I lost my parents too, one after the other within the span of 8 months, due to illness. But their lives did not end in death, rather, they were transformed and their souls continue to live. Their passing away showed me and my family God’s immense Goodness, through the outpouring of love from family and friends. Thanks for your sharing!

  74. I still wonder how Jesus turned to the disciples to ask them to stay with Him. Did He say it with desperation, in a commanding tone? Did they even sense what Jesus was going through?

    Did Jesus put up a brave front for their sake, even when Her was in agony inside?

    Lastly, did the disciples even sense what He was going through? I am thinking they might have stayed awake if they had sensed something was different.

    I’ve already said what I wanted to say in an earlier post, so now I will wait for God to speak.

    Thank you, Pins of Light, thank you, Jesus. I’ll wait for You to speak.

  75. It made my day so extra special! Thank you online retreat for this. I thank tita Grace for sharing this to me. Just have faith in Jesus and everything will be fine. Jesus is just around us through our family andfriends im excited for tomorrow’s reflection. Kudos! To all the people behind this online reflection. Thank you very much!

    1. You’re welcome! Your tita Grace truly lived up to her name, bringing you the “Grace” of this online retreat. Spread the Good Word to your other friends, so they too may be consoled and uplifted.

  76. divine indifference … santa mother teresa of calcutta said in her journals that she too was experiencing the ‘silence’ of god… but she never wavered… lord, please give me the strength to remain steadfast… i am not a saint…. i am just a sinner crying out for your love.

  77. Thank you so much for this online retreat that I have been looking forward to enter into this holy week.

    I have been through terrible disenchantment and disorientation these past years. I did not lose faith but experienced anger, disillusionment, frustration and depression. Through all these times, I held on to the Word of God, in Scriptures and as Word made Flesh.

    In 2014, I experienced being answered by God point by point through Walter Brueggemann’s Prophetic Imagination…it was intense. In 2015, the experience intensified as the lights in the church where I attended were turned off one by one after the Holy Thursday vigil. It was dreadful. I could not imagine the Gethsemane experience of Jesus. Last year, when I got sick during holy week, a friend of mine shared the silence of the hospital with me. It helped me, as we reflect here, face the feeling of being alone in my struggles. In his embrace, I imagined Jesus telling me – you are not alone because I suffered this abandonment and disenchantment as well. I go through this pit and darkness with you. Today, I pray for all of us who are doing this online retreat…and most especially for those who, because of disenchantment, cannot even pray…and those who do not have access to this retreat. Thank you, Fr. J and your team of spiritual directors. Thank you for your accompaniment.

  78. In my faith journey, I always find myself being reminded that when God answers “No” to my prayer it doesn’t always mean “No”. It may mean “Not yet, the best is yet to come.” Now that I’m in my 3rd year in this online retreat and that I’ve entered a new chapter in my life, I see a lot of affirmations from God. I thank Him for the grace of allowing me to wait patiently for His answer. Thank you once again for this online retreat. God has blessed me and I ‘m grateful that He makes me a channel of His blessings to others as well. Thank You dear God!

  79. I myself feel that above all, Jesus swept away Original Sin and cleansed all of humanity of this paralyzing stigma. Jesus life and death is all about this most profound Triump of good over evil. And the Holy Week actually celebrates this mother of all victories in Christendom.
    In all humility though, I also feel so much for those with very personal connections to Jesus suffering because of their own and my prayers are with them. I too bear crosses that I commend to God and pray to Our Blessed Virgin to alleviate. God bless us all.

  80. Thank you for helping us pray our disenchantment and renew our faith in Jesus, the disenchanted Son. In him we find the strength to move on in our journey of faith, From him we draw the courage to forgive those who betrayed us, and pray for the Judases in our lives who need His salvation most. Will join you again tomorrow as we look at the figure of John the Baptist.

  81. Thanks for the online retreat. Thanks God he gave me this time to finish and hopefully for the next days. I am praying my FB friends will do the same. God bless you all ALWAYS .

  82. Thank you Father and Pinsoflight. This online retreat made this Maundy Thursday meaningful. I was able to go thru my memory lane when I was disenchanted, hopeless and felt God abandoned me. These were painful experiences when I bruised my knees in prayers to beg the Lord for miracle but then He didn’t respond as I expect Him to. The betrayal, suffering of our Lord and His eventual death on the cross relived and refocused once more in this Lenten retreat, helped me to outpour my feeling of despair, sadness, and failures, I cried again. I embraced Jesus teachings more deeply and my hope and faith in His and our Father’s love and faithfulness deepen. Looking forward to Good Friday. Thank you

  83. Thank you so much Fr. J and also to jmdeguzman who shared the Prayer by Fr. Venancio Calpotura SJ. I will have the prayer printed for sharing.

  84. “Can you try again? Are you that strong?”
    Lord, in the midst of my failures, mistakes, my sinfulness, I look to you. Help my unbelief, Lord. Help dispel my need to always be in control. Help the fears that hold my heart as challenges and dangers surround me. Help my unbelief, Lord, help the stubbornness of my heart. Help me to try again and again, this time relying more on your strength and your grace.

    Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.
    Through the many shadows of my life, help me believe that light can find.
    Through the many disappointments of my life, help me see the truth.
    Through the many frustrations of my life, help me find the courage to continue.
    Lord, help me appreciate the uncertainty of my faith.
    That I may learn to cling to you through the dim realities of the everyday life.
    Ultimately Lord, let me understand that faith is not a discovery but a revelation of who You are and what I am.
    — Prayer by Fr. Venancio Calpotura SJ

  85. As I pondered about how Jesus might have actually felt during those times of seemingly abandonment from God- when He prayed for the cup to be taken away from Him; when He found His disciples sleeping instead of praying with and for Him; when Judas betrayed Him; and when He was led to be judged by people- I realized that Jesus was surely SO convinced of who Father God was in His life. He was very sure of God and His will for HIm, that’s why He still chose to obey and follow that painful path. Because He was convinced of WHO God is, He was strengthened to do WHAT God wants to accomplish.

    I realized that in our lives, when we know WHO God is(that He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and sovereign over every area of our lives), all the WHAT’s, WHY’s WHERE’s, WHEN’s and HOW’s will be secondary. That’ was how Jesus did it.

    As we seek direction from God and what to do next, where to go, how to do it, etc, knowing WHO calls the shots in our lives first (and that’s God), will make it easier for us to follow HIs leading.

    Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and HIs righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

  86. “You know you’re not the only one to wait so long”

    Sometimes we lost our patience on God’s plan. We misunderstand his silence and become distant from Him. The Lord allows us to enjoy this life and discover His presence in every things possible.

    Have faith~

  87. Thank you, Jesus, for showing and leading the way back to God. There have been many times when I asked where God was in the maelstrom of desolation and pain. Today’s Holy Thursday reflection made me realize that if Jesus,the Son of God,was not spared God’s non- interference and if Jesus chose to do what God willed( and not what Jesus preferred), then I must take the same path- doing what God wills and not what I will–because Joy and Peace are The rewards of doingGod’s will. God my Father , please stay with me always and keep me in the palm of your Hand.

  88. I thank the Lord for always guiding me and being there even though at times it seems that He is nowhere to be found. I thank the Lord for this on-line retreat. It is a great tool to reconnect with Him and remember what He also went through and His unending love for us. A Blessed Holy Week to everyone.

  89. There will be times when it feels like God doesn’t care but He does. Sometimes, what we think we want or need seems to be the best for us may actually not be the best at all. God wants something even better for you. Allowing things to happen is God’s way of telling you to trust Him.

    Pray to God and ask for His grace, sometimes we may not understand it at first but when the time comes you will understand why God allowed things to happen.

    A blessed Holy Thursday to all.

  90. It wasn’t until now that I realized how disenchanted and bitter I’ve become. For many years I’ve felt isolated, like no one understood what I’m going through. I’m a single mom of one, and I longed to be married and have a whole and happy family. But I felt awful and bitter when the man I loved left. It felt like he abandoned me and our dreams. This is the prayer that I’ve been so desperately saying for so many years, it’s the yearning of my heart.

    After going through today’s retreat, I realized that this situation has made me awfully bitter. A part of me is still hoping for a miracle, hoping for a change of heart. But perhaps that’s not the case. This was God’s will and he let me choose my choices. I need to return to Him and follow His will, rather than to force my way.

    1. Maria D., your comment speaks to my heart for some reason. I have never been married and I sometimes wish I had a child, but I know the feeling.

      I hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for at the end of this retreat.

    2. “This was God’s will and he let me choose my choices. I need to return to Him and follow His will, rather than to force my way.”

      Amen.

  91. Nahirapan akong makababad sa retreat ngayong araw hindi dahil wala naman talaga akong karanasang maalala na nakaligtaan ako ng ating Panginoon. Napakapalad ko sa biyaya ng pamilya at trabaho. Nahirapan ako dahil nangangamba ako na baka sa mga susunod na araw ay masagot ko na ang mga tanong sa pagninilay.
    Nadiagnose ang aking kaisa isang anak na babae ng turner syndrome noong taong 2011. Sa paliwanag ng doktor na ang tanging makatutulong sa kanyang paglaki (pagtangkad) ay HGH o human growth hormone injection, isinantabi namin ito dahil sa awa sa kanyang mapagdadaanan – pagturok sa kanyang sarili gabi gabi gayong 10 taong gulang pa lamang siya. Ngunit 6 na taon na ang nakalipas, ngayong mag-16 na taong gulang na siya, naglakas loob na kaming ibalik siya at patingnang muli sa doktor. Nakumpirmang muli ang kanyang kalagayan ngunit bago pa man namin ituloy ang pagtuturok, nadiskubre namin sa kurso ng kanyang paghahanda (lab tests at ilang pagpapatingin sa mga espesyalista) na may mga “organ” siyang abnormal. Sa madaling salita, lumalabas ang mga karamdaman o kakulangan dahil kapag may turner syndrome ka tiyak may naapektuhang sistema sa iyong katawan.
    Nagpapasalamat kami sa biyaya ng pagkakaroon ng mahusay na mga doktor na nagpapaliwanag sa amin ng mga dapat naming isaalang alang. Sa ngayon ang mahalaga ay hindi ang tumangkad na lamang ang aming bunso ngunit ang lumaki at tumanda siyang malusog at masaya. Nagpapasalamat din kami sa biyaya ng pagkakaroong ng mga kamag anak ns handang dumamay at sumuporta sa amin sa panahon ng pagkababa o pagkalungkot.
    Nawa’y mangibababaw sa amin / aking puso ang mga biyayang ito at hindi ko na kailanganin pang magtanong sa Panginoon, Nasan Kayo nang kailangan kayo ng anak ko?

    1. Thank you Maricar for inspiring us to be grateful despite the difficulties in life. We will keep Bunso in our prayers :-)

  92. It never really occured to me that Jesus also felt abandoned and separated from God. That hit me hard. Maybe that most painful experience of separation also gave him the strength to undergo the crucifixion so we may never have to experience total separation from God. It must have been so terrible that Jesus wanted to save us from it more than anything in the world…more than just obeying God’s will..it became his own will to save us.

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