END OF HOLY WEEK RETREAT

Congratulations! You have reached the end of our Holy Week Retreat this year! Thank you for inspiring us by making time for yourself and giving the Lord your precious attention these past few days.

A special thanks as well to those who shared their thoughts and feelings with our virtual faith community. We never fail to marvel–and be moved by–the honesty and faith so evident in your posts! To be honest, it is what inspires us to do this work.

We hope you will avail of this final opportunity to share the graces that you have received today or the past days. Feel free to post your EXPERIENCES, INSIGHTS, QUESTIONS, or PRAYERS. It is a helpful way to synthesize your retreat and to share its fruits with your fellow online retreatants.

You may want to play this song as background music as you prepare your sharing. Or you may simply want to pause here and listen to it contemplatively.

Andra Day (“Rise Up”)

The insights and prayers posted by our virtual faith community the last two days have been exceptional. Reading them can bring many Lenten graces as well, so in case you are interested, below are the links to the sharing on the first two days of our retreat. Please feel free to respond to your fellow retreatants to encourage them, to share, or to assure them of your prayers.

Holy Thursday

Good Friday

If you would like to confer with our online Spiritual Directors, you may click HERE.

Finally, a word of thanks to our team who made this online Holy Week Retreat possible, especially to Fr. Eric Escandor SJ and his team of online spiritual directors.

And of course, our deepest gratitude to all of you for showing up, for praying with us, and for sharing so deeply with us. May the Lord bless each one of us in our efforts to be His faithful disciples!

May we learn to become His audacious disciples, but whatever you do, remember… 🙂

Prayers promised and requested. God bless and Happy Easter!

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136 replies on “END OF HOLY WEEK RETREAT”

Thank you very much for this online program. It really helps me have a meaningful celebration of the lenten. I do hope for more successful years. God bless your entire team!

Thank you Lord for allowing me to stumble upon this online retreat.

Thanks for showing me that as long as there is life, there is always hope.

Help me to keep asking (and keep praying). Amen.

Thanks to Fr. and team for this online retreat. Hope to join again next year.

Happy easter!! The Lord is risen!

Thank you so much for this online retreat! Indeed, it was just what I needed…currently at the crossroads between a decision made and pushing through with it in the face of many unexpected encounters that keep arising. It reminds me to keep on moving forward, to choose the greater good which He had always wanted for me. I truly feel like it was meant to be…it only affirms His presence in my life and that He continues to be so as He has always promised. I hope I can share this in full to others… I have done so and hope to be more active and far reaching in doing so. I was a bit delayed in the days following this and at times distracted and even sleepy but I am so glad I pushed through with this…Hope I can keep this all in mind and heart thus writing here! Kudos to the people behind this page and to all retreatants! May we have a fruitful and blessed Easter and beyond! ?

Lord, I still remember that night when I have fully felt Your presence, so strong, inviting, and warm that You have made me cry for almost an hour in the SOM Forest. That night, I realised You are the only one I need, the King that needs to reign in my life. How fitting because that was Christ the King.

Right now, You have moved me once again. You have reaffirmed Your claim over me as your instrument. You have allowed me to reaffirm that You are my King — and that You should always be the only one.

I know sometimes I get preoccupied by a lot of worldly things and I allow them to reign over me. Lord, please always remind me of this night and that Christ the King night whenever I am going astray, whenever I feel like losing hope on things. Because like Peter, even if You have to ask me several times if You are my King, I would always say You are.

Thank You for making this year’s Easter the most meaningful one to date. All for Your glory, Lord!

And as always, thank You for the gift of Jesuit education You have been giving me for the past four years. Thank You for having such a wonderful set of priests whom You have used as instruments to allow Your people to be closer to You. Salamat, Philippine Jesuits! The best talaga kayo! ?

Thank you. It’s my first time to attend this retreat, referred by a dear friend. It also did not come to be by accident because I have forced to stay in bed almost everyday from my painful pelvic Endometriosis. It has been one meaningful lent for me as I also shared the Lord’s pain. But just like His disciples, I also battled with resistance, distraction and denial. I focused too much on my pain, and what I was not able to do because of it, that I saw beyond the blessing it brought to this time. Thank you Lord for this important lesson for me.

Thank you Fr J and team. The annual online retreat never fails to deliver on its promise because it is always a wonderful encounter with the Lord.

The invitation to prayer, the readings, the songs, and the insights were meaningful reflections of hearts in prayer closely united with the Lord. Truly we have experienced the Lord through you and your ministry. The sharing of the retreatants is also something that I also look forward to… reading through them makes me feel that I am never alone in the journeys I take. The insights shared were thought-provoking and graces received from the retreat.

Finally, my takeaway from the retreat can be summarized in this: “I may have so many life questions that have yet to be answered by I think I just have to keep on asking and seeking for answers. The retreat started with questions but ends with an assurance, the Lord continues to rise in us every single day, helping us find the answers to our questions. It is not the the answers that is uniquely important but the process of searching for these answers because eventually, Jesus, our life’s companion, becomes our answer.”

Amen.

In this age of virtual world, rise up because of hope means to show up personally to the people we love…This is what our Lord Jesus did show, talk and with his disciples personally.

The easter module is indeed the best of not the summary of it all. i feel renewed and geared towards rising up again. The toil had taken its toll on where I feel like I dont want to move and just pretend like I want everything to stop. But the work of the Lord doesnt stop with Him rising from the dead: it only begun. Thank you Lord, thank you for the inspiring Jesuits who made thia yearly retreat possible. Thank you Fr. JGo! Amare et Servire!

Thank you Fr. Johnny for this online Holy Retreat. It has been a long time I’ve attended one. Am looking forward to next year’s retreat.

I began by the thought of Jesus asking me to pray with him as he agonized in the garden. I contemplated on the times I was tempted by pleasure and pain. I walked with him as he was arrested and brought to Pilate and saw how he was able to bear it all because He knows he belong to the Father amidst the rejection, denial of Peter, mocking him, crowning of thorns, falling onto the ground three times, spat upon, and into the crucifixion. Water and blood gushed out from his heart and he was able to bear it all because of love, a love that can never be understood and a love beyond this galaxy and forevermore. He gave everything away until he can no longer give anything because of his death. At the foot of the cross I cried with Mary, sorry and ashamed for failing him and astounded by his love for me. I want to get to know this man whose is limitless and so I struggle and pray to get to know him in this busy world amidst the power of the social media that distracts me from talking to him. I have to be audacious to speak the truth and to be heard because that’s the only way I can make myself feel that I belong to him. I have to struggle against the temptations by pleasure, pain, and the greater good. I have to seek and recognize amidst all the distractions. I can only do that by making an effort to see him in everything I do.

His resurrection is truly a case for celebration. Amidst all the odds in the world and particularly in the Phil today, I believe that there is hope in all of us. There is an assurance thatceveryrhong will be put in proper order for after all, He has Risen. Death and despair has been conquered and hope eternal lives on.

Thank you for guiding me and making my live for Jesus more intensed.

My prayers for the entire Jesuit community.

Thank you Lord.

I will Rise Up Unafraid with You by my side and Thank You for showing me your love, for guiding and guarding me always. It is true that your presence can be in different forms, I realized that on this retreat, after recalling the difficult incidents that happened to my life.

Thank You for showing me my purpose.

I love you Lord.

The Lord is risen! Alleluia!

Thank you Jesus for who you are. Perhaps I will never ever understand the depth of what you did for me on the cross, but today, despite my questions, I thank you for dying for me, and for rising for me. As you have risen, now I will rise – from my fears, my anxieties, my judgements, my pains, my regrets, my sins, my failures, my insecurities and my tears. Today, I claim by your grace that I am a new creation, I am made new in your love. And so I will move forward, hoping against hope, to keep on telling the world that I have seen you and now I am complete. I love you Jesus. I love you. ❤️

The yearly online retreats (both Lenten and Advent) NEVER disappoint! THANK YOU, Fr. Johnny, for putting this so beautifully together. You and your team have moved me to become more mindful and prayerful, and most of all, HOPEFUL of the coming days. My soul has been weary and at certain points, guilty of ghosting the Lord, but this Easter has given me renewed hope. God is and will always be with us, as long as we keep praying and we remain faithful to Him.

Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful online retreat! This is what my weary souls needs. I pray that I will be able to deepen my faith and proclaim your glory in everything I do. I pray that my transformation can help bring my family, my students, and my employees closer to you.

Again, Lord, thank you for bringing me into this online retreat. Your ways are truly mysterious but your timing is always perfect.

Thank you for always being there, loving me and forgiving all my faults and weaknesses. Give me the grace to remember everything I have learned and the resolve to do what I promised.

The things that happened in the past four years are truly trying for me… I was ready to give up; I was ready to end my life. Thank you for carrying me during the times I was most burdened. You let me know in big and small ways how much I am blessed despite of and in spite of everything that is happening.

Thank you for stepping back and letting me find my way during the times I needed to sort things out myself. Realizations are more meaningful this way. Please send the Holy Spirit to always help me discern what is for the greater good.

Lord, please send me my guardian angel as I face one of the greatest battles of my life. Help me in fulfilling my true mission and purpose in life. Guide my thoughts, words, and actions.

With Your help and Your love, “I will rise up and ride like the waves… unafraid; in spite of the ache… I will rise up a thousand times again!”

I love you, Lord.

Ang sarap sarap talaga ng lutong bahay. Purong sangkap, inihanda ng buong puso, at inilapag ng walang hinihinging kapalit. This is comfort food for the weary Christian soul. Mabuhay kayo mga gourmand ni Kristo!

Through this online retreat, I saw how God spoke through your musings, your spiritual guidance, and very contemporary musical tastes. Truly, you do not preach from a pulpit, but struggle with us, and share with such human honesty, that I cannot help but be drawn back again to a faith that has been brutalized by disillusionment after disillusionment.

On to the perpetual 4th day, the one that counts! Back into the arena, we struggling soldiers of Christ! Sa ating lahat, mabuhay si Kristo!

Our Lord is truly risen, alleluia!

My cup is filled and runneth over, which I must be share.

Thank you.

God bless us.

This has been a beautiful experience. God is good for He blessed this team to tend and feed His sheep during the Holy Week. Thank you and I pray that your team will touch more lives and bring them back to God’s loving arms. I pray that we all do our share in bringing our brothers and sisters to belong to God. God is risen. Alleluia!

Dear Fr. J and team,
My most profound thank you for creating this heartwarming online retreat! Just like in the past, I feel blessed to be able to join this 3-day recollection.

Indeed, in today’s noisy and chaotic world, we need to rise up and continue to be hopeful, with the Risen Lord.
A blessed Easter everyone!

Thank you Lord, You always know my needs and meet me where I am..you feed my hungty soul through this retreat. I will feed your sheep..

Truly grateful for this online Holy Week retreat, which allows people to reflect on past actions and weigh future decisions carefully with eyes on the greater good.
And, it’s important not to lose hope, and to anchor that hope on our faith in God.
It’s been an enlightening experience with Pins of Light. Thank you. Happy Easter!

My Lenten journey has been made more meaningful again because of this online retreat . I hear/ feel the message of love and hope, loud & clear! Be blest?

Because Christ so loved us, He died for our sins and has risen . He is now seated at the right hand of the Father…And will come again. I will rise up again and again and will always show up… for Christ is my salvation to eternal life with the Father.

Thank you so much for this beautiful, spirit-filled retreat.

Indeed, advancement in technology are good if we use them for the greater Glory of God.

May God continue to bless you for all that you do. May the Peace of Christ be with all of us.

Thank you very much! Indeed, God with his boundless love gifted me this year with the opportunity to finish all 3 days of the online retreat. It is an experience that put me back on track. I was drifting away but the reflections for each day led me to an open space where I breathed in God’s goodness and love. The challenge for me now is to “hope against hope” and to trust that I am never alone in my journey.
I keep you all in my prayers especially Fr. Johnny and all those working behind so that we will have a meaningful celebration of Easter and a faith-filled days beyond Easter.
My gratitude to the many shared thoughts that gave me courage to share mine.

Thank you very much for this opportunity to join the online retreat. It’s my first time, and definitely won’t be the last. I will continue to follow this site for future retreats. I’m inspired, energized by your insights, and I will continue to get up and keep showing up, and hope against hope. God bless?

Loved the songs, videos, links, and the clarificatory reflections and trivia. Mas naging totoo ang mga eksena at si Hesus mismo.

Salamat Father. At sa Pins of Light team. At sa lahat ng kasama ko rito. Napakalaking bagay rin na marinig ang mga dasal at himutok ninyo. Sa inyo nga ako unang naiyak.

Lord sana maging mas close pa tayo para mas makilala rin kita tuwing nagpapakita ka o nakikipag-usap sa akin.

Happy Easter sa lahat. Sabi nga ng dati naming Retreat Master: Christ is risen. Now, we have nothing to fear.

This is my first time to join this online retreat and I would like to thank those who labored to make this possible. It was an eye opener for me. I have resolved to improve my relationship with the Risen Lord and find ways to devote an hour of prayer time everyday. To do this, I have to lessen digital distractions and be truly mindful of my quiet time.

i will rise up. everyday for the Lord.
I will not ghost him and spend time to listen more to him.
I will evaluate if my life decisions are pain of apparent good or really the greater good.
I will be more aware if Jesus is the one talking to me.

Thank you Lord for forgiving Peter, thus forgiving all of us sinners.

Thank You to the Pins of Light team. This is very emotional and “sagad sa puso” life changing retreat.

Hope against hope…just keep getting up and showing up.

Such profound words.

Thank you for a wonderful retreat, for the meaningful reflections and for allowing us to welcome Easter with renewed hearts!

Thank you for the online retreat! This made me realize that His sacrifice should not ever go to waste.

Thank you for this meaningful online retreat! It’s my second time to join. 🙂

I am at a crossroad in life. This retreat made me realize that my question to Jesus is not about “what I must do next”, but about “what kind of person does the Lord want me to be.” I have been scared to trust the Lord completely, but have wanted things and circumstances to be under my control. But perhaps the greater good is to let go and let God unfold His plans in His own time. All I need to worry about is how I can love and serve the Lord today.

Thank you. This retreat was indeed the Lord coming to me when I needed Him most. On a particularly difficult day that I am feeling quite defeated, I am reminded to keep getting up and showing up.

Thank you Fr. Johnny and to the online retreat team. I am truly grateful for this reminder to never stop believing. Happy Easter and God bless.

Thank you dear Jesus for dying for all our sins, for rising to save us and for showing us your deep and unfailing love. Thank you for this very insightful retreat. It complements the St Paul Center video masterpiece ” Genesis to Jesus” by Matthew Leonard and Dr Scott Hahn and John-Paul and Annie Pray More Lenten Retreat. Despite all my sins and trials in life, I pray that God will provide me the wisdom, guidance, endurance and patience to strengthen hope and surrender my life and entire being to God. Even if I may disagree God’s decision due to pride, I hope that I will be able to accept with utmost humility to do His will. Jesus died and rose for all of us; it’s my turn to rise for Him. God bless all.

It was a different, unique and practical retreat! After attending the Ateneo triduum/on line retreats, I have been blessed to see this gift evolve. It is truly a testament of Jesuit teaching by engaging the world! So many of what was talked about I felt like I was being directly addressed. My initial question of “Why?” has been answered and I feel I have been given more energy to face life’s many challenges. Only by setting aside time for quality prayers can I truly see the “heaven on earth” and continue to do things in a better way.

Maraming Salamat sa inyong lahat. AMDG.

Thank you Pins of Light for always making our holy week a contemplative and fruitful one at the comfort of our home. It’s been years already that me and my family are with you during the holy week and we are forever grateful.

I didn’t expect myself to cry during this online retreat but I was surprised when I did because finally, the Lord has answered one of my many questions about my life. A couple of months ago, the company that I used to work for decided not to re-hire me. I was devastated because I love the company and I felt that my skills were being put to good use there. I felt fulfilled working there but unfortunately, I am not anymore. I was crushed. I cried for days. I kept on wishing I am still working there. But this retreat has helped me to let it go. Just like Jesus’ disciples, they wanted to go back to their former lives, but their lives were forever changed because of what happened, because Jesus has died and has risen. The Lord has plans for them that they cannot go back to their former lives anymore. That struck me the most. I am still unemployed right now, but I have faith that the Lord has also great plans for me. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for this online retreat.

Thank you, Fr. J, for this invaluable opportunity to spend time with the Lord! I have been attending the online retreat for several years now…it’s on my annual Holy Week agenda, and I was so happy when all three kids voluntarily went on Pins of Light on their own! (It just got mentioned at dinner.)

The past almost-two-years have been a great trial for our family, as our only daughter battles a cruel form of cancer that took away part of her leg and left her a PWD, and still with no guarantees as to what the morrow will bring (then again…Life does not have guarantees). The path we are being forced to travel seems endless…but your encouragement to hope, hope and hope in the Lord enabled me to get up and keep going. Perhaps, just like Mary Magdalene and the apostles, I just could not recognize Him even though He was and still is standing right before me, even in the midst of this endless night.

It’s my first time to join an online retreat and I can say that this has particularly allowed me to listen to the Lord. The past year has especially been difficult to me and my family; as such, I have resorted to asking for grace from the Lord. It was always me who wanted to get ahead, and talk to Him. This prohibited me from hearing Him, and learning what He wants me to do. I have always been confused but I am entering this Easter season with rigour and more commitment to what the Lord will direct me to. No matter the darkness and challenges, He will always have an answer and I am now prepared to face the next days knowing that He has greater plans for me.

Thank you so much Father Johnny. This deeply touched me and strengthened my love for Jesus. I hope to live everyday reminded of his sacrifice and make myself worthy of his love.

Thank you Lord Jesus for dying in the cross for me and for the whole world. Forgive me Lord always. After this experience, I will not be timid anymore and be audacious. I know the Lord Jesus has a mission for me. He is with me all the time. Happy Easter to all.

Thank you Lord for the online retreat team, for my fellow retreatants . I had meaningful and Spirit-filled Holy Week. Happy Easter to all. I’ll try to be audicious servant and have always hope in my heart..

This was the first time I did this online retreat. It was a perfect way for me to spend the Holy Week as it gave me a direction on what to meditate these 3 days. Thank you Fr. Johnny Go. Your choices of songs are beautiful as well. Reading the comments of others felt like we are one big community. God bless us all.

Thank you Pins of Light Team for this online retreat. Though it is online it is powerfully moving. I learned so many things. It answered so many of my questions and has directed me to know my God more through prayers so i can easily recognize Him in my day to day life.

Thank you for sharing. I am blessed because of this. I will rise up, every time, knowing God will always be there to help me up with His Grace and through the Holy Spirit. God Bless you all!

Thank you very much Fr. Johnny and team.
I do appreciate all your efforts in giving us this online Holy Week retreat.
I am away from home, and this, surely made me connected not only to my fellow pilgrims and Christian community but most especially to our Lord Jesus Christ, who on many occasions I failed to recognised ??
Thanks be to God.
From this day onwards I will try “to rise up and show up”.
Happy Easter everyone, hugs to u all.
God bless us all ???

Since I fell ill 3.5 years ago I felt useless. Am numb from waist down , cannot drive and walk with a cane. I depend on other people to go to the bank, the supermarket and meet friends, etc. Before this, I was very active and did a lot of community work in pursuit of my 2nd career (Medicine) since my graduation in 2000, passing the Boards in 2001 and completing my Residency in Family and Community Medicine in 2005. I feel frustrated and ask for enlightenment on why I suddenly became a PWD. Was what I was doing to serve others wrong? Did You want me to it?
After this retreat I realized that what I am suffering now is nothing compared to what Jesus suffered for my sins. I feel selfish and guilty. Forgive me Lord for spending more time on watching TV than prayer. Forgive me for seeking my mobile phone upon waking up rather than thanking You for a good night’s sleep and the gift of life. Forgive me for giving in to temptation of all kinds. Please help me rise up to be more positive about my situation and overcome bouts of depression because You care for me a lot. Help me find myself again and continue to hope that all will be well In Your Time.

My takeaways:
– I do not need to fit in because I belong to Christ.
– Jesus calls me to be audacious, to choose the greater good even if it’s difficult.
– Never lose hope! Jesus continues the work of Easter through each one of us.

Thank you, Pins of Light team for my wonderful first-time online retreat experience. God bless you and your ministry ?

I used to go to Cenacle for a retreat every Holy Week. But now I have 3 children it’s been difficult to set aside the time, or focus on the retreat if you did. This online retreat has come to my aid for several years now, and without fail it given me the message God wants me to hear. This year, it was not to choose the lesser good. It is a very simple and powerful lesson which I hope will sustain me in the new work I want to do. Salamat, marami at paulit-ulit, sa inyo.

Risen Lord,
Thank you for rising up for me. I will choose the same, every single day. I know what it cost you and with your strength, I will help others rise up as well. In closed and opened tombs, I am all Yours!

This retreat was unique in the sense that this is the first time I didn’t shed a lot of tears. I don’t know why this is so. Is it because I’m still emotionally numb from the trauma of being a caregiver, many problems have been sold or I still have so many things to do that there’s no time to cry? Maybe it’s all of these things.

I went into this retreat asking for answers to my questions that had to do with the “next step”. Though my family and I have, for now, put major problems behind us, I am at a crossroads. I feel lost. You’d think that with lots of possibilities, it’s easy. There’s still the fear of the unknown, what if you make a mistake… I’m no longer young, there’s little room for error.

Coming to the end of this retreat, the Lord did not give me any specific instructions. I just realized it’s how it’s supposed to be. After all, we all have free will. But I think the Lord gave me a compass upon which I should base my future life decisions, and it’s to live in His truth and also mine.

I realized how easy it is to fall into the trap of making decisions because you wish to please a person, or a group of people, an organization, society. It’s very easy to compromise, to sell out, to settle, even for something that seems outwardly good but is something you don’t really care for or might even be bad.

I think that this year’s online retreat is guiding me to be more honest with myself, to not feel guilty of wanting more for myself and to also follow my heart in making decisions. It is also guiding me to make decisions of integrity and stick by them. I wish to build a new, better life for myself and my family, and I will work towards that, even if this might be something people might not understand or approve of.

This retreat reminded me that I will always have Jesus by my side, guiding me through everyday events and people. So I should just try to be more present in the moment and not always be focused on the next item on my to-do list. I am also reminded to ditch the gadgets when I am in prayer or engaging with people, especially my mom.

I may not know what the future holds, but I should always remain in hope. God never failed me, and I’ll just hold on to that, even though I still have all these issues. I just need to get up every day, live in hope and trust in divine timing.

Thank you, Father J and Pins of Light team, for helping us journey with the Lord better ?

Thank you Fr Johnny for always coming up with things I can relate to and things that can help me see things better. May God continue to make you such an effective way of bringing me closer to Him. (Just continue what you’ve been doing)

May God grant me the grace to find Him in all things! In nature, in the timely helpers and people He sends our way. He is super subtle that it’s easy NOT to recognize Him. May I also see Him in my hubby who continues to really make me into a better person by being himself.

Grateful to Fr Johnny and the team for never failing to provide a really meaningful online retreat during the Paschal Triduum.
Like many, I’m guilty of ghosting Jesus justifying it with being busy at work and home or even church commitments. Often times, I also feel unworthy because of my mistakes but the last song really spoke to me, just rise up and keep going. Hope against all hope. I love it

I didn’t fully realize until this Holy Week, esp. today, how much of my child-like faith I have lost over the past few years. All along I thought that my faith has been growing stronger than ever, but the reality is that I still have a long, long way to go. Thanks to this Pins of Light retreat, I was able to realize this, taking with me a renewed sense of hope and the audacity to dream big again.

Thank you so much, Fr. Johnny and team! More blessings to you and this online spiritual community. ?

Thank you so much for this enlightening retreat. I have been doing this for a few years now, and I always end up feeling closer to the Lord. I feel truly blessed taking part in this retreat and reading the responses and comments of fellow retreatants.
Thank you Lord for your gift of forgiveness and new life.

May everyone have a blessed Easter!

Thank you to all those behind this online retreat! May you continue sharing your audacious message of faith, hope and love. Have been joining your online retreats since the beginning, truly excellent and spot on , every single year. So humbled to be given a chance to participate. Keep up this great ministry!

Thank you, Jesuit Fathers esp Fr. Johnny for this online retreat! Blessings to you all an infinite-fold! Like you, at the start of this retreat I was despondent and dare I say HOPELESS or tired of hoping. My one question was why and for how long will the Lord allow all the evil in our society. So the main message of the Lord for me is that He is alive, He is Sovereign, He is active. Perhaps I juat do not recognize Him, perhaps like the disciples en route to Emmaus I “had hoped but did not see Him”. But the Risen Lord calls me to hope against hope, because that is the Greater Good.

Thank you very much to all behind this online retreat! To God be the Glory! Ignatian Silent Retreat and Retreat in Daily Life given by CIS and CLC Philippines really help me in my spritual life journey and to respond to God’s Holy Will -To discern, to decide -and to act with faith,courage, love — the trust in Lord Jesus. Thank you!!! Now as migrant here in Singapore, I have been away in Philippines for 2years, and I am looking for a Holy Week Retreat for a prayerful silence to relish this journey with Jesus Christ in this highways of life and what He would like me to do. After I engaged into this online retreat each day, I continued my reflection with Church lenten services-Holy Triduum-Holy Eucharist. Gift of tears…Yesterday Good Friday, after kissing the feet of Lord Jesus nailed on the cross moved and touched me to continue to walk and go on the mission to the ends of the earth. The mission prayed and written one Easter morning and birthday 2010. Yes, there are challenges and temptations, but Lord Jesus Christ show the way-He is always there-my strength and my love. There are sufferings, it is like way of the cross and Yes Lord Jesus will help me and strengthen me. Everyday, I will RISE UP. Life is joyful journey-mission of love with Jesus Christ towards Heavenly Home. Amen

I felt like that through this retreat, the Lord is telling me, I know what you are going through and I am with you through it all. This retreat hits bull’s eye when it said that it’s hard to see the Lord even after Easter. It’s difficult to stay faithful to God and indeed only by His grace will I be able to hope against hope and rise up everyday, every minute, every second for Him.

I will breathe again with the breathe of God He breathed in me. It’s my simple way of showing that I love Him and grateful for this wonderful life He has given me. “For as long as you’re breathing there is more right with you than wrong.” So I rise up, show up, look up and hope against hope and in so doing one day I will recognize you, too, my Lord, Jesus. Meanwhile, it is still a beautiful world, it is still a beautiful life… I love you, Lord.

Thank you Fr. Johnny for taking time to prepare this every year. It is my 4th year with you. And each time the Lord gives a special grace to sustain me in my spiritual journey. This year Good Friday had been extra special. As I went through the retreat guide for that day, the personal question that stayed with me was, “If I were there at the time of Jesus, where will I be? Would I be beneath the cross or somewhere else like the apostles and disciples? Deep within, I knew, am pretty sure I will not be beneath the cross because of the temptation of pain. In the afternoon after I kissed the cross during the service, and about to sit, the choir started singing beautifully the song “Were you there?” And that did it! Instead of sitting I kneeled until the whole assembly finished kissing the cross and tears flowing endlessly and in shame realised that I was there for everybody except my God! I make my work with the poor and the community an excuse to lessen my time with Him in prayer. I fall asleep during homily and easily forget the Gospel for the day. Allowing my frustration and disillusionment with authorities and certain people to extinguish the hope that is in me. But even as I cried uncontrollably, I felt the invitation of the cross in the Gesu not to keep my head down but look up! An invitation not to wallow in self-pity like Judas but to rely on God’s strength to change the course of ones life. Now, I need to consciously choose God again over anything/anyone else.

And today, in the office of the reading, I read the second reading and what struck me most is the word “RISE” and here you repeat it again. Sabi nga ng Nescafe, “Para kanino ka gumugising?” And being a coffee lover, gusto ko na ding isagot, “PARA SA KAPE.” And yet today I am reminded that even if the whole world crumbles and nothing goes my way, RISING UP FOR THE LORD IS ENOUGH.

Have a Blessed Easter Fr. Johnny and the whole team as well as to the ONLINE RETREATANTS. Thank you for sharing your life. May the peace of the Risen Christ be with us all!

On 3 accounts discussed today, Jesus was not recognized. Despite his vey public death, he was not recognized by the 2 people walking up that path. Despite being His closest friend, Simon Peter did not immediately recognize Jesus until He spoke. Despite being His benefactor and follower, Mary Magdalene thought He was a gardener. I feel like the reason why He was not easily recognizable is because Jesus wants us to seek Him in every person we encounter. We should recognize Him in our experiences, that He will not simply show Himself to us. We need to seek Him. Similar to when one is sick. When we are sick, we do mot expect the doctor to just come to us. We go to the doctor and ask for medicines. And maybe Jesus is showing Himself to us in the form pf that doctor. Someone who helps us, who gives us medicines so we are healed.

I realized that it is only in fully trusting the Lord that I can serve Him at my best. That my undivided attention to Him will enable me to see His hands in everything, away from the ultranegative thoughts I had for the past year.

Thank you for this online retreat. This is a refreshing approach, simple, not too abstract, applicable in my dauly life.

Thank you for being there for people like me who look for ways to re-connect, stay connected to the Lord. I join others with stubborn love and stubborn hope to keep getting up and showing up, attentively 🙂 We are, indeed, children of Easter morning.

I wanted to go through a retreat somewhere away from it all but my current circumstances didn’t allow it. This online retreat reminds me that God indeed meets us where we are. Thank you for facilitating this meeting with the Lord. I came to this retreat with so many questions, so many knots that needed untying. While I still need more time to undo some of the knots, the retreat helped me to articulate each knot and to figure out how I can begin to undo the knots, at least most of them.

Lord, please help me be aware of your presence in each moment of my life, especially after the holy week. Thank you for this online retreat, and I pray for the priests that are responsible for this retreat. Give them the blessing to rise up especially for us sinners so we are inspired to rise up too.

Lord, please help me be aware of your presence in each moment of my life, especially after the holy week. Thank you for this online retreat, and I pray for the priests that are responsible for this retreat. Give them the blessing to rise up especially for us sinners so we are inspired to rise up too.

This is the third time I’ve done the Pins Of Light online Holy Week retreat. I believe that this experience addressed my particular situation. With that, I resolve to show up and never give up, despite my personal aches and disappointments. May I also remember that I belong rather than fit in. Thank you, Fr. J and team for again blessing us with your creative delivery of this three-day online Holy Week retreat.

At the start of the retreat, the question I had is will our Good Lord continue to forgive me, as I have time and again continued to sin the same sins. In the end, I was reassured that He will continue to do so, a thousand times . . . a thousand times; all I have to do is to rise up for Him, as He did for me, a thousand times . . . a thousand times.

I’m just so grateful for this opportunity to be rejuvenated in faith and hope. I am renewed and hope to have the conscious choice and courage to be audacious and show up — hope against hope and love even without understanding.

My deepest gratitude and God bless us all.

Thank you so much for this inspiring and spiritually uplifting 3 day lenten retreat. I love it and i learned so much from the comments that i have read. This is my 3rd year of joining this retreat and i have encouraged some friends to join as well.I will continue to do this retreat annually. GOD loves us and we should love him even more. We should follow his footsteps.We should stay away from negative thoughts or evil doings and live the life GOD wants us to be. GOD bless us all and Happy Easter everyone.

So grateful for this online retreat, which has never failed to refresh and encourage me in my faith journey. I was feeling so dejected and burned out, but now I am inspired to “rise up” and keep showing up because He rose for me. Thank you Lord, for reminding me that I belong to You.

Fr. Eric Escandor (we met before and cried to you uncontrollably, unplanned after an afternoon mass, and today, pleasantly surprised to know you led this online retreat). Thank you! And to your team.

I’ll rise up in spite of the ache. I’ll rise up and be ok. And be a light to others. Happy Easter, everyone. With much love and gratitude.

Maraming, maraming salamat muli para sa isa na namang makabuluhan at makahulugang pagninilay ngayong Semana Santa. Handa na akong muling tahakin ang panibagong paglalakabay kasama ang ating Panginoong muling nabuhay.

More power to Pins of Light!

This has been my very first online retreat. For the longest time I have been so pre-occupied by being and altar server in my parish. Last year, due to misunderstandings and hurtful incidences I was asked by my Parish Priest to step down and let others take the lead that for the past years I have been doing, offering my time and services for the Lord.

This year is the first year, this year that I find myself being left out? Being by myself, aline in my thoughts, alone and lost in what i should do.

But luckily I found this retreat that led me to realize the following things:

1. I am not alone.

2. I can serve the Lord in other ways aside from altar serving.

3. I proclaim that I am good and yet I do horrible things to people closest to me, especially to the Lord which I have come to be ashamed for.

4. God loves me beyond words, beyond all measure.

5. As the Lord has died for my sins, I must also die with Him so that I may rise with him too.

Thank you for all who found their vocation to do this wonderful retreat.

You are all God sent!

Thank you Lord for this online retreat. Thank you most of all for the servants you chose to prepare this spirit filled retreat. I truly praise and adore you Lord. I continue to ask for your mercy and forgiveness for I am forever a sinner, a sinner who loves you , a sinner who cannot live without you. Lord allow your spirit to be with us always, to endure your will, to learn the path to your salvation and protect us all from evil. Lord I pray to always rise with You. Amen

While i, along with my husband and kids have faithfully attended Sunday mass (and masses on holy days of obligations), however it has been years since i last went to confession. And so it felt like this Easter module was God’s way of inviting me to return to Him in confession. Though i have to say that last year, my grade school-aged daughter had a “traumatic” experience in confession in her school. She tearfully told me that day that after confessing her sins—- which seemed like small venial sins to me—the priest scolded her and angrily asked her “why is she allowing Satan to control her?” She was in tears when she told me that she couldnt understand whats wrong with her. Anyway we helped process this experience with her and after i talked to her teachers in school, they talked to the errant priest and they also talked to my daughter as well. Anyway that being said, i am still praying for more courage to bring myself to go to confession again and to bring my kids to confession again as well. Thank you again for this helpful online retreat! God bless everyone!

Thank you for another enlightening online retreat. I will never stop going to confession because I know God loves me and forgives me. Many problems may come my way, but I will continue to hope and be more prayerful.

Thank you Fr Johnny & team for this online Holy Week retreat. I think this is my third time attending, I found it most meaningful and insightful.

I feel called to be more audacious, and less indifferent. I feel called to be more present to God, and make more time for Him. So I can see Him in all things, and be better guided in how I can be His true disciple in this world we live in.

I am more aware of the three different kinds of temptations, especially the apparent good. I still struggle, but I must rise up and show up.

Easter blessings to all!

Thank you Fr. J, your online retreats have always been a treat.

There are four things I’ve learned from this retreat:

1) Easter is a “triumphant failure.” Easter provides me peace that it’s all right to fail, because failing is the way back to God. [But it’s so frustrating!]

2) The triduum brings “hope for a brighter future.” My goals were clear, and I was always out of my comfort zone. The country’s seeming hopelessness drives me to go beyond myself even more. And this is a lonely path.

3) Since Thursday, it was all about “having faith that all will be ‘well’.” This is the most difficult part – many questions arise – especially on the execution of plans. This is where faith comes in – trust that I will fail again – the faith that will carry me through again and again.

4) Gratititude. I am still thankful that I have food to eat, a roof over my head, some creature comforts, and a few people I can trust.

I am grateful to those who prepared this online retreat, especially to Fr. Johnny. I feel rejuvenated. Please continue doing this. I hope to receive notifications from you.

Truly grateful that pinsoflight has become a mainstay of my Holy Week no matter where I am.
A valuable lesson I picked up this year is to hope against hope.

I’ve stopped going to confession ever since the priest I was confessing to said to me, “You don’t go to confession often? Oh you’ll go to hell!” My response was, “Well, I’ll see you there, Father!” Then I told Jesus, “This priest really sucks!” Now, I’m one of the many people who just go to God directly to confess.

This retreat showed me to hope against hope. I am hoping against hope that I will overcome my revulsion of going to a priest to confess my sins. When will that be? God knows…

Hi! I’m a priest too. Am sorry for the negative experience you had that priest. I’d never send someone to hell just because the person had not gone to confession!! 🙁 Please don’t give up. Try other priests whom you might find kinder and more compassionate. Prayers for you. Happy and hope-filled Easter!

I am grateful to have participated this online retreat. It brings me more closer and have deeper relationship with God. Thank you so much!

Happy Easter!

Thank you for this online retreat. I’ve attended several retreats organize by CIS and Cenacle over the years, but this online retreat has been as much of a blessing as those had been. Indeed, God meets us where we are and He blesses even our desire to desire to return to Him. I had many insights and many questions throughout this retreat, but the challenge now is how to live out these realizations after the retreat. The difference lies in knowing that I am not alone, that I have God as my companion and guide, and that even when things seem bleak, I should not lose hope. A blessed Easter to the organizers of this retreat and to my fellow online retreatants!

Thank you, Fr. Johnny, for this online retreat. So many aspects of my faith are clearer by the way the retreat has expounded on them and empasized them using impactful visuals and audio. I hope to remember all my resolutions after this retreat. Happy Easter!

This is my first retreat on pinsoflight and I am very glad I took it. Thank you very much for your work on putting this together for the participants. I was touched by it’s relevance in my life and my situation and I feel like Jesus has really talked to me and showed me the way to be closer to Him.

Thank you so much for this year’s retreat. I have been following this for the past 5 years now. I thank you and everyone in your team in making this possible.

What touched me the most is the concept of self-emptying as opposed to self-denying. I think self-emptying is more appropriate for what Jesus has done. He has not denied that He is God, that He is Son of the Father, that He has all the Power. But because He is love and He exists to please His Father, then He emptied Himself so He could be filled with compassion, love for us, and endurance for suffering. This I find so remarkable that I couldn’t wrap my mind around it to fully understand what He did. I just know that I am at the receiving end of His love and determination to deliver us from our sins so we could be reunited with Our Father.

I am not a Roman Catholic. I am a Methodist Protestant but I have found this retreat so spirit nourishing and refreshing. I always come out of it more alive and in love with Jesus.

Thank you so much for this retreat. As always, I have been greatly blessed.

My realizations…Love even when we do not understand. Hope against hope. The Lord will provide His grace in times of need.

What was really touching for me was to see our Pope kiss the feet of the South Sudan leaders. It is as if Christ Himself was kneeling and kissing their feet.

Thank you for giving structure and direction to my Holy Week retreat. Looking forward to the fruits of our prayers. God bless.

Thank you for being the voice of God, Fr. J. It’s been a blessed journey, a faithful companion since 2008. On the 12th year I hope to be able to rise up again.

Lord, this Easter, may we be reminded of how You rose again, not to live happily ever after, but to continue living with us through the ups and downs that we experience in life. May You grant us the grace and courage to rise everyday with love so that we are emboldened by every challenge we face, humbled by every rejection we receive, and strengthened by the love we receive from others and from You. Amen.

A few days ago i was made to experience the humiliation of being interrogated and judged by our parish priest. I entertained thoughts of leaving the ministry not in defiance but since it also happened to me with the previous parish priest, I felt I was a mistake and was giving up hope.

But today, I hear the Risen Lord telling me Just keep getting up and showing up. And so Lord, I hear you and I will rise again and again. For you.

Jesus rose for me. I will rise for Him. Every single day. I pray I live in Hope of the Risen Lord, take up my cross and follow Him who loves me so much, even with His last breath.

This is my first online retreat and it’s been great! I truly learned a lot, even if it was just about an hour each day. There were many points to reflect on and many things to realize now that I was given the time to pause and really observe myself. I hope and pray that everything I learned I can apply in my everyday life, to the interactions I have with myself, others, and God.

Thank you so much for this! 🙂

This is the first I’ve attended.
Thank you all for being a part of it.
Happy Easter! Rise Up!
See you all next year again!

Thank you so much for this retreat.. i am so touched, it moved me to tears =’) Thank you for touching my life yearly through this online retreat, always making me closer to God & greatly helping me mature in my faith. God bless you all more & more!

Thank you for this online retreat, my second in a row.

Allow me Oh Lord to recognize You in my everyday life, to rise up, be audacious in sharing Your Word with others, and resist ghosting or phubbing You.

May You always remain in me. AMEN!

Thank you so much because in the past 6 or 7 years i have been participating, my life has changed. Thank you for reminding me not to lose hope in a world that has gone crazy that sometimes you just want to give up and just live your life peacefully without caring. Thank you for reminding me that it is not enough that I have experienced the Risen Lord but I need to stand up to share it with others. Continue to bless us with this community. Praying for each one of us that we may experience the Risen Lord and share Him so that others may experience Him too.

Thank you very much Fr. J and team for this very meaningful and relevant online retreat! This has been my nth time to join and just like the previous retreats, it is quite insightful and has made a great impact on my spiritual life.
One realization for this last Easter module is that just when Jesus rose up for us to fulfill His promise of redemption, we should also reciprocate this by always rising up amidst the problems and turmoils that we are facing everyday. This is the least that we can do to make the great sacrifice that Jesus did for us worthwhile.
God bless you Fr. J!

I was so deeply moved by this retreat. All the thought, creativity, and reflection put into this has made this Holy Week a more meaningful one for me, and surely for others as well.

Thank you so much to everyone who made this undertaking happen! Offering prayers for all of you.

This online retreat helped me reconnect with Jesus, with Whom I’ve been indifferent to for the past year. What makes it worse is that I had been conscious the whole time it happened, I saw myself drifting from Him, His vision fading from my sight & heart. What kept disturbing me was the fact that I didn’t care as much that it was happening. But deep inside, I wanted to bridge the gap, I wanted to fix things. But my will wasn’t as strong & it has become attached to worldly things.

This online retreat helped me clear the cobwebs and realign & reconnect with the True Vine. This is only the beginning, though. Let us pray for each other as we continue to journey on Christ’s path.

Again, thank you so much Fr J & team! God bless us all!

I am really grateful for this online retreat, been a participant for the past 3 or 4 years. I used to attend Lenten retreats but can no longer do so, so again thank you so much for sharing this with us. God bless everyone!

Thank you to the Team who made this Online Retreat possible. Every year, I look forward to this.

Rise Up will be my new Opening Prayer Song each day to inspire me and remind me of God’s grace of renewal to move forward each day, despite the setbacks, to continue to do His Work in our daily lives.

I’ve learned so much and deepened my faith from this recollection. Being more mindful of my actions about bullying, bashing or shaming. Not ghosting God, having a deeper more meaningful relationship with Him!

Thank you again!

Praise God! He is Risen!

Thank you for this, helping us recognize the Lord, giving us time and a way despite of our busy schedule, teaching is to hope against hope. Prayers requested and promised!

Hope against hope. Choose the greater good. God bless all your efforts to promote all these. Maraming salamat po

Forever praying with you Johnny. ???
Forever grateful for your work, for your on-line retreat, for you.
Thank you for sharing that video of the Pope bending down with much effort not once but three times. The image, to me, perfectly captured everything what this retreat was about, what God’s love is all about.

From my heart ?, thank you.

This is my 3rd year to-participate in this on~ line retreat & i am trully grateful each year … i also try to to
encourage/share this experience eith my family & friends each year… thete are challenges to hurdle to complete it, but w/God’s hand, He draws me to it & I rise victorious & reach the finish line ~ thank you to all of you ❗️Till next year ❤️

Thank you so much for this online retreat. Very powerful messages. May God continue to bless you. “Hope against hope”. Happy Easter!!!

Thank you for this online retreat—for the readings, videos, and songs—uplifting our spirits to never stop hoping and never stop rising for God and for others.

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