Consoling.

Two weeks of sharing our family stories has been very consoling and grace-filled experience. With this, I was humbled by the process and the experience itself. Going through one’s history may not be a walk in the park but somehow it brings about a deep consolation when seen in the lens of graced personal history. It wasn’t just a narration of events and people who came to our lives but mindfully and reflective way of looking into the core of our being, on who we are today by looking at the past in light of the Spiritual Exercises: on how God has been working thru and with us and how we responded.

While processing my experience, our stories is a story of the First Principle and Foundation in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius:

…we should not fix our desires on health or sickness, wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or a short one. For everything has the potential of calling forth in us a deeper response to our life in God.

Oliver May poem has this to say:

Instructions for Living A Life:
Pay Attention.
Be Astonished.
Tell About It.

If I may add a fourth line, “Respond.”

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Listening to 11 different stories is like entering into the realm of the Sacred. We shared our very self when we share our intimate stories: our pain and suffering and our triumphs and joys in life. Each story is unique and it shows the diversity of the group who came mostly from Europe, 1 from the US, 1 from Syria and 2 from the Philippines. The diversity and uniqueness of the stories allowed one to enter deeply into his own story and at the end, our diversity intertwined with out common heritage: being Ignatian/Jesuit. Sinners yet loved and called by God.

It is our common Jesuit identity that binds us together, rooted in a love of Christ known & experienced through the lens of St. Ignatius and the Society, our formation, our shared experience of Christ tru the Spiritual Exercises.

Surely, we’ll be bringing these graces to our Long Retreat starting Friday, November 21, 2015.