Archive for the ‘retreats’ Category

Love Thy Self

Posted: May 10, 2013 in love, retreats, self

Well, I just got back from my first ever silent retreat! It was the hardest thing I’ve done in awhile. When I first had to be silent, I felt myself really resisting it for awhile.   Part of me didn’t want to delve into the realm of self-discovery and self-healing.  It was an incredible few days in the woods among wild turkeys and baby geese.  And as an added bonus, it was cool and damp which reminded me of home.

I learned a lot! One highlight that sticks out to me was a phrase that came to me at the midway point:

Love yourself as you love your neighbor.

So many times it is easy to forget about ourselves.  We are busy looking with compassion at others in the world. (Not a bad thing at all unless we disregard our needs and make an unhealthy habit).


Why do we think it’s ok to kick ourselves and put ourselves down when we see how cruel it is to do to another?


Manresa Eve

Posted: November 9, 2012 in love, retreats, self, spirituality

It’s still the eve of the Manresa retreat at JCU on the West Coast and I can’t help to get excited for everyone who has been and will be a part of the retreat experience. The retreat itself signaled such a change in my life, allowing me to accept love of myself and God.  Love is a gift and in order for a gift to be considered as such, it must be received.

So often is it that we don’t see ourselves as fully worthy of love, that some part of ourselves is lacking. Yet, at the same time (as I was reminded by my Confirmation students this week) we are so willing to give others slack. We have a double standard set for ourselves. While others have flaws and we fully accept them despite this, we can’t fathom ourselves as being broken.

The Confirmation students this week decorated a cross with a mirror and thought about how God might see them– all their gifts and talents.  Loving them despite poor decisions they have made in the past.

May you love yourself in your joys and sorrows, in your wholeness and brokenness.

The following are two versions of St. Ignatius’ First Principle and Foundation which have been helpful for me when meditating on where I am in life and how God is a part of it. I hope you enjoy them as much I do.

Lord my God,
when Your love spilled over into creation
you thought of me.
I am from Love ,         of Love,                      for Love

Let my heart, O  God,

and enjoy

Your goodness in all of creation.

Direct all that is in me toward your praise.
Teach me reverence for every person, all things.
Energize me in your service.

Lord God,
may nothing ever distract me from your love.

health nor sickness
wealth nor poverty
honor nor dishonor
long life nor short life.

May I never seek nor choose to be

Other than you intend or wish


The goal of our life is to live with God forever.

God, who loves us, gave us life.

Our own response of love allows God’s life to flow into us without limit.
All the things in this world are gifts of God,

presented to us so that we can know God more easily and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God

insofar as they help us develop as loving persons.

But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,

they displace God

and so hinder our growth toward our goal.
In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance

before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice

and are not bound by some obligation.

We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,

wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or short one.

For everything has the potential of calling forth in us a deeper response to our life in God.
Our only desire and our one choice should be this:

I want and I choose what better leads

to God’s deepening his life in me.


Posted: August 17, 2012 in nature, retreats, spirituality

This is the spot where, during orientation, I sat each morning and prayed.  I had never been to the ocean until then and, let me tell you, it is every bit as grand and wonderous as I expected.  It was a welcomed reality (and ego) check.  The ocean reminded me of how small I am in the grand scheme of all creation.  Small, but no less loved.  In a way the feeling mirrored my thoughts of what I experienced at orientation.  I felt like wave after wave of responsibility and possible challenge was crashing over me as the various speakers talked about the coming year.  I signed up for this, but I felt  overwhelmed by the largeness of the task at hand- to be emptied before I can become filled, to be made weary as I look for life-giving opportunities at work, to be challenged while I find out what is most valuable to me.  The beauty and challenge of this year will be my willingness to be overtaken by and molded bythe experience.