by. Philemon Kho
I believe that getaways are awesome to have. In Christian terms, a getaway normally means to retreat. These are set out to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and realities of life. I took on the opportunity to attend a retreat ran by Catholic Youth Ministry Perth called Braveheart last 1-3 May at the beautiful and scenic Eagles Nest Retreat Centre at Gidgegannup.
On the first night, Eliza McKay set the tone of the retreat by making an analogy of retreats being like going for a massage, a method to get rid of those “nodes” in our lives. To treat areas of tensions and wounds afflicted by us through our sins and past hurts, where they may have healed on the outside but may still have scars remaining on the inside. It is then we need to present ourselves and go to our “great masseuse”, who is God, and allow His grace to work in us. We were urged to harden not our hearts, if we hear His voice today.
This is a true reminder that God’s love is free, total, faithful and fruitful according to St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.
We were encouraged to strive for a pure heart on Saturday morning with Anita Parker’s talk on topics such as lust versus love and the importance of self-mastery when it comes to purity. This is a true reminder that God’s love is free, total, faithful and fruitful according to St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.
In the midst of striving for purity in all aspects of life, we sometimes hit a point of restlessness, a feeling that something is missing. It can also be an emptiness that you try to fill with many other things that do not satisfy, except God. Through the inspiration of St. Augustine’s life, Fr. Pierluigi from the Rockingham Parish, mentioned that our hearts are made for God and that our hearts cannot rest until it rests in Him. We are created to love God, which in turn, we are called to put God first.
However, the journey of overcoming restlessness can sometimes be overwhelming for an individual to do on their own. Bottling up so much and journeying alone can be hard that at times we choose to give up. Hence, it was in the break after Daniel Lazaroo’s session, where we were given the opportunity to have a one-on-one time with our group leaders to share about our lives and personal struggles that may require prayer and healing.
Due to suffering, endurance is produced, therefore endurance produces character and character produces hope, and a hope that does not disappoint. For in hope, we will be saved and be with our Lord.
In the afternoon were brought to the understanding of how and why sufferings exist in our lives by Mario Borg. He mentioned that it is because of sin that we encounter suffering. But due to suffering, endurance is produced, therefore endurance produces character and character produces hope, and a hope that does not disappoint. For in hope, we will be saved and be with our Lord.
Encountering hope was found later at night by laying down our suffering at the foot of the cross during Eucharist Adoration as well as the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Prayers flowed through the night with silence, occasional reflective music and personal pray overs.
To wrap up the whole retreat on Sunday morning, we were challenged by Vincent Haber to love the Lord, our God, with all our heart, mind, soul and strength as we head back to our realities of work and study life. How? By making Jesus the treasure of our hearts and by making Christ-centred choices. By having our minds constantly renewed through the Word of God and by spreading love through our actions.
Love the Lord, our God, with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.
To end my reflection, I would like to challenge you to have courage to “swim against the tide”, as Pope Francis prompts all young people to. For He [Christ] alone can satisfy your deepest longings, which are so often clouded by deceptive worldly promises.