From today (Monday 15th March) till Friday I will be on retreat. It is a retreat in Daily Life for Catholic Clergy, offered by the Jesuit Spirituality Team. Last year I had booked to go to St Bueno’s Retreat Centre in Wales for 6 days but that was cancelled because of the lockdown.
So for five days I will be stepping back from many of the usual events and calls on my time to rest, be silent and pray. I will not be physically going anywhere but staying here in Canterbury. I see this time as an opportunity to listen to God more attentively. Those taking part are encouraged to commit to three or four periods of prayer each day and to do a review of each 24 hour period before we meet with our spiritual director.
I am very much aware that I am blessed to be able to do this especially as we near Holy Week and Easter. I ask for your prayers that I will use this time well and that is will be fruitful but can I assure you I will be praying especially for you all. I will not be posting any reflections this week, after today.
In today’s gospel reading at Mass a court official asks Jesus to come home with him and cure his son who was on the point of death. “Come down before my child dies.” Jesus challenged him to put his faith in his word. “Go home, your son will live.” The man walked home, placing his trust in God’s word. When he got home he found that his son had begun to recover at exactly the time when Jesus told him his son would live.
It is important that we ask for an increase in the gift of faith. Saint John Paul II wrote that to believe is to abandon oneself to the Word of the living God, knowing and humbly recognising how unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable are his ways.