I had the best, most meaningful HOLY WEEK ever, so far (the best is yet to come!). :) Thanks to Joy who shared the Jesus Week poster on Facebook. It was God's personal invitation, and I couldn't thank Him enough for the grace that He also gave me to respond. Everything is grace. It was not just my personal decision to join. It was God's grace that allowed me to.
So how did it go? Well, as what I have told my friends, it was amazingly beautiful! The experience was priceless! On Holy Monday, I posted Fr. Jerry Orbos' acronym for HOLY WEEK. I experienced all of that and more! :)
I won't be able to share everything as there is just a lot of personal, intimate encounters with the Lord. But if I were to summarize, it was a time for me to HEAL. :)
Halt. Indeed, I was able to stop and just rest in the Lord. Before leaving Manila, I have already told myself that this retreat will be all about Jesus (Jesus Week nga e :D). No emails, no texts, no calls. I'll just spend my time with the One who gave me everything. And that's what happened. It also helped that the signal in the area was bad. I was truly able to focus on the most important thing: my relationships (with God, and with the people He called me to love).
Empty myself and express my love. God gave me the gift of tears. I had a good cry during the retreat and I was truly able to pour out all my emotions to a God who understands. Also, I had the privilege to pray for my loved ones and those who sent their prayer intentions. On March 31, I was led by the Holy Spirit to send a text message to my contacts to ask for their individual petitions. It has been a long while since I got to do it and I thought it would be a good sacrifice for the Holy Week. After all, interceding is a way of loving (Richard Foster). At first I was overwhelmed with the responses but when I started praying for them, I felt inexplicable joy. It always is better to give than to receive. :)
Acknowledge God's presence and accept everything as His love. Here's a very timely message from a book I was reading: There are many ways to see God's presence in our lives. Here are a few: (1) the evidence of God's work in Creation; (2) the promises and the clear directions for life found in God's Word; (3) the evidence of God at work in the lives of others; (4) the assurance in your own heart that God is present; and (5) watching Him redeem what is bad and make it good. If you don't notice God's presence in these things, you will not notice His presence even in a pillar of cloud or fire. Jesus Week was an opportunity for me to bask in the Lord's presence, marvel at His creation, be inspired and be very blessed by the stories of the speakers, the Assumption Sisters, and my fellow participants, and spend time in silence meditating on God's Word. I had the chance to journey to the core of my being, the deepest recesses of my heart, and find Jesus at the center of it all. It was truly an authentic Christ experience. I felt like I was on a honeymoon with my Greatest Lover, God. ♥ I will share some of my most treasured encounters in the coming days. :)