Monday, July 9, 2012

A Day of Reflection and Reconnection

VIDES Recollection 2011*

Renewed, refreshed and reenergized after the lenten recollection, VIDES Pinoy volunteers
pose with Sr. Rosa of  VIDES Korea and Tessa of VIDES USA. (Photo credit: Tessa Krebs) 

Sisters and volunteers trooped to Graceland Estate and Country Club in Tayabas, Quezon
for the annual lenten recollection.  The idyllic recreational haven served as the perfect venue for reflection and reconnection with God.    

Fr. Edwin Soliva, SDB ably facilitated the recollection which centered on the importance of maintaining a strong relationship with God, of valuing our relationships with our families and friends, of cultivating harmonious relationships with others, and of living in accordance with God’s divine plan.

Fr. Edwin reminded us of God’s infinite love and enduring faithfulness.  He guided us on how to nurture and strengthen our relationship with the Lord and others through faithfulness.  He discussed the three components of faithfulness – Stewardship, Simplicity, and Service.  Stewardship refers to our assumption of responsibility for the welfare of others and of our world.  It entails the wise use of the gifts and blessings that God has given us.  Simplicity means letting go of things that weigh us down, our excess baggage, our worries and anger, our worldly desires.   Faithfulness calls for service that is genuine, sincere, and loving.  This type of service requires the giving of oneself without expecting anything in return.

Following the showing of a touching music video featuring clips from the movie, “The Passion of the Christ”, we were asked to break into small groups to share our reflections on God’s faithfulness, to dissect the message of the allegory of the vine and the branches, and to share our responses to a list of meaningful questions.   A confession session with Fr. Edwin was simultaneously held with the sharing activity.

By midday, we headed to Kainan sa Palaisdaan to enjoy a sumptuous lunch and to continue our sharing and bonding.  

Before going back to Manila, we visited the famous pilgrimage site, Kamay ni Hesus Shrine, where we attended holy mass and climbed the 300-step Stations of the Cross Hill to reach the imposing 50-foot statue of Jesus Christ.

Despite the activity-filled day and the taxing land travel to and from Quezon, everyone went home recharged, renewed, and reenergized.  The spiritual recollection gave us the opportunity to pay full attention to the loving and invigorating presence of God in our soul.  

*I was asked to write an article on the lenten recollection held in April last year for the VIDES Philippines Newsletter.  Although the piece is more than one year too late, I decided to put it up in the blog because I want to share the beautiful message imparted by Fr. Edwin Soliva, SDB.

Sending you happy thoughts...

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