Spiritual Growth Retreat
Category : PDDM India
Asirvanam, the Benedictine retreat centre is one of the oldest retreat centres in Bangalore. The serene and tranquil atmosphere of the monastery and its surroundings leaves a lasting impression, prompting one to become aware of the deeper values of life. It is in such an oasis of peace, that thirty seven of us from 17 communities participated in a ‘Spiritual Growth Retreat’. The theme for the retreat was “My Consecrated Life, a channel of God’s Mercy” which was guided by Fr. Bobbin a Camillian Priest.
The mornings at Asirvanam Monastery dawned with the chirping of the birds and the chiming of the church bells was an invitation to chant the praises of God. The beauty of nature provided the solitude needed to feel the presence of God, and be immersed in the ever present reality of His Spirit. The constant intercessory prayers offered for the retreat participants, kept every one open to God’s out pouring Graces and Blessings.
The retreat began on the 4th evening of April with the counting of God’s many blessings and singing His mercies. While journeying on, the retreatants gradually discovered that it is sin that blocks the vision of God as the Word of God in Isaiah 59: 2 says, “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you”. The inner healing and forgiveness services really left many hearts light. A simple down to earth breaking of God’s Word in the context of community living increased the thirst for knowledge of Sacred Scripture. A self-exposure to the power of God’s Word enabled the participants to look beyond and find that God has a dream and a plan for each one in all situations of one’s life (Jer 29:11). The Holy Spirit, whom they were taught to feel, hear, touch and speak, accompanied them while they prayed over each other.
When the wine ran short at Cana, Mary provided the new and good wine in abundance. In their desire to make their “Consecrated Life – a channel of God’s Mercy”, she obtained for them the newness of life. And so, along with Mary the Mother of the Church their voices proclaim “the mighty one has done great things for me” (Lk 1:49).
The days of retreat were indeed a rich Spiritual banquet together with the traditional Benedictine hospitality.