Often on the last day of a retreat there is a time for participants to share any graces received on the retreat with other participants. I am always amazed and moved by how the Lord works uniquely in each and every one during retreat. I would like to share with each one of you, one of the graces I received last week:
My spiritual director asked me to reflect on the birth of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel (Lk.2:1-7). In my prayer, I imagined myself asking Joseph and Mary if I could hold the Christ child in my hands. Joseph handed me the infant Jesus. I simply held the infant Jesus in my hands. For a long time, I sat in silence gazing at the beautiful Christ child and I was filled with a sense of love and peace in my heart.
Then the surprise happened! I was no longer holding the Christ child but the living Word of God — the Scriptures. The Lord showed me so clearly the truth that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus, the Incarnate Word of the Father, was in my hands. This was an incredible grace for me. I know that the Bible, the Scriptures are alive. I have been preaching that for some time. In Hebrews we read: “the word of God is alive and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” (Hebrews 4: 12) But now I know it in a deeper and more profound way!
This prayer period for me was an incredible grace! The Holy Spirit revealed a truth in a new deeper way for me; one that brought incredible joy. During the remainder of the retreat I asked for the grace to be attentive to holding the Word and I asked St. Joseph to mentor me and to teach me how he held the child Jesus in his arms.
Thank you for all of your prayers this last week when we were on retreat. I know that there were many graces that sprung from your faithful prayers for us.
If there are other priests who would like to share the graces they received while on retreat, out of generous hospitality, I invite and welcome the sharing of your graces with all of us.
Fr. Mark’s Musings