Not All Suffering is Bad

I am so grateful for all of the people that made the Renewed healing retreat possible.  The main topic of healing was covered in such a beautiful way that you couldn’t help but knock down your internal walls and open up to the graces that are readily available to us.

The content of the retreat was awesome, as were the witness talks given by two women who were so inspirational.  After one of the witness talks, we were given an individual blessing by Fr. Thanh Nguyen, LC, while he was holding a relic of our Lord’s cross against our foreheads.  This particular experience will stay with me forever.  The two opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration really unlocked a piece of my heart and let me feel the healing power of Jesus.

On the first day, we talked about the book of Genesis and our personal origins.  The idea that the devil attacks the human family because he can’t attack the Trinity really gave me something to think about.  I knew that Jesus was tempted by the devil and never gave in, but the fact that the devil has no power over the Trinity is comforting to me.  It also makes me pause and realize how much harder I must work to keep him away from me by becoming more Christ-like.

Much of this retreat was about our own individual identities and how we perceive them.  It is difficult sometimes for us not to feel like we have to keep up with Jones or be responsible for the failures in our children’s lives or for putting ourselves second, often to our own detriment.  We need nourishment and replenishment, and we can only do this by opening up to God.  The more we open up, the more we can be healed and can head down the right path as Christians.  The more we transform ourselves into what God wants for us, the better we can evangelize and share our faith with others.  To heal and have life we must go through the cross.

As women, we need to nurture, comfort, support, and protect our families and friends.  This will help keep us strong and stay closer to Christ.  A fallen woman can become either controlling or needy, which helps no one.  God has fueled the rocket engines he has put in our hearts; we just need to constantly be aware of this and not settle for less for ourselves and others.

During this retreat, I learned that people don’t need to be perfect for me to love them.  Everyone has been redeemed by the blood of Christ, and I am called to win them over for Christ.  Through this retreat, I learned that goodness and love are so much more powerful than sin and evil, and not all suffering is bad. We need to resolve our anger and always forgive. I also learned that sometimes we are provided with the best opportunities to grow during our suffering when we allow God to accompany us in faith and hope.

-Karen Pritchard

Our next Renewed retreat will be for men and women on the weekend of April 21-23, 2023, at the Mariapolis Luminosa in Hyde Park, NY. Click here for more information.

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