Day 1 – 9PM
Honestly, I got bored. And lonely. So much for the antisocial introvert-ness of me.
That’s not to say that the day didn’t go well. When I reached and saw the room, I felt rather happy already. The room’s nice and cosy. Simple. But cosy. And clean. Clean is important. No amount of praying will help me deal with cockroaches.
My first meeting with my SD was… hm. Long. He asked the usual big questions about life. And yes, I’ve heard them before. Yes, I’ve thought about them before. But these questions never have full answers. Each time you go back to them and ask them again, you get deeper insights and uncover new revelations. Oh right. So the questions are:
1). Whence I come?
2). Whither I go?
*3). What am I doing in between? (have no idea what’s the archaic phrasing for this)
Question 3 is clearly the key question of life – how do we live our lives. But 1 and 2 is an awesome way to frame 3. It puts the entire question in perspective – that our life in this world is only transitory. We’re only tourists. Life itself, is not the be all and end all.
I slept a lot. It’s really easy to sleep because the bed is right next to the table. And since there are no distractions, there are really only 3 things to do – eat, pray or sleep. I can’t keep eating because my stomach has a bottom. I can’t keep praying (though I suspect that I’m supposed to pray more than sleep; which… I THINK I do spend more time talking to God). So when I get bored of reading the bible or reflecting I gravitate to the bed. I lie down, talk to God for a little while and end up falling asleep.
It disturbs me a little that when I pray, I get mixed up and forget if I was talking to our Father or Jesus. They’re one God I know. But still, they are different and unique persons. And if it’s so easy for me to get confused, it means I don’t really have a personal relationship with either of them to begin with right? So my conversations were words said to an abstract God in general whom I don’t know personally. That’s why I don’t even know whether I’m talking to Jesus or our Father. Strangely enough, I’m quite clear about when I’m addressing the Holy Spirit instead.
Why do we need 3 persons in one God?
*edit: Hm ok I kinda stumbled upon the answer in my reflections? I’m not sure if this is theologically sound. But what came to me was that God our Father needed to be known. He needed to send someone who truly knew Him so that the world will know about Him. Because He’s not really how the Old Testament described him to be, is He? And the only person that knows Him well enough must come from Himself – His son, begotten of the Father. So Jesus had to die, but God’s work still has to continue in the world. So since Jesus can’t be with us, God sent the Holy Spirit. Thus, the Holy Trinity. Yay =)
Day 2 – 8.53AM
Zomg I slept 10 hours ._. don’t think I’ve ever slept so long this year. Jesus probably wanted me to get proper rest. Oh wells. Rejuvenation was one of the aims of the retreat after all.
I’m really thankful that there are apples in the pantry =)
Things that I yearn for:
– play badminton
– close friend to talk to
– DotA. Or a book to read.
– Sun’s sentosa trip :D
– Moar food rawrZ
Ok so maybe I’m not THAT good at being alone. I just think I need a book. I still think I survive perfectly fine without social interaction. Doesn’t mean I survive well without personal interaction.
I’ve gotten some interesting insights about myself though. And some interesting ideas about YM/LoG. Not sure if I’ll get down to articulating them. So yep it’s really quite shiok to just have absolutely nothing to do, and to nua any time I want to, and be able to be aware of God’s presence almost all the time.
I just had a really good ado session =) Hm I realize I hardly followed the guidelines given for the silent retreat at all. They suggested Ignatian contemplation or Lectio Divina but all I did was read the passages given to me, reflected a bit about them, then ‘freestyled’ my own reflections and let my mind wander. It’s the best way my mind/prayer works la I think. I don’t like focusing my thoughts too much. It feels like I’m over-restricting my intuition and imagination. And if God speaks to me in moments of creativity, then it’s definitely stifling the way God speaks to me. Though there’s merit in focused prayer of course, especially for discernment.
I liked the bible passages I got today. 1 of them especially struck me – Mt 13: 18-23. It talks about the ways that God’s word gets lost:
1). Lack of understanding/reflection
2). Lack of faith and courage to withstand trials
3). Distracted by the world
(3) was a reminder to me, because I kept getting bored during the retreat and had to tell myself to focus on God, since I had specially set this time for Him. There are times that I get lost in thought and just while away the time thinking and reflecting and imagining. That’s nice and fun. And it’s a blessing. But then there are times that I’m like ‘zomg there is NOTHING to do ._. I’m just either eating, sleeping or praying.’ Which is supposed to be the case I guess. Just that the laptop’s a tempting distraction~ I kept to my self-allowed ‘one hour to connect with the world’ today though =) Though I did try to load DotA to see if my iPhone could handle it. I never got far enough to make the decision whether to actually play. That’s something to be thankful about~
Oh. And I think. THINK! That I got a calling to marriage ._. callings are never clear-cut. But it was a first sign. It’s interesting though, cos I never realized before this that people could be ‘called’ to marriage. I just thought that it’s the default vocation. If you have no calling to be a priest or a lay single, then you just get married lor. Hm.
Ok time to sleep! Shall go for morning mass tomorrow, then break retreat le! Back to the real world~
Day 3 – 7.43AM
Last day! Just went for mass. Oh smth funny happened when I woke up today. I set my alarm for 6AM (unlike yesterday where I just slept until whatever time I wanted) to wake up in time for mass at 7. So when I heard the alarm ring, I turned to the left side of the bed to snooze the alarm as I normally do at home, and I realized ZOMG IT’S A WALL. That shocked me quite a bit haha.
Reading a msg, I just had a sudden burst of gratitude for all the kindred spirits that I identify with. And I mean something quite specific here. There are some of us who have lost our innocence. I will not go so far to say that we are cynics (we are too wise for that~), but we do know that darkness exists and we know how disordered human nature can be. We know it beyond our heads, we realize it in our hearts too, because we recognize that darkness in ourselves. At least for me, I have consciously considered this walking this path of darkness (as cheesily and cheaply poetic as this might sound, it really isn’t a laughing matter).
And so we know exactly just what we are giving up – the pleasures, the greatness, the pride… We abandon these pursuits in search of a second innocence, a search for God. And I’m just thankful for people who come from this darkness too, to affirm me that I’m not alone in this journey in opting for goodness, peace and joy.