I was on a business retreat this weekend. It was spent talking to my Boss. That is praying to God. You see, as a Theology major, I take my orders from the Supreme Boss, God. We got down to some serious business about strategies for my work...or rather His Work, as it was an Opus Dei retreat. This was my first retreat and it truly was a blessing. I learned so much from it and I can definitely say that my spiritual life has been deepend greatly! If you have never gone on a retreat before, find the next one that it coming up and and sign up now! You won't regret it. You will thank yourself for it and more importantly thank God for it.
Here are some things I learned or deepend my understanding of through prayer and meditation:
First of all, I learned that my daily meditations should be more focused, instead of trying to meditate on every mystery of Christianity. St. Josemaria suggests praying along with the Church with these specific subjects during the week:
Monday-> Holy Souls of Purgatory
Tuesday-> Guardian Angels
Wednesday -> St. Joseph
Thursday -> Eucharist
Friday -> Passion of the Lord
Saturday -> The Blessed Virgin Mary
Sunday -> The Holy Trinity
One of the things I pondered on which I wrote down was the Eucharist. It says in the Gospels that Christ desires to celebrate the Passover with the Apostles. Why? Was it just to pass on some symbolic action that they must do over and over? No. It was because He earnestly desired to institute this Sacrament of His Body and Blood, whereby He gives Himself totally and completely to us. He desires to fill us with His grace. To actually live within us! And it's not just Christ we receive and who lives in us, but the entire Trinity! For wherever Christ is, the Father and the Holy Spirit are there as well. What a glorious gift the Eucharist truly is!
I also thought more about this post I did last week on the speculation of Mary's baptism. I have changed my mind on the matter, but for a totally different reason than the poster I mentioned. Mary probably would have chosen to be baptized. Not because she needed it, but out of her humility. St. Josemaria in his meditation on the Presentation says that Mary offered the two doves for purification, not that she was defiled in the birth of Christ, but out of obedience to the law and out of the utmost humility of her heart! She would have done likewise with baptism.
I also read St. Therese of Lisieux's autobiography. What an amazing person she was! She has such a wonderful knowledge of Scripture and is able to explain the truths of Christianity in the simplest way. It's no wonder she is a Doctor of the Church. I learned so much more about redemptive suffering and loving Jesus than I had ever thought possible in 312 pages. And her devotion to the Blessed Mother is something to be sought after and greatly admired! I think the Little Flower is now my favorite saint....besides St. Patrick of course.
My goal is to combine St. Therese with St. Josemaria. I want to have the interior life of St. Therese in the world, so that I may win souls for Christ through prayer, suffering, and love as well as by the example I set. I want Christ's light to shine through me, so that all may see His glory. I want to be a theologian that does the kind of theology that Hans Urs von Balthasar described as "kneeling theology."