Retreat 2018: an oasis on the spiritual journey

28 July 2018

“An oasis on the spiritual journey” is a rich and profound image to describe a retreat of Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres in July, 2018, conducted by Fr Joseph McCabe - the retreat Master. The theme of the retreat was suggested as "Following Christ by imitating Paul".

retreat 2018
Fr. Joseph started and ended the annual retreat by a famous quotation from C.S. Lewis “You cannot go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending”. This idea is very much on Pauline spirituality. As St Paul have said “forgetting all that lies behind me and strain forward to what lie in front” (Phil 3:13). This is also the purpose of retreats where the Sisters are equipped and strengthened on their spiritual life to start again and journey towards the Supreme Goal.

retreat 2018There were many insights about Pauline spirituality which is impossible to list out here. Among these insights, Fr Joseph’s homily on the mission left a deep impression. Using the passage from Mk 6:7-13, he stated three things needed on the mission journey. First, a “walking stick”- trust in God, so that we can lean on, get support and gain our balance. Second, “go two by two”- we need each other because the mission is too immense. Third, “shake the dust off from your feet”- don’t be paralysed by our failures. We need to try our best and be courageous to move on after our falls. Through the talks, the Sisters were encouraged to learn to cling on God’s providence, trust in their spiritual companions and ready to move on.

Sr. Maria Josephine Phan

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