Saturday, April 18, 2015
The Abbey of Gethsemani
While on retreat, the Guestmaster, the monk in charge of the Retreat House, usually gives a talk. He informs the retreatants about the Abbey policies, stresses the need for silence and gives a reflection of his choosing. However, on this day, Fr. Seamus, the Guestmaster, was under the weather so Fr. Carlos stepped in. This was the Holy Spirit at work.
Fr. Carlos is the Retreat House chaplain. He began his talk by saying that you and I are not broken. He went on to say that we all believe we are broken because we all have suffered and endured hardships. He shared many examples of brokenness from his own life and of those he knew. He compared these stories to the story of the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15.
Fr. Carlos said that the Prodigal Son thought he was broken. He returned to his father hoping to work as a hired hand but his Father saw him through the eyes of love. He was his son. He treated him like a son. This is how God sees each of us no matter what we have done. Therefore, how can we be broken?
A woman retreatant spoke up and shared her story. When she was young she fell in love, ran away from home and moved in with her boyfriend. She became pregnant and the boyfriend left. She had no where to go and no money so she decided to go back home hoping her parents would take her in. When she pulled into her parent’s driveway, her mother came running out to meet her. She welcomed her and her new grandchild with open arms.
In the Abbey Church a banner of the Risen Christ hangs behind the altar. Each time I enter the church I look at the banner and think to myself: Christ sees me as his daughter, therefore, how can I be broken?
I count it all joy,