WEEK 2 in REVIEW
The following table highlights the process of our Week 2 Retreat – our awareness and the required actions. Please take time to review and to further reflect on what you need to know and to work on. (Please note that you may also revisit Week 1 in Review below.)
Week 1 in Review
|1||I need a Destination: If I do not know where I am going, what am I going to enter into my GPS?||
Enter Destination into spiritual GPS:
Key Virtue – Humility: The sure hope of rebirth begins only with first dying to oneself.
A humble person fills oneself not with self interests but those of God, preparing room in one's heart to receive and store God's Word.
Take Mother Mary as your Role Model:
|3||FOCUS/ATTENTION: What am I feeding my soul? “You are what you eat.” If you have a destination you want to achieve, you need to start feeding ourselves on things above (God's Word – nutrients), not things on earth.||
PRIORITY RESET: What in my life are things above, and what are things on earth? Time for me to start shifting my FOCUS.
TREASURE HUNT: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
RADICAL CHOICE: to enter into the inner circle (disciple of Christ) means to enter into the Heart of Jesus.
To gain the Kingdom, one must give everything.
Jesus has given us everything. However, in order for us to gain, it is our turn to give everything back to Him.
Think of Jesus as the Master and we are His apprentice. “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)
Read Bible: The Rich Young Man (Mark 10:17-31)
To give up everything is a long process, but I need to start somewhere… and that somewhere is my heart because:
The condition of the soil in my heart also indicates the condition of my soul!
What is my weakest link in the garden of my heart?
Examine my life for weak links that hinder the growth of my faith and thus an intimate relationship with Christ.
Weak links: How do I spend my time? Balance growth: Time with Jesus, Others, Yourself – JOY.
As the heart of this Lenten Retreat is what we can do to let the seeds grow and be fruitful, we first need to know “what are the seeds?” so that we can better nurture them:
The ultimate intimacy with Jesus is when His thirst for our love meets our thirst for His love.
The seeds in our souls germinate when we join Mother Mary at the foot of the cross to quench the thirst of Jesus.
Imagine yourself underneath the Cross looking up to Jesus. Feel Jesus’ personal love for you, for you alone. Encounter Him where He suffers and thirsts.
Pray for a renewed heart that will not forsake Jesus again!
What if I can’t feel the thirst of Jesus? Yes, we all suffer from a hardened heart to various extent.
We must allow the Word to accomplish God’s will in our lives. That will only happen if we respond. If we don’t, the devil will, by taking it away from us. Our hearts will then continue to suffer hardness/numbness.
In what ways am I blindfolded by my own stubbornness and preoccupations that I forsake the opportunity to respond to God?
Conquer the fear of facing Jesus by first going to confession, and then receive Jesus and be nourished by Him in the Eucharist.
Lord, open my eyes, I want to see you; grant me a heart of flesh, I want to feel you!
How do I perceive the generosity of God?
Astonished? Jealous? Fearful? Shameful?
Notice how we feel reveals our heart’s condition, and how we should address that accordingly.
Jesus loves those whom He knows will reject Him at the end. He still loves them all the same!
Compare the uncalculated love of God vs. my calculated ways to love and to act.
Do I see God as a judge, or do I see him as a merciful father? Do I consider myself too unworthy to receive his love?
Lord, soften my heart to experience your love in such a profound way so that I truly believe nothing can stop you from loving me!
God chooses to love no matter what. What are our choices?
Contrast Jesus who sows wildly, and how we abuse our given freedom wildly! Is this our decision?? Do we allow ourselves to be reckless in abusing this freedom from God?
“We cannot have it both ways; if we are free, we are responsible; if we are not responsible, we are not free.” – Venerable Fulton Sheen
Do I exercise my freedom in such a way as a response to the generosity of God to me, or is it always based on selfish motives?
Do I consider the consequences of my decisions on others and myself? Am I truly taking full responsibility for my choices in life?
Lord, help me to make choices for your greater glory!
“Who do you think that I am?” (Mark 8:29)
Relationship is at the core of our being.
This is a crucial step of this 40-day retreat. You have to see Jesus face-to-face and honestly answer His question, “Do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15)
Am I putting God above all else?
“In what way is Jesus related to me?”
Who is He to me? Do I see Jesus as my bridegroom as He describes Himself?
Am I loving and serving two masters? Am I willing to commit to this most important relationship of my life?
Read Bible: Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42)
What is still holding you back from putting Christ at the centre of your life?
Do we want “proof” before we believe or commit? “Proof” comes in different forms and shapes. It might be understanding, evidence, scientific facts, etc. Whatever that may be, it holds you back from receiving the best God has in store for you.
“God is a Person, and the only way to understand a Person is by love, and the only way to perfect understanding is by perfect love.” (Peter Kreeft, The God Who Loves You: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling)
Commit to love and to believe first so that you can come to understand!
The hardening of our hearts is a subtle process and is orchestrated by the devil.We need to identify those aspects that have built up the walls around us, preventing God’s Word to be sown in our hearts.
“Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)
Once we have named those dark sides of our lives, we can begin to regain the freedom in order to fend off all those attacks. We will find ourselves in a more ready and joyful state to embrace and retain God’s Word, and to say “Yes, I do.” to the Lord.
Congratulations, you have completed Week Two of this 40-Day Lenten Retreat! And welcome those who just joined us this week. We hope this has been a fruitful retreat for you so far. Let's continue to support and pray for all the farmers who are journeying with us.
This week we have launched the Mandarin and English audio reflection. Please spread the word to your friends. We are especially grateful for a “farmer” from Taiwan who offered to do the Mandarin recording for us! We thank her tremendously for her generosity.
We are also touched and encouraged by the feedback of some participants, one of which we share with you below:
Dear FLL team,
Thank you sincerely for launching this 40-Day Online Lenten Retreat. My friends and I are so delighted to be a part. We are especially grateful to you all for your dedicated service which has helped us to live out the spirit of this Lent by getting closer to Christ on this passover journey.
There are also Protestant believers in my friends and family. They also introduced this Lenten Retreat to their friends and communities. Praise be to God. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, this online retreat has become virtual ecumenical gathering beyond time and boundary! At the same time, knowing that people from China can also participate in this retreat, receiving reflection on a daily basis, is something we should all praise God for.
May the blessings of Heavenly Father fill every one of you and your family. God bless.
For this coming week, this Lenten Retreat will lead us to the centre of the garden where we will closely examine the different conditions of the soil within our hearts. God bless!
Now, let us conclude this review with a prayer:
Dear God, thank you again for granting me this spiritual faith journey! I offer you everything that I have experienced. Above all, I offer you my heart! Please bless my heart with your special graces and grant me wisdom so that I will grow every day in your likeness. Give me strength and courage to overcome any hurdles, to fend off all attacks, and a renewed hope to embrace another week ahead! I ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!
1)The following are some multimedia productions related to Lent produced by Fountain of Love and Life and some other relevant resources. Click here.
2) Homily of Fr. Francis Ching on Ash Wednesday 2020
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- Thank you, Jesus, for loving us even when we abandoned you by not putting you on the top of our priorities. Please grant us the courage to change our habit to start our day with you first Before other preferences. God is good all the time!
- The “I thirst” is very powerful for me. It transforms, it soften my heart. It is much deeper than Jesus saying, “I love you.” Not only that He loves me, but even more – He longs for me. He is always accepting me of who I am.
- Read more…
- What good words of 「Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water」, more than thanks, our dearest Lord, heavenly Father, give us Daily bread, Aman.
- Lord, because of your grace, we can experience your love and mercy. Thank you for loving us and helping us to be steadfast and to do what is pleasing to you. Amen
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- Only in Him, we may find peace. Only in Him, we may find wisdom and unconditional love. Thank you Almighty Father.
- To me, God is our merciful Father. However, this belief sometimes makes me become wilful and do whatever I like instead of listening to God, knowing that God will forgive.Lord, help me in doing everything according to Your Will, to be more like You in.loving and forgiving my neighbours.
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- Often I do acts which I think is out of love for the others, but sometimes upon reflection, I do discover that they might come out from a selfish motive. Crises make me realise if I really love or rather I want to present myself to be a loving person, to be appreciated. As in today’s prayer, I hope I can choose God in every aspects of my life, in which I will enjoy the freedom God has given us.
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- Self~centeredness holds me back from being committed into the relationship with God. I hesitated to step out of my comfort zone and often asked from Him when things aren’t going my way. Lord, please give me strength to carry out my promise ‘yes, I do!’
- Yes I Do!! Jesus I ❣you
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