Just a few short weeks ago the first year missionaries here at Covecrest completed an eight day silent retreat. It was such a blessed opportunity for each of us. The Lord poured out so many abundant blessings and gifts upon each of the missionaries. I wanted to share a few things that the Lord spoke more clearly to my heart during silence.
Each night, we had a conference with Br. John Ignatius, who was leading our retreat. One of the nights about half way through he began to talk about the need to LEAN IN. He pointed out that our holy hours may not always be easy, but that physically and spiritually we needed to lean in to our prayer times. What he was sharing with us really struck my heart. I realized while in silence I was giving the Lord all that I had, but that was certainly not the case in my day to day prayer times.
I decided that I needed to stop being satisfied with just showing up or reading through something during prayer. God desires all of me, not just part of me. I know that the Lord will use whatever I give Him, but why not give all of myself? Why not dive into the scriptures and the sacraments with zeal and fervor? During the retreat I made a resolution to continue to lean in well after the silence was broken and our meditations were complete. It has been a beautiful challenge to lean in to my prayer times since the retreat, but God has provided the grace to continue.
Something else that really stuck out to me was the phrase, LOVE MORE. So often as we lean into God we start to get uncomfortable because we realize that He wants more. When I lean in to prayer and really listen, I hear the Lord’s call to change. I hear His call to give past what is nice and comfortable. The gospels remind us that God must increase and I must decrease.
When we allow God, who is love, to increase in our heart, mind, and soul we begin to love more. We begin to give God permission to be God. We learn how to push past our selfish desires and live for Love. I usually turn away from the chance of loving more, but since our retreat God has really challenged me in such a beautiful way to love more.
It does not matter if you are rejected or denied, ridiculed or unwanted, Jesus Loved More despite these trials. Just as Christ persevered in each moment, so too must each of us Love More. God did not stop at heaven’s door to free us; He became one of us . He did not stop at just entering into human life, He even stepped into suffering. He not only suffered He died to free us. He loves us more than our sinfulness, more than our brokenness, more than our weakness. When we start to truly realize just how much more Christ has loved us, our eyes truly begin to open to the need to give our all to Him.
So I invite you, to LEAN IN to the love God has for you, and from that posture of the heart to Love More!