Weekend with Rabboni — A weekend well spent

Weekend with Rabboni, a silent retreat, was held February 15-16 at Oasis. This is the second time this programme was conducted in this town.

Mar 21, 2020

By R. Emmanuel
Weekend with Rabboni, a silent retreat, was held February 15-16 at Oasis. This is the second time this programme was conducted in this town. The silent retreat was for young adults between the ages 18 to 25. Most participants were school students waiting for their SPM results, young working adults and college students on semester break.

The first day began with Mass at 10.00am. Fr Martinian Lee was the celebrant. Right after Mass, there was a short conference (briefing) with Matthew Wee – the animator for the weekend. Handouts were given to all the participants to guide them. In the briefing, they were guided on how to effectively meditate on the words given. The first encounter was with SOLOMON – An excellent model for the retreatants (1 kings 3:5-15). After the points of prayer, they met their spiritual directors.

When lunch was over, they had a second briefing, a handout of the topic MARY – Woman Of Consolation (Lk 1:26-28). The briefing was about spiritual consolation, the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit. After the briefing, the retreatants were asked to find a comfortable place to encounter and meditate in silence on the words given. When they were ready, they would speak to their spiritual directors.

After dinner, the third conference  started at 8.00pm. Here, there was a discussion about the desolation of DAVID (2 Sam 11:1-17) as well as a discussion about the domino effect that can happen when one does not have self-control while in desolation. This was the last conference for the day and again everyone meditated in silence on the Word given before they had a personal session with their spiritual directors.

On the last day, the final briefing started after breakfast. The last encounter was about PAUL – PETER & JOHN (Rom 12:9-21, Acts 3:1-10). For this session, they reflected on how  the spirit guides everyone day to day.

The silent retreat ended with Holy Mass, lunch and a group photo session.

The model for this Weekend with Rabonni was taken from the Ignatian discernment by St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) which is his own unique way of Catholic discernment. The main focus of this silent retreat was spiritual desolation and spiritual consolation.

Spiritual desolation from St Ignatius of Loyola, the Fourth Rule of his Spiritual Exercises, contains attributes such as darkness of the soul and the  feeling of hopelessness. According to St Ignatius of Loyola, spiritual consolation gives us a palpable experience of God’s love. Spiritual consolation and desolation are parts of the spiritual life that we all experience as we grow and develop in faith; we are always shuttling between consolation and desolation and neither one lasts forever.

During this programme, the retreatants also learnt how to differentiate between the two. In addition to that, they learned about spiritual discernment where they used a series of spiritual exercises to discern life choices and focus on noticing God in all aspects of life.

“Personally, by the end of this silent retreat, I felt like a new person. I could see a different perspective in my life which I once thought impossible. I have learned to understand and be at peace with myself and learn to control my feelings. There were many things for me to take home and reflect upon despite the retreat only being for two days. I wish this silent retreat was a day or two longer as I felt that it was somewhat rushed and compacted. It would also have been better if we had more spiritual directors to cater to the large group of participants.

“Nevertheless, I think the programme has achieved its goal in spite of the limitations. In conclusion, Weekend with Rabboni was a weekend truly well spent and I would definitely like to invite anyone who has not experienced a silent retreat to give it a chance at least once. And I can promise you that you will not regret it!”

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