Looking back to my younger years as a “nominal” Catholic growing up in a predominantly non-Christian country, I realize that I took my faith for granted for a very long time. I did not really have a personal relationship with God, and said my prayers because I was expected to; because it was our “obligation.”
It was only when I attended a youth activity at my parish — a retreat of sorts — that I began to see how God is Someone who not only created me but also loves me unconditionally and wants to be in a relationship with me. Still, it took me years to really grow in my love for the Lord, and I know I still have a long way to go in getting to know Him and deepening my faith.
Now, I don’t know how your faith walk was, has been, or is now but I do dare to say this: You and I most probably have ate least one thing in common.
We both have what you could call “dark” areas in our lives.
At one point or another on this road towards eternity, we have fallen. I still fall many, many, many times to this day. (Just ask my husband and kids!)
Fallen into sin. Fallen into dark pits of despair, hopelessness, apathy, and so on.
(It’s OK. God knows. He sees. He understands. He still loves us.)
And this is why I believe the upcoming Shine Forth! Holy Week Retreat is something you (and I!) should definitely attend.
But don’t take my word for it… Here’s an invitation from Brother/Kuya Bo Sanchez himself:
Every year, we have the Holy Week Retreat and it’s always extra special. It’s done in a very different way and people are just wowed. The way we do it, is we actually go to the level of where people are. We don’t begin with what is the revelation of God. We begin with what are the needs of the people.
What’s your need? What are you going through?
What’s your personal experience? Right now, what is your reality? And based there, we bring the revelation of God, we bring the voice of God in that situation you are in.
Are you in pain? Are you going through a need? Are you confused? Are you wandering? That’s where we’re going in. We’re allowing God to address your deepest needs.
And we’re very excited at what’s gonna happen in the Holy Week Retreat and in the Grand Easter Feast. Shining forth. That’s our theme. We’re so excited how God will make you shine forth.
At the end of the day, all of us have our own darkness,. All of us have our own confusion, All of us have chaos inside us. And yes, it is dark. But listen to this. Light dispels all darkness. And we’re gonna be praying that God’s light will come in and push out the darkness that is right now there within you.
It’s gonna be an awesome time and I want you to be there.
Kuya Bo won’t be the only speaker at the Retreat though. Expect to be inspired and encouraged by powerful Catholic preachers like Fr. Bob McConaghy, Fr. Bong Lo, Alvin Barcelona, Didoy Lubaton, John Ben Rodriguez, JC Libiran, and Audee Villaraza.
I know many, if not most, of you reading this may already have plans for this coming Holy Week but in case you don’t and are looking for a truly meaningful way to spend the holidays connecting (or reconnecting) to the Reason behind your much-deserved break from work and school, please do consider attending the Shine Forth! Holy Week Retreat on April 13-14 (and Grand Easter Feast on April 16).
As of this writing, tickets are still available but are running out quickly so hurry and get yours while you still can. You may buy them online via SMTickets.com or in person at any SM Tickets outlet. Tickets are also on sale at The Feast Bay Area. Hope to see you there! 🙂
What will you be doing this coming Holy Week? Whatever you choose to do, I hope you won’t forget to take time to reflect and connect with the One behind it all; the Holy One who is the main Reason for the upcoming break!