WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Fr David Anderson
The facilitators have a profound desire to help others with their spiritual and emotional suffering. I see the need now, more than ever before, people who are truly suffering and who experience great problems at every twist and turn where ever they live out their lives of modern human endeavor. Never in the history of our human existence have we experienced such an overwhelming pandemic of challenges and threats to our very existence.
To the facilitatotors: Sow the seeds of healing and hope and your efforts will be profoundly rewarded.
...I feel my tears welling up and, as a few stream down my face, I realise that they are tears of enormous relief; a sense that my brokenness is finally healing and that I am finding its purpose in my life.
Too often I get side tracked by the Cinema of life where I end up impressing and pleasing people. Although the "applause" is great, it leaves me drained. I end up spending time on projects and tasks that are not in line with my passions and the purpose God created me for...The true version of myself I discovered was more real and beautiful than the one I was presenting....the amazing thing is that God creates beauty from ashes.
I came on the retreat because I was at a crossroad in my life, and I needed to make a decision. We spoke a lot about hearing God’s voice. I was really doubting whether it was God’s voice or if it was what I wanted to hear. The activities used was powerful and illuminated my heart’s desires and dreams. Even though I was burnt-out in my life, I found my own calling burning in my heart. I realised God was calling me and after the retreat I came to a clear decision. Three months after the retreat, I felt God say “NOW” and I packed everything up and moved to another city in another province to start my Burning lights ministry.
In daily life, I was so distracted with busyness, that I could no longer hear God’s voice. The retreat was great to be allowed time to talk to like-minded people. It was so true- total strangers, but closer than family. I experienced a sense of “I know your pain and what you are going through” and still, I was accepted 100%. It was an incredible experience. My greatest healing was not only finding my purpose (although that was big) but by belonging to a bigger community, being seen by others, by seeing myself through other’s eyes and to be loved as I am. I could start loving myself through what they saw in me. There was so little pretentiousness, nobody was fake, nobody had agenda or played games- we all came just as we are. Other’s stories healed me. Being given a safe space to share my story healed me. Belonging healed me. And I was healed in sharing the mundane things of life like eating popcorn together, drinking coffee early morning all in our pyjamas, hair uncombed, just like family; making breakfast together. Questions like: Am I ok? Am I loveable? I found answers to that as we did the mundane tasks together as a group.
Now 4 years later, I found my writings from the retreat, and as I read through it, I can now see how everything has fallen into place as God promised.”
Please find attached the tale of my rebirth with reference to the St Raphael’s Sanctuary Healing retreat.
There are few whom I trust to be myself freely; with whom I choose to spend the time God gave me to live... and the one I have chosen, betrayed me.
Without a compass and having no place to belong anymore, I was led by the Holy Spirit to Saint Raphael’s Sanctuary Individual Retreat. There I met Louise and her brother, Eric who gave me psychological and spiritual exercises which helped me listen to the voice of God. I cleaned my soul from destructive influences and was finally filled with God’s iron will. The path was filled with immense pain- pain that made no sense. I don't know how, but a new me rose, stronger, with no doubt on which way to take now: His way! No compromises.
The Armor I have now is His, and with that I am now living my new life.
I attended the St Raphael Sanctuary Healing retreat last year. It was nothing like what I was expecting, but wow it was powerful! The directors are very gifted in this work, so that the Holy Spirit can move in the retreatant's life and we could come closer in discovering our TRUE SELVES . I arrived at the retreat full of things that were weighing me down and preventing me from being free to give and receive love and live life. I left brimming with energy and passionately in love with Our Blessed Lord, secure in His deep and unconditional love for me. I now feel secure in the knowledge that God does not need me to be perfect or to be someone other than myself in order for me to fulfil the purpose that He has ordained for my life. When He calls, He calls me as I am: inadequate and weak, but with His strength and gifts that He gives me as I need them. Witnessing the healing and transformation in the lives of the other participants also has had a massive impact on me. I recommend this retreat to anyone who feels weighed down by hurts, illness, brokenness of any kind, or anyone just lacking direction and purpose in life and those discerning their vocation in life.