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Mother Raphaela Leads Retreat

February 26, 2011

As pilgrims on life’s journey, we are occasionally aware – sometimes by surprise – of Christ’s presence in our midst. Other times, we become aware only when reflecting back to an extraordinary experience. So it was with our retreat, “Living and Growing in Christ,” lead by the Abbess of Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery, Mother Raphaela.

Most who attended had never before met this inspiring woman; perhaps some had read her essays, others heard descriptions of her and her life. One thing we all know now is her ability to ignite a fire within the hearts of each of us. Forty of us gathered to hear, to dialogue, and to be challenged as we re-examined that spiritual dimension we call Christianity.

The initial focus was prayer and the need for silence to quiet the soul. Many of us were surprised that 15 minutes of silence could pass so quickly and yet productively. The second session raised the issue of sin, “unforgivable” sins, and the work of forgiveness and reconciliation. In the third session, some interesting social problems were explored in terms of the Church’s response to these problems. This provoked some thoughtful and insightful questions and analyses. We ended with much food for thought, not many pat answers, but most certainly a stimulation to proceed on our journey with a sense of renewal and searching out.

The fellowship of the 40 and the guidance of Mother Raphaela does still burn within our hearts, and our prayer is to continue stoking the embers of our renewal.

– Ginger Jerosh

» Photos of the retreat may be viewed here.

Editor’s note: More reflections on the retreat will appear in the forthcoming issue of The Cupola, and will be submitted for a future edition of Jacob’s Well.

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