March 25, 2017 – I was given the task to handle PCJ’s 2017 PCJ Servants’ Retreat.
But to ensure their silence for 2 days? Ugh! 2 minutes maybe, but for 2 days, seriously?
PCJ servants had their 2-day Silent Retreat in one of the blissful retreat houses I have been to – the Sacred Heart Novitiate Retreat House and Seminar Center in Novaliches, Quezon City.
Amid the tranquility of the place, I had to face several challenges, namely (i) to ensure that the 80 participants, including the spiritual directors, will arrive on time, braving the traffic jam from south to north, and not getting lost (thank you Waze); (ii) to ensure comfort given the sweltering heat while staying in non-aircon rooms; and (iii) to ensure that silence is given priority without falling asleep during talks.
The Lord favored me that weekend. Except for last minute dropout of 2 participants due to sickness, and uncontrollable strength of the sun’s rays, everyone spiritually enjoyed the silent retreat.
Fr. Rodel Paulino, PCJ parish priest, spearheaded the spiritual direction that weekend. Fr. Willie Ramos, Fr. Vanny Centina, Fr. Ernie Sican, Sister Cristina Guevarra, and Sister Tess Espino were our spiritual directors.
PCJ servants embraced the talks, wrote numerous notes on the notebooks we crafted especially for the silent retreat, ate the sumptuous meals prepared by the retreat house, scared one another at the 2nd and 3rd floors of the retreat house – all done with grace and silence.
It was an eye-opener for me that despite struggles and bottlenecks in life, one can only have the much-needed silence of the heart, and start to listen to God’s will.
I am a Lamb.
And you Lord is my Shepherd.
Silence speaks when words can’t.