Congratulations! You made it through the Following The Truth Advent Radio Retreat. During the busiest time of the year, you set aside one hour each night (or most nights, anyway) to focus on putting Jesus first in your life. Not only is that a great accomplishment, but it’s something that made the Lord very happy. You should feel very good about that. Let’s briefly review what we learned and, more importantly, let’s look at where we go from here.
According to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the Lord should come first in our lives and everything else should be second. During the retreat, we focused on several obstacles that keep that from happening. I reviewed each of these obstacles in the last newsletter, so now let’s look at what we can do to live what we learned in the retreat.
1. Trust - We can trust the Lord by patiently accepting everything that happens to us. Although this isn’t easy (especially if we like to be in control), it’s a great way to console the heart of Jesus. A great prayer for this is, “O Jesus, I surrender this to you. You take care of it”.
2. Acts Of Mercy - Every time we do this we console the heart of Jesus. Fr. Gaitley mentioned 3 ways that these acts of mercy can be performed:
Deed – Do kind deeds for others.
Word – Offer kind words to others.
Prayer – Pray for others.
3. Pray Daily - Even if it’s only for a few minutes, we need to get into the habit of speaking to Jesus every day. Obviously, the more you pray, the closer you’ll get to the Lord. Therefore, I recommend that you try to pray as much as possible, but don’t set unrealistic goals. Two hours of daily prayer for a busy person is not realistic. Try to get into the habit of speaking to Jesus throughout the day, especially during the Hour of Mercy (3 – 4 PM).
4. Receive The Sacraments - Make an effort to receive the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession as frequently as possible. You will not only console the heart of Jesus, but you will receive many graces!
5. Spiritual Reading - We should get into the habit of doing some spiritual reading each day. Be realistic when setting your goals. If you’re not used to this, start out with 15 minutes a day. The Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church are a great place to start.
Finally, as a sign of your commitment and a reminder of reminder of what we learned, Fr. Gaitley recommends that you print and sign the following pledge:
I_____________________________, on this day ______________ , choose as my principle and foundation to console the Heart of Jesus. Dear Jesus, relying on your grace and the prayers of Mary and of all the angels and saints, I will strive to keep before my eyes the deep sorrow of your Heart and respond, with Mary, by consoling you in the following two ways: First, I will give you my trust. Jesus, I trust in you. I will try not to be afraid of going to you as I am (ecce), even when my sins and weaknesses weigh heavily upon me. With an open heart, I choose to accept your mercy (fiat), even all that mercy other souls reject. Finally, I will do my best to praise and thank you in all things (magnificat), even when you give me the privilege of sharing in your Cross. Second, I will strive to show mercy to my neighbor through my deeds, words, and prayers, remembering that by consoling others, I am also consoling you. Heavenly Father, for the sake of the sorrowful Passion of your Son, I beg you: Send forth your Holy Spirit to help me fulfill this choice.
It has been a great honor to lead this Advent Radio Retreat and I hope you’ll be able to continue listening to Following The Truth on BlogTalkRadio. If you have any questions or concerns at any time, please EMAIL ME. Thank you and may God bless you!