As there would be holiday due to Independence’s day in China, I planned the date to go home to Hong Kong and then I remembered that I didn’t have my annual retreat yet. So I checked three retreat houses and finally I decided to go to Xavier House (http://xavier.ignatian.net/html/eng/index.html) on Oct 3-7 as the other two retreat houses couldn’t accommodate before Oct 4.
I went to Tsim Tsa Shui Pier to go by ferry to Central Pier and then took another ferry for 30 minutes to Chengchau Island. I asked several persons to locate Xavier House including taking the picture of the map of the island. One of them wrote down Xavier House in Chinese characters with a suggestion to ask along the way as she couldn’t explain the direction. It’s uphill and facing the sea.
Fr. Cairan Kane, SJ was appointed as my spiritual director. I met him on Oct 3 4.00 p.m. and then every 10.30 a.m. for around 30 minutes. He suggested several readings to be prayed with. I asked God to give me the grace to listen to the Holy Spirit and to do it.
I prayed with Psalm 139:1-24 God everywhere, in all, knows all, Is 43: 1-9 I have called you by your name, Jer 1:4-10 The call of Jeremiah, John 1: 1-51 Jesus meets the first disciples, John 20: 24-29 Thomas Didimus, John 21: 1-23 The appearance of Jesus by the lake, meditate on the Last Supper (John 13: 2-17), Agony in the Garden (Mat 26: 36-45) and Resurrection of Jesus (John 20: 11-18), besides rosary and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
I was in tears during lunch on Oct 6 when I remembered God’s providence and I said “Lord, help me in my unbelief.” I left the dining table to calm myself down. During the Adoration in the evening, I was in tears again when the question “Why did God call me for retreat at this time?” came to my mind and got the answers from the readings that God wants to give re-affirmation “Don’t be afraid, I call you by name and I will be with you.”
I booked a guided retreat at Xavier House on Jul 15-23 but I cancelled it as I went home to be with my family after the death of my beloved father. I thought to have a retreat in Indonesia but I couldn’t make it as I followed up the paperwork related to my father’s death. I thought I wouldn’t have a retreat as I should move to Guangzhou on Sep 3 to start my Mandarin study.
On our last meeting, Fr. Kane blessed me after personalizing the reading from one of my favourite passages Eph 3: 14-21 and asked to reflect on the transfiguration of Jesus (Mat 17: 1-9) on my way home.
My retreat was closed so perfectly with the Eucharist for Our Lady of Rosary as the Gospel was taken from Luk 1: 26-38 with one of my favourite passages “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.”
After quick lunch, I went back home to catch the train to Guangzhou as early as possible as I didn’t want to arrive dormitory too late.
Thank you very much for your prayers during my retreat. May God continue to bless you missionary journey.
Guangzhou, October 15, 2010
Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.
Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible