PRIESTS’ RETREAT 2009 The preacher, Justin Panakal OCD. is a director of Retreat Centre, in Delhi. -shared by Germ
My retreat experience: This retreat was one that gave me some memorable experience. What impressed me most is that contemplation is so very easy. It is within the reach of the common man. The following way of contemplating God, impressed me. The preacher told us of a real experience when he was preaching a retreat in Hong Kong. A Chinese had come for the retreat. This was his story. He had two children, a boy and a girl. The teenager son got into drugs and committed suicide. This came as a great shock to him, because he had pinned his hopes on his son. To add to this his daughter, a smart child became a doctor, but one day just walked out. This further hurt him. But what came next put the nail in the coffin, which broke him completely. His wife left him for another man, and she stays with the man in the opposite building and he can see them, right there! Fr. Justin did not give him long counseling session; but having heard his confession and absolved him, he reminded him that God is a loving father, who resides at the centre of his heart. And so he told him to place his hand on his chest, focus his attention on God present there at the centre of his heart and say the following: “ My God!” He told him to just go on repeating, “My God. My God!” as often as he could, and sent him away. 2 - Six months later Fr. Justin was in Hong Kong, and this Chinese man came to see him. Fr. Justin says he was delighted to see that the man had visibly changed. There was a serene look on his face, all smiles. He shared his experience: He said that he had been praying, “My God, My God” all these six months, as often as he could, and he had changed. The Lord had healed him. The sadness of that had ceased him just vanished. He had forgiven everyone, even his wife, although she had not come back to him. I have been sharing this with quite a few people and many have found this way of prayer/contemplation very meaningful and helpful. Some have shared that it has been a great help in moments of depression and crisis. Try it! -From Germ to Grace.