From December 5th-9th we had spiritual exercises for girls in Torrent, Valencia.
There were about 25 girls who participated in the exercises, which were led by the sisters. The girls began to arrive on Wednesday at 5 p.m. We ate dinner, not yet in silence, giving us the chance to talk with friends that we had not seen for a while, and to meet new girls. After dinner, we went to the chapel, where we would spend the majority of the excercises, and with a first talk we began the silence, while the rest of the girls continued to arrive until 11 p.m., more or less.
With Complines and the Salve Regina to Our Lady we finished the day and began the exercises. Some of the girls that never had done spiritual exercises were a little afraid of the silence and thought that they wouldn´t be able to mantain it, but with the grace of God, I think that we achieved it.
Each day, after getting up, we went to the chapel to say good morning to Jesus, we prayed the morning prayers, and then went to breakfast. Later the Sisters gave us points of meditation to be able pray before the Blessed Sacrament. This time of prayer, together with the celebration of the Holy Mass, was what most helped me.
Later, we had free time. After every scheduled activity there was free time. In the morning we had two talks, then at 2 o´clock we ate lunch.
During breakfast, lunch, and supper, the sisters read a book: "The Joy of the Self-Giving. Montse Grases". This book helped us all a lot, because it made us see that holiness is possible for us too. It´s the story of the simple life of a young spanish 17 year old girl from Opus Dei, told by those who knew her. Montse´s is in the process for beatification.
After lunch, there was an hour for those who wanted to rest, and those who did not could walk around outside, pray the rosary, read in the chapel... During the afternoons we had another talk, sometimes two. One of the Servant Brothers came to celebrate Mass at 7 p.m., but he came early so that we had the opportunity to go to confession.
After Mass, we prayed vespers and had another talk before going to supper. We finished off the day with the last talk, Complines, and the Salve. We went to bed pretty tired, so we were able to sleep very well.
One day we prayed the Stations of the Cross, with the meditations by Saint Jose Maria Escriba de Balaguer and on the same day we meditated on the Passion.
The 8th was dedicated to Our Lady, and that night we had a special Vigil for the Immaculate Conception. It was very beautiful. The chapel was decorated with flowers and we sang songs to Our Lady.
With every day that passed we came to like the silence more and more, but the exercises were very short, or at least they seemed short to us. The last day, Sunday December 9th, before eating lunch, we finished off the exercises with a final meeting in which we shared experiences, testimonies, etc... Most of the girls told how it had helped them a lot to spend those 4 days in silence. They shared how they had gotten to know the Lord better and how his life and what he had done for us had impressed them.
The last lunch was different than the others. All the girls, rather than talking, were shouting and singing... We also thanked the sisters who served us and cooked for us. The food was great!
And after eating, everyone went back to her home town. Some to Zaragoza, others to Santander, Barcelona, Madrid, Torrent, Navarra...
Blessed be God who has given us this great gift!
- Miriam Ferrer Díaz