Advent retreat for girls and ladies in Guayaquil (Ecuador), November 29th, 2015.
We have begun Advent in the best possible way, with a silent retreat organized by the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother in a house that a lady lent us that has a very cozy Chapel. This retreat was geared for girls and ladies, and in total there were more than 80 people who attended.
The meeting point was in the chapel of the Condor at 7:45 am; from there we went by bus or private car to the house that they had let us have to hold the retreat. With the goal of preparing in the best possible way, we entrusted ourselves to Our Mother so that She would be the one helping us in the silence, and to be able to better listen to God's voice.
Upon arrival we had an introductory talk to learn about the proper attitudes that we should have during the retreat in order to get the most out of it. After this talk, we had points of meditation in front of the Blessed Sacrament and we meditated on the cry that Jesus uttered at the moment of his death on the cross. At the end of the meditation, a sister led an examination of conscience to prepare us to make a good confession, what better way to start Advent than with a retreat and being in God's grace!
Then we had the opportunity to participate in the Holy Mass celebrated by the Servant Brothers of the Home of the Mother. At the end of the Eucharist, as we were many, we had to divide ourselves for lunch into two groups. The first group was made up of all the ladies and some girls who had gone to the retreat with their mothers. Meanwhile, the rest of the girls stayed in the Chapel, where there was an HM Television show, 'Flashes of light', which chronicles the life of a great blessed, Chiara Luce, an example that it is possible to be holy in the ordinary life and of how we must always accept God's will in our lives.
After lunch we had free time to ponder through what we had lived up to that moment of the retreat. Later we had a talk given by a sister about perseverance, a virtue very necessary for all of us that want to become saints someday. We finished the retreat praying the rosary and singing to Our Mother, in thanksgiving, entrusting to her the spiritual fruits of the retreat.
Then we went to the garden to have the final meeting. In the course of the retreat, several girls that were doing the silent retreat for the first time share their experience and affirmed that it had helped them to arrange their life and to get closer to the Lord. Some ladies also shared their experience and explained how difficult it had been to keep silence at first, but in the end were very happy and eager to repeat it again.
Then the sisters gave us a pleasant surprise, which consisted of the gift of some Holy cards with the image of the Virgin Mary and a phrase that She wanted to say to each of us written in the back. We also had the opportunity to take papers with intentions, which the sisters had also prepared, to live in the best way possible this Advent, preparing ourselves so that Jesus is born in our heart.
We really hope that the fruits of this spiritual retreat are abundant and that each one has had a personal encounter with Jesus in this beautiful time as we await his coming.