In spite of the Valencian heat, the Holy Spirit has done big things in 33 hearts during the spiritual exercises that began on August 29th and ended on September 2nd, 2018. The participants were on fire, inside and out. One of them said, “I was really excited to come and I got a lot out of the spiritual exercises.”
Two Servant Brothers of the Home of the Mother attended to the predisposed attendants. Some were Lay members of the Home of the Mother, while others were adults who desired to share the experience of silence and prayer in order to grow in intimacy with Our Lord. When a person finds him or herself in silence before the Lord, He speaks to their hearts and changes lives. One of the participants said at the end of the exercises “The Lord has given me the experience of silence and obedience. I thank God for making me see that my plan for life had to change and that it’s not enough to just go to Mass on Sunday.”
The location made praying easy. The Royal Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Valencia was the place chosen by the Holy Spirit where He wanted to pour graces upon the hearts of all those present. The Monastery, a beautiful, gothic building from the 15th century that generations of Poor Clares, souls dedicated totally to God, have passed through, helped everyone to raise their hearts to Our Lord. Rosary walks in the cloister, meals in the refectory, walking up the holy staircase and resting in the cells under Our Lady’s protection were special moments during these intense days.
The Servant Brothers gave several meditations a day to help the attendees reflect and pray. “The meditations helped me a lot.”, said another participant, “The Lord continues to call me, and I learned that you have to talk less and do more.” Each day, the participants had time for listening to the meditations, adoration, spiritual reading, the Rosary, the Way of the Cross, the Liturgy of the Hours and Holy Mass, as well as Confession and private spiritual direction with the directors of the retreat. For one of the participants, spiritual reading was a big help: “Spiritual reading during meals helped me a lot. I loved it.” Another participant shares: “I now know about the Rules of Discernment, which helps me a lot. Spiritual reading during meals also helped me. I believe that doing spiritual exercises is like exposing yourself to a torrent of graces, because you are before the Lord constantly. The work [in the Spiritual Life] starts now and I’m ready to start again. I’m very grateful for this experience.”
We ended exercises thanking the Virgin Mary for her presence in our lives and at these exercises. Like one person experienced: “Meditating the Passion with the Virgin Mary was helpful. I imagined myself with Her in each scene and I am very happy.” May Our Blessed Mother in Heaven always help us to open our hearts to the graces the Lord desires to give each one where he or she may be found.