In accordance to a beautiful tradition, at the John Paul II Foundation Home spiritual retreats are held for priests who are also the scholarship recipients. Priests who are living and studying in Lublin gather to stop for a moment in their busy everyday life. The time of Lent provides a great opportunity to organize and experience spiritual retreats. On Saturday, March 16, 2019 the spiritual retreat was led by Fr. Marcin Sadowski, a priest from the diocese of Płock and student of the Catholic University of Lublin (KUL). Our spiritual retreat started with a joint matins, followed by a conference, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, time for confession, Holy Mass and then together we had a meal.
The first topic was related to the issue of routine. Our priesthood functions which we are fulfilling cannot be done routinely, but we must continuously be aware of what we do, how we do it, and in what we are participating. When we are celebrating the Eucharist, God is knocking to us, pounding on our lives. When we are celebrating the Eucharist – we are not doing this, but Jesus Christ is doing this Himself – said Fr. Marcin. When we are praying with Rosary, or we are praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, or any other prayers, then it is us who are “pounding” to God, looking for His closeness.
Other topics discussed during the spiritual retreat related to questions: are you asking Jesus what He wants for you? Are you listening to Jesus or rather you are fulfilling your priesthood call accordingly to your own idea? We are often saying that our effort in various tasks, activities or spiritual groups which we are leading is for Jesus; however, in fact, this is often gratifying our own satisfaction. Priest Marcin asked us another question: are you trusting Jesus or are you afraid to loose what you have? Thus, we must invite Jesus to every dimension of our lives, to every situation and each problem, and then He will lead us. You just need to trust Him.
The words of Hans Urs von Balthasar will end this reflection in the best way: “Who you are, that is God’s gift to you, and who you become is your gift to God.”
We are very grateful to the management of the John Paul II Foundation Home, Sacred Heart Priests for all their efforts and for organizing this special day.
Fr. Roman Broda (Ukraine)