Lenten Retreat 2012 - A Review

Recently, a selected group from our institution participated in a Lenten retreat held at the CICM, Talisay City last February 24, 2012.

The speaker was Rev. Fr. Fernando Peralta, SDB. He is a Religious Priest with the Salesian of Don Bosco South Philippines and directing the social welfare program for the marginalized kids at the Bacolod Boys Home and the Don Bosco Retreat Center at Brgy Granada, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines. Fr. Peralta is commonly known as Fr. "Ding".

Human life cycle
The first topic was all about life's cycle, from early childhood until the time we get old. The presentations that Fr. Ding showed to us were very much impressive. There was a video that he showed to us about a very particular person who was a victim of Iraq war and was adopted together with his brother by an American family. Their hands were mutilated because of the war. I was so inspired with the guy when he joined the America's Got Talent, singing "Imagine" by John Lennon. You can see in his eyes his desire to live despite his situation and the will to survive leaving behind the memories of the agony and pain that they suffered during the war.

After Fr. Ding shared some videos for us to reflect, we were given an exercise to itemize the positive and negative events in our lives. These events were plotted in a piece of paper where the top 5 positive events are placed above the border line. The top 5 negative events are placed below. Each of us has different events that we experienced.  Recalling those events, I cannot help but to see sad faces, gloomy and teary-eyed and there were also sporting sweet smiles among the participants. It was such a very healthy experience. I myself could not help to be teary-eyed when I recalled the top among the negative event in my life, the day that I met a vehicular accident that almost cut my life.

The second topic was all about death. For me, it was the most interesting but a horrible topic that our speaker shared to us. Is it not a morbid topic to talk about it? And what was more interesting is that you need to cope up and answer some questions regarding your own death. You are also asked to guess the year you are about to die. My goodness! It really is a gloomy subject. The participants cannot do anything but to answer the questions.

Who would ever like to talk about your own date of death? I guess nobody wants to. Among the questions that we need to answer was how to cope up your coming death in a specific period of time. Like if you are only given a year to live? What will you do with your life and what are your plans and actions? Then the time frame was adjusted from a month to a week and to a day and until the last hour. I cannot help myself but laugh with it. I answered everything in a positive way. Probably my own way of hiding the fears that was starting to grapple my whole body and mind. I even asked the speaker why this exercise is so harsh as if it is killing us softly. Fr. Ding simply smiled at me. Then comes the day you are dead. We were told to say an eulogy on our own dead body. What would you say about you if you are already dead and you are the one given the opportunity to say something about you? Do you think it was quite weird? I guess so. And what would you like to be written in the headstone's inscription besides R.I.P.? Whew! That was great. Nobody among us felt sleepy when the last topic was shared to us but nevertheless we all shared the same experience of holding back our breath as we answered the creepy questions being given to us by Fr. Ding.

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It was indeed a fruitful and very fulfilling retreat. We all shared the same sentiments that we are all so pleased to join with the members of the community coming from the different departments and with different levels of job functions.

For me, it was the best among the retreats that I had joined before. I am looking forward to join with the same group if permitted.

I personally thank Fr. Ding for a job well done, for touching our lives even in a very short period of time, for nourishing our spirits in sharing endearing verses taken from the bible and inspirational experiences of others.

Congratulations as well to all of the participants! Lenten retreat 2012 was a success.

Words and phrases to ponder:
  • Live life to the fullest - an old saying that simply means making the best out of your life. If you will laugh, laugh with all your heart. Do the best that you can in everything, be it love, career, your relationship with your family and friends.
  • Acceptance - is a person's assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest, or exit. 
  • Goodbye - farewell; a formula used to another person or persons when the speaker or writer or person addressed is departing. 

Should you wish to share your thoughts here, please feel free to write a comment below.

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      About lamberto inquig, jr.

      a simple and yet full of sense of humor guy who loves to travel and learn more knowledge in the ICT
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