An Encounter with Christ

on Monday, 30 June 2008. Posted in Pilgrims of St. Michael

Retreat with the Pilgrims of St. Michael

 

John 15, 5: "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in Him, he bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing". These words of Jesus are essential in order to reach sanctity. With His sweetness Jesus invites us not only to be close to Him, but to live in Him, through Him. We could ask ourselves "Why are we here?" Certainly there are many answers, but the real one that answers the question about the mission a soul has on Earth, is the accomplishment of what Jesus told us to practice: the commandment of LOVE. We know the LOVE of God; we know how much He loves us. We believe in it. God is LOVE. I John 4, 16: "And we have come to know, and have believed, the love that God has in our behalf. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." We have been created to love God and glorify Him and to love our fellow men. The one who loves, remaining in Jesus, will be able to give a lot of sweet fruit for the souls` palates.

But how can we love without condition? Let us think of a seed. What is the function that it has? What is it good for? Germinating, growing and giving birth to a plant. When the soil is good the little sprouts will start coming out. What is their function? They have to become strong roots to take nutrients for the growing plant. Now the trunk (or stem) starts to grow. What is its function? Holding the whole tree upright, holding the branches. What is the function of the branches? Holding the leaves and fruits and taking the nutrients to them that come from the roots, through the trunk or stem. Finally the tree produces fruit to feed human beings and animals.

Now let`s compare this very simple cycle of nature with the commandment of LOVE in our souls. The seed planted in fertile soil is our soul which receives the Holy Spirit through the water of Baptism. As we are created in the image and likeness of God (GOD = LOVE), the essence of our soul is His LOVE.

Through the Sacrament of Baptism we receive the three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity, that allows the love for God to germinate for our fellows. The most important of these virtues is charity. Corinthians 13, 13: "So there abide faith, hope and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

When our soul starts growing and cultivating these virtues, by the means of LOVE, new virtues start showing up: humility, obedience, purity, which in our example of the tree they would represent the trunk, as they hold everything. These three virtues enhance love and allow it to be authentic. I Corinthians 13, 4-7: "Charity is patient, is kind; charity does not envy, is not pretentious, is not puffed up, is not ambitious, is not self seeking, is not provoked; thinks no evil, does not rejoice over wickedness, but rejoices with the truth; bears with all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

So, as Saint Paul teaches, our soul keeps growing in virtue, letting the branches which are the virtues draw the spiritual richness from the Church and our souls to produce abundant fruit: patience, perseverance, and strength. These virtues are also the support of our souls, because without them the fruit could be scorched, also they could be damaged by our problems, sadness, sorrows, distress. These storms and sufferings will not ruin the fruits if the tree has strong branches.

Finally we arrive to the fruits of the tree that feed human beings and animals. They represent the virtues which give flavor and softness to our spiritual fruit and are the best expressions of love: sweetness, tenderness, modesty. These are the fruits of our souls which have all the previously mentioned virtues. They are good to love God and our fellow men to the point of giving our lives for them. John 15, 13: "Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends." This way love becomes the core of our lives and our actions. As Christians receiving so much from the LOVE of Jesus, we must transmit it to others, not only in words or intentions but through our actions in our daily life.

I John 3, 18: "My dear children, let us not love in word, neither with the tongue, but in deed and in truth."

With the help of our Blessed Mother, perfect tree if Divine LOVE, may we give eternal fruits of love for God and for our brothers! LOVE can change everything!

Alana Mantilla

 


Hello dear readers, I really liked the retreat for the youth of 12 to 35 years. This retreat was on July 25-27th in Rougemont in the House of the Immaculate. In the retreat there were plays, dynamics, conferences and activities outside; like the campfire in front of the statue of the Virgin Mary. What I like the most was the play on the parable of the sower. I hope that you had good reading.

Jacques DeCorby-Roy

 


I am convinced that the youth today runs the major risk, as much by the technological advances and the diversification of ideologies, as from the extreme relativism which is being used to make them instruments for objectives that do not correspond with God’s order that is established for them.

So even with all of this, I have the firm hope (and request to God) that if we live in Him and with Him, He will not abandon us, the youth. He knows us, and He knows that we need Him. He is our Father.

That is why I invite you to analyze what is happening in your life, and to build a life based on the plan that God has for you. What objective that we have for our AIM, that we cannot deny, should always be God. We go into the world looking for love without taking into account that He is LOVE, and that He is waiting and looking for us. Those who understand this will find the meaning to life, and despite difficult times, life tests, etc. they will persevere with God.

A friend asked me: "Why even though my girlfriend has hurt me and in life we experience the pain of treason, the humiliation, I still want to be a couple? The answer is simple, it is because we look for love, and that love can be our unique or only love: our family, our boyfriend or girlfriend, our work, dreams, plans, etc. But that love is worldly, and if you place this love at the same level as God, it becomes idolatry and you have to be careful not to put anyone or anything in the place reserved for God…

Then how can we live a happy life? How to find TRUE LOVE? All we want is LOVE, we all look for it, even those who are evil search for love, although for them it is a self-centered love. But those who do everything for the unique reason of finding the true LOVE, that comes from God, those are the people who are happy.

The difficult situations that the youth are faced with today do not help us to realize that God is LOVE and that He is searching for us, that is the reason why most Catholic people are so far from the Church, even if they profess themselves to be Catholics.

Even in these situations, God is still with us. He is THE LOVE that gives meaning and direction to our lives! If only we listen to Him and not to the noise that the world brings, with the radio, television or Internet; but instead in the silence of the soul where He has an intimate conversation with you. He tells you: "You are my son or daughter, and I am your Father."

Fátima Cervantes

 


I am a new Pilgrim of St. Michael, age 22, and have just arrived here this summer in Rougemont. I came to enrich my faith and my knowledge of Social Credit in order to teach others justice that is the foundation and main focus of this movement. This weekend we had the monthly meeting of July, and the youth who were present were able to assist at a retreat especially created for them.

There were talks presented by young Pilgrims that were excellent. Their presentations were very enriching, the young people all participated and I thought that it was a good way to reinforce ourselves in faith and knowledge of our fundamental values. Because we are young Catholics we have the great mission of reanimating the faith in the spirit of the youth.

The event that touched me the most was the Adoration during the evening; it was an honor for me because in my parish the Blessed Sacrament has not been exposed for many years. I thank the Lord for giving me this grace to have had such an intimate encounter with Him.

Pascal Richard