Franciscan Retreat Notes-Take Up Your Cross

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Year of Faith Vocation Discernment Retreat February 22-24, 2013 continued Pope Benedict XVI's purpose of the year of faith: "to give fresh impetus to the mission of the whole Church to lead human beings out of the wilderness in which they often find themselves to the place of life, friendship with Christ that gives us life in fullnes. It is a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord." (Porta Fidei 6)

We also looked for guidance and inspiration from St. Francis' text Mt 16:24: "If anyone wishes to come after me let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me."

St. Bonaventure's writings were a valuable weekend resource:

...the one who desires to give herself to Christ must put aside, forget everything else, and enter into the secrecy of her own heart.

We prayed with these 'Bonaventurian' words written to women religious:

Draw near, O handmaid, with loving steps to Jesus wounded for you, to Jesus crowned with thorns, to Jesus nailed to the wood of the Cross.

Gaze with the Blessed Apostle St. Thomas, not merely on the print of the nails in Christ's hands; be not satisfied with putting your finger in the holes made by the nails in His hands; neither let it be sufficient to put your hand into the wound in His side; but enter bodily by the door in His side and go straight up to the very Heart of Jesus. There, burning with love for Christ Crucified, be transformed into Christ.

Fastened to the Cross by the nails of the fear of God, transixed by the lance of the love of your inmost heart, pierced through and through by the sword of the tenderest compassion, seek for nothing else, wish for nothing else, look for consolation in nothing else except in dying with Christ on the Cross. Then, at last, will you cry out with Paul the Apostle: With Christ I am nailed to the Cross. I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me. (Gal 2:19-21)

Was there any part of the retreat especially appreciated? View the comments to hear from the retreatants themselves.


Anonymous said…
I appreciated hearing other Sisters' stories, reading/learning about St. Francis...the retreat booklets were wonderful.
Anonymous said…
The final video with seeing all the ministries and hearing the Sisters' joys makes me desire that.
Anonymous said…
I really had fun making clay medallions. I really do love crafts! Also the renewal of our baptismal vows was very beautiful in the falling snow!
Anonymous said…
I appreciate the music outreach because it helps show the Church's appreciation for those discerning with Sisters as guides.
Anonymous said…
I appreciated hearing Sister Regina Rose's story. For me that was a perfect start to the retreat. I also liked all the times we had for silent prayer, but also the questions to guide us were very helpful.