Day retreat on consolation and desolation

The Christian Life Community (CLC) is a network of lay people gathering in small groups to understand and follow Ignatian Spirituality in their everyday lives. One of the commitments is to take part in an annual retreat and those involved in CLC at St Francis Xavier’s Liverpool organise their experience in August.

A few that regularly meet at SFX have been recently welcomed at St Beuno’s, Tremeirchion, for a full day retreat. All gathered for a silent and reflective lunch and then they were guided by Br Alan Harrison in a meditative presentation on ‘Consolation and desolation’. The illustrated talk suggested inspirational words and images that would have helped each one to consider their future commitment with CLC and the way of gathering in an Ignatian way. His presentation reminded everyone that our relationship with God through Jesus can bring strength and assurance when there is fear and anxiety.

“It was a helpful encounter in encouraging each of us to continue to express our Christian faith in our everyday lives,” commented Debbie Reynolds, Pastoral Assistant at Saint Francis Xavier’s Church.

Geraldine, among the other participants, said: “for me, the theme was persevering and trusting in God’s goodness, realising God’s constant concern for our wellbeing and desire for us to live life to the full!”

The afternoon concluded with a recommitment to CLC and sharing following the wonderful images and reflections from Fr Harrison’s earlier talk, with a passage from the Scripture, particularly a verse from Psalm 56: ‘You keep track of all my sorrows. You keep all my tears in a bottle.’

The group stayed for the late afternoon mass and then departed happy back to Liverpool. Everyone is very thankful towards St Beuno’s for their welcome, great hospitality and generosity with the hope of a booking for all for a little longer next time soon.