ONE DAY RETREAT
Christ’s mission was not understood by the people of His time and even today many are groping in darkness and crying out for the living God, longing for His divine presence in their daily life. In giving us His Word, God has put us in possession of every truth essential for our eternal salvation. The Word of God is a treasure house of the unsearchable riches of Christ. Through His Word, Jesus presented Himself to us as He is the only way, the truth and the life forever for us. To present the truth as it is in Jesus, the prayer group of Our Lady of Mercy Church have organised a retreat from 4 pm to 9 pm on 15th August, the day of our Independence. They have invited Br. Derrick and his team from Andheri, a renowned preacher, who revealed to us the mystery hidden in the word and sentence of Romans 8:1 which says “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Further, he explained to us about the forgiveness of sins and the power of His healing power in our life. He also helped us to grow in fruitful mind to go in with a contrite heart to study the scriptures in greater lengths because when perplexities arise and difficulties or adversities confront us, seek the strength of infinite God and trust only in Him.
Br. Derrick helped us identify our weakness in respect of condemnation when illness or adversities engulf us. First of all we condemn God, second we condemn others (our brothers and sisters) and finally we condemn ourselves. The adversity we are facing in our life today may be of far more serious than mere cold and cough. Bur we should understand that sickness and pain are certainly no friends of God and there was no sickness in the Garden of Eden because sickness had no place in God’s world in the beginning and it has no place in His world in eternity. Hence let us stop condemning God instead believe in His healing power because the ministry of Christ bears witness to this truth. Everywhere He went, He healed the sick and He is a good and faithful God, nothing is too hard for Him. Very often we believe that today we are suffering because of someone else’s fault and this situation can be extremely frustrating. Remember, all are children of God irrespective of any cast or religion. Let us read and understand the Beatitudes of Christ listed in Mathew 5 and Luke 6 and believe that no good will come by keeping a stone between us and God hence “take away the stone” (Jn.11:39) which is blocking us to receive God’s mercy.
Br. Derrick also conducted the Inner Healing Service to give us a new direction to inspire us to know how to change the way we live and how we could break our old patterns, habits, self-image and fears and change our life little differently. Yes in this service, I realised that ‘this is really who I am; this is really what I need to do, not out of guilt but of love towards God and towards my neighbour. I don’t know for sure what the future holds. I don’t like giving up control of my life but I just know this is the right step to take because I am not going to live forever and I wept. Like me many faithful, who attended the retreat and understood the wonderful explanation, cried our hearts out to the Lord and experienced His power.
After this service, two sisters gave their testimonies. The first one said that she was miserable with her joint pain for the last one month, when she participated in this retreat and understood the meaning of condemnation, repented, surrendered her pain to God she experienced His healing touch. She is now able to move her hands freely and believed that God has allowed her to live a meaningful life with obedience and prayer.
The second sister is having lots of interpersonal problems in her office with her superiors and colleagues. She surrendered all her problems to God and understood that He will never cast out those who come to Him. Yes, she experienced peace of mind and believed that human approval is only secondary but God’s unspoken approval in every sphere of life is more important. I am sure many more people might have experienced physical healing, psychological healing and spiritual healing. After reaching home, my wife, who has undergone 3 brain surgeries and 25 radiology treatments for non-cancerous tumours states in fact this retreat made her understand the meaning of condemnation. She praised God as a spontaneous overflow of enjoyment. Yes, we praise God when we begin to enjoy Him and God delights Himself in us. With a final prayer for God’s protection and to remove the crushing sense of guilt from our mind, Br. Derrick prayed to God and concluded this 5 hour retreat. Though Br. George has already thanked Br. Derrick and his wonderful team, specially the choir, music etc, once again on behalf of all the Parishioners I thank Br. Derrick and his team all the best to continue their ministry in truth and boldness. I also pray to God to help them to proclaim this great storehouse of truth, His Word, so that the Lord will impart knowledge of truth through their ministry to every seeker.