I enrolled myself in a silent retreat at the St. Ignatian Retreat Centre a few years ago, as I was searching for God and wanted to know him better. I was excited at the thought of communicating with God for two whole days and found peace knowing that I would have “unlimited time” in the presence of the Lord.
My time at the retreat was spent praying continuously, sometimes up to three hours in the Adoration Chapel or at church. I used both the Ignatian Contemplation and the Lectio Divina method of praying. I got distracted at times, but I continued to pray as I waited patiently for His response. The Holy Spirit eventually spoke to me through a few biblical scenes, one of which was the Samaritan woman at the well. (John 4:4-8)
There was no well during my encounter with Jesus, instead, I was carrying a basket of Evian mineral water and Jesus asked, “Will you give me a drink?” We spoke briefly but it felt so real.
On a separate occasion, I was reading Psalm 77:1-4, a prayer typically used to seek comfort in times of distress. One lady entered the Adoration Chapel, knelt in front of the Eucharist and began sobbing. I was distracted but tried to maintain my focus. It then dawned upon me that those four verses were meant for that lady. I felt this prompt which urged me to console her. She then calmed down, thanked me and said, “I was very sad and a voice directed me to the Adoration Chapel.” God had used me as His instrument to comfort her.
It was heartwarming to know that God spoke to me in various ways during those two days – from memories of past events, to bible readings. My prayers weren’t answered instantly, but after a long and silent meditation, they were answered…. all in His time.