Finding God in Silence

The landscape surrounding Assisi, where the seminarians had their canonical silent retreat in preparation for ordination to the diaconate

After a long journey with meditation on the Footsteps of Saint Paul, going from Turkey, through Greece and ending up in Rome, I felt very low, tired, and empty. Deep in my heart I asked myself, “Perhaps God is asking me to go on a silent retreat!” And this is exactly happened when we arrived in Assisi. The retreat allowed me, together with my fellow seminarians, to set apart time for God by disconnecting from the very connected world. Going away to be alone with God was a beautiful experience.

At the tomb of Saint Francis of Assisi, we were able to have some peace and quiet, to pray, and most importantly to celebrate holy Mass. We used our retreat for reflection, prayer, meditating on Scripture and at times simply being with God, especially sitting before Him in Adoration chapels which were available at various basilicas within Assisi, just allowing our hearts and the heart of God to engage in a dialogue.

The Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, under which the Tomb of St. Francis resides

One remarkable experience I had during this time of silent retreat was realizing that when one pours out his/her heart to God, God will pour out His heart into him/her. This was a major transition in our life. Assisi’s rich spiritual history gave our retreat the perfect space for deepening our spiritual life and our relationship with God. Thanks to our retreat master Fr. Arturo Felix and to Fr. Ray Webb for all his wisdom throughout our time of silence. And thank you all for your prayers and giving us this opportunity to encounter the Lord in silence as we prepare for ordination.

The group concluded their silent retreat with Mass before the Tomb of St. Francis

Vincent Omondi, Diocese of Joliet

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