• March 17, 2011

Bethany Group - a source of peaceful joy

Sister Regina

Every month, on a Saturday morning, a group of women of all ages gathers at the Heart’s Home Center in Brooklyn for a time of spir­i­tual growing and sharing. One of them - Rachel O.- describes beau­ti­fully her expe­ri­ence with this ’Bethany Group’.

The monthly women’s retreat with Sister Regina has been a source of great joy and inspi­ra­tion for me. With five chil­dren, it is dif­fi­cult for me to make time for spir­i­tual reflec­tion and Eucharistic ado­ra­tion. There are so many respon­si­bil­i­ties that I save for the week­ends: laundry, cleaning, house pro­jects. Yet, since Sister Regina began her monthly Saturday retreats, I have not missed a single one: that’s how impor­tant they are in my life. We begin the morning with coffee and con­ver­sa­tion, catching up with the other women. After we’ve had time to greet each other, we say a prayer together. Each month, Sister gives a talk on a topic such as Therese of Lisieux, the Gospel of St. John, Adrienne Von Speyr, a gospel reading, or how to live Lent without losing sight of the Resurrection. From each dis­cus­sion, I have come away with new insights that stay with me and con­tinue to per­co­late in my mind and in my soul. There is a quiet excite­ment that these retreats leave me with, a peaceful joy that trans­forms the whole week that fol­lows.

Eucharistic ado­ra­tion fol­lows the talk, and we pray or med­i­tate silently in the chapel at Heart’s Home. This gives us a chance to reflect on the talk we’ve just heard and to prayer­fully con­sider the insights that have been offered to us. Usually, there is mass after ado­ra­tion, and some­times there is the oppor­tu­nity for con­fes­sion as well. What touches me most at the end of each retreat is the sense that I have both gone deeper into a spir­i­tual truth and dis­cov­ered ways to apply these new insights to my daily life. Many times when I am changing a diaper or over­whelmed by the daily grind, I am able to find beauty, even for a moment, by remem­bering how someone like Adrienne Von Speyr or Therese of Lisieux found spir­i­tual meaning in the other­wise empty rou­tines that make up most of our lives. In this way, I feel my ordi­nary life made richer by these retreats that take me out of my ordi­nary life and con­vert me anew each month, returning me home again with fresh hope.

Rachel O.

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