Douglas Park & Hartzer Retreats 2011

 An Authentic Ring

What makes religious teaching seem relevant for us, is when it speaks a language which resonates with our experience. If there’s a good-fitting congruence between what we know from living something and what is expressed to us by others, then something in us goes “ping!!” and we want to say “yes!”. Our ways of expressing what we believe to be true, are only ways, they are not the source and end of the longing that echoes through our heart. They are sign posts pointing to the source, the end. Our hearts long for that love by which we were first loved (1 John 4:19). In fact, when we have been loved – really loved – in a manner that honours the very dignity of our existence, we want to reciprocate with love. Our hearts burn for that love. We look for that Love, often feeling lost because we substitute other lesser loves for that wholesome Love in which we find ourselves whole.

 “An Unfathomable Love”

Mid-May saw me at Hartzer Park Retreat and Conference Centre, Bowral giving a 6-day guided retreat entitled, “An Unfathomable Love”. Beginning with the tradition of Devotion to the Sacred Heart the retreat presentations explored the giving over one’s self in deep devotion, to that Love who first loved us with a Love that we cannot fathom. This Unfathomable Love moves us beyond ourselves, drawing us ever so delicately into a romance with the Sacred, beckoning from within us a devotion towards our Divine Beloved as the only authentic response we can make. A profound shift occurs within us, reorienting our living in the direction of the One with whom we have fallen in Love, and we are different than we were, our thinking, perceptions, judgements, decisions, actions and the very energy of life shift and are at the service of Other. Because of a wonderful re-sacralising of our consciousness, we enter into all relationships in a new way. We begin to see the Thou in all creation (visible and invisible), and if the Thou is the aperture through which we see everything, if our relating is built on and directed towards this Unfathomable Love then we are hope-filled of a new earth; a new creation.

 “Spirituality of the Heart”

“Spirituality of the Heart” was the theme of the 6 day guided retreat I gave in early September at St. Mary’s Towers Retreat Centre, Douglas Park. The retreat explored Heart Spirituality from the perspective of four movements; Encounter, Intimacy, Transformation (Conversion), and Emergence (Mission). The retreat sessions attempted to speak about the longing of the human heart for the Heart of the Sacred, in a language that resonates for today. A congruent Spirituality of the Heart, speaks to what is happening in every dimension of human experience; from the anguish of personal hurt, to the cosmological implications of our awakening to new dimensions of consciousness. There is nothing that is outside the realms of the Heart of the Sacred – the Sacred Heart.