I went on retreat for a few days. I have not felt so in need of solitude in quite some time! In addition, it had been a long time (2 months) since I had received Holy Communion, due to the poor state of the liturgy in my neighborhood. I also spent time sitting in the chapel with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (though not exposed) – another thing I don’t do at any of the parishes around here because the altars and sanctuaries are so atrociously appointed.
On the last day of my retreat, I had one of the best confessions I have ever had, and received some valuable counsel from my confessor. Mass (in the extraordinary form) followed confession, and somehow it seemed I was able to participate to a higher degree than I have ever experienced before at Mass. The prayers were…sublime. It’s hard to describe what was going through my mind, heart, and soul, but it was different. Jesus was “more present” to me than I have felt before, as were all the angels and saints. Everything seemed to have a heightened sense of being.
It’s all tied in, too, with passages I’ve read from Garrigou-Lagrange’s book Providence. There was also a discussion with my spiritual director about loving God and loving one’s “neighbor” which has some bearing on the whole experience as well.
I came away feeling stronger again, feeling like I could abandon myself to Divine Providence, feeling that sense of certainty that God loves me and has the perfect plan for me if only I will submit to His will instead of insisting on my own.
Of course, I feel myself slipping back into wrong thinking and depression already, but I am trying just to remember what I experienced those last couple of hours of my retreat.
The nice thing is that the effects from yesterday’s Mass carried over into today’s – even though it was a Novus Ordo Mass in a less-than-ideal environment.
Hope springs eternal.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.