We had a retreat last year 2nd sem. I attended the retreat with my former classmates, the ones form 2-2. Well, it didn't turned out that positive with the rest of us. Read on.
REtreat ACTION Shouts
This my reaction or more or less "OUR" reaction to our recently concluded retreat. Well I think that we had really really good activities on the first day. But on the second day that's another story. I feel as though I didn't have what I expected to have. I kept it to myself but later I found out that there are others who feel the same way.
1. Many songs, no mass
2. Kept pushing how they worship God
3. The mission challenge a.k.a. the paid obligation
4. More talk, less pondering.
5. Retreat? I thought it's a CYA sharing!
Point 1: Many songs, no mass
We have sung so many songs in the retreat. Most of them I heard for the first time. They said that in the Bible it is stated that if you sing, you're praising God twice than simply saying a prayer. I know that. But what I like to point out is that isn't it better to let God hear our prayer in a mass? There are songs also in the mass. I think celebrating the Eucharist is still the best way to worship God. This is the first time that I attended a retreat without a mass.
Point 2: Kept pushing how they worship God.
God gave us freedom on how to worship Him. It is not right to insist your way of worship to others.
There was this sharing about the prayer. In our discussion group, they asked me what changes will I make to my life for God. Since it was about prayer, I answered that "I would try to learn to slow down for a bit and try to talk to God in a more intimate way not with some ready made prayer." Then they asked me, "What time are you planning to pray?" If some of my group members didn't notice, I wasn't able to speak for a split second. I was really surprised! I never thought that they would ask that kind of question! Well anyway I said that "I would pray before I do anything significant". But he asked me to give him a specific time to pray.
What I like to point out is, I think that you don't need a specific time to talk to God. He's always there, waiting for you to talk to him. You don't need to standardize everything when it comes to God. That is there way of worshiping God, and I respect that. But please that is YOUR way, and this is MY way of praising our God. Don't insist something that is against my philosophy of our God.
Point 3: The mission challenge a.k.a. the paid obligation
INPUT=OUTPUT. Yes in a matter of data exchange that is correct. But an input will be read and analyzed first before the output is given. You cannot give out the output when it is not assessed or analyzed or the assessment and analysis is not yet done.
Giving that kind of challenge is not receiving output from the participants. I think that the project will just go to waste because not everyone are giving 100% of their time to it. Especially me. For the record, I'm only doing my obligation in the challenge because I was chosen as a leader but this doesn't come from my heart. I was only forced to do this because like a close friend of mine said. "Pag hindi ka pumayag baka sabihin sayo , 'bat nagretreat ka pa?'"
They are the one's who said that the success of the retreat cannot be determined immediately. So why give us a challenge IMMEDIATELY? More so, at the venue I'm sure that it will say "PROJECT OF CYA-UST". Please be reminded that we are not CYA-UST. This is there project, I think that they are the ones that should do the job and not there "guest participants".
Point 4: More talk, less pondering.
There are many talks in the retreat. Some of them I liked, some I bored. But can you ponder anything in about 5-10 mins? There are many times that I said about something that I don't really mean to say. I can't really think of anything in that short span of time, especially that this is about self-examination. I think that there should've been less talk and more pondering. This is a time with God, not a time to explain yourself to others. My analysis is that they are just trying to examine each of the participants so that they will know who to recruit of after the retreat. *this is my opinion*
Point 5: Retreat? I thought it's a CYA sharing!
They explained that Retreat means, "going back", Going back to God. Going back to God, it means having His presence, being with Him again after a long and sinful journey. I came for that kind of retreat. But it turns out that I attended a different one. Where the host group would let there members share about their life with CYA and God. Forgive me for this...
SO? THIS IS ABOUT ME AND GOD! NOT ABOUT YOU AND CYA! It was more of a lecture than a retreat on the second day! It should've been better if we just held it in Engg AVR. and we could've have used the money on other things. *like dota perhaps*
This retreat was not very effective because it lost track of its true objective which is to escape the city life and have a quality time alone with God in a place where serenity will keep your heart feel the presence of God.
There are other things but these are the most significant for me. I encourage everyone who attended the retreat share their feelings about this. -wilberchie