Retreat with St. Paul of the Cross- Day 38, December 30,1720

     Paul Daneo writes: “I was at first recollected, and then at holy Communion particularly recollected and also moved to tears. Afterwards for the rest of the day I was plagued with distractions especially by thoughts of things in the future. The enemy represented to me that great tribulations would befall me especially with regard to my family. I was also very downcast. “

     Berta’s entry: Paolo now is worried about the future. What happens now with his mission? Will the Rule be approved? Will he be able to attract other men to join him? What about his family and the fact that he is the oldest male child in his family?  Doubt and fear always show their ugly heads at the end of something and the beginning of something else. What we forget is that we have You, my God, cheering us on, especially when it’s Your will that we are embarking on. All I ask You, my Jesus, is to guide me in my next step to You like You did Paolo. I am not afraid because You are with me. Help me to persevere and not lose sight of You ever again!

     Orlando’s entry: After 38 days our retreat is almost over! What now? Paul is besieged by such thoughts. How will he be able to convince the Church to accept his dreamed-of Congregation ? How will his family do without him? I find myself worrying about my future too: What will happen to my prayer life? What can I do for You, God? How will we face the many dangers that await us in 2021?      Looking through my old diary, a small card fell into my hands. A fellow Cursillo retreatant had handed it to me years ago and I had never really read it. Today it drove me to tears as the Spirit looked deep into my soul:     “Oh, Lord, make me aware of the sacrament [Your Loving Gift!] of the present moment. Keep me from worrying about the past or fearing the future. Just for today, help me to be sane, go slow, be silent, seek You in gratitude and stillness. Give me the serenity that comes from simplicity and acceptance. Give me a deep gentleness with myself and others. Keep me in gratitude for the revelations of each moment. Bestow upon me the great gift of detachment….. Help me to have a genuine cheerfulness, and if bad times come, help me to balance them with humor and understanding. Teach me when to let go and turn over the situation to You in true poverty of spirit. When people ask my forgiveness, help me to give it to them from my heart. Defend my mind from self-inflicted negative thinking. Teach me not to manipulate myself or others. I place my life in Your keeping. May Your Will be done in me today. Amen.!  

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