Spiritual Exercises Part II

Literally the moment I began to allow God to lead me, everything changed. Instead of insisting that I wasn’t getting anything from the talks, I listened more intently and spent most of my time in the chapel meditating. I noticed a huge difference, and started feeling more peaceful. It was so strange to me though because when I was in high school, and went on triduum retreats, I would come back with amazing feelings. It was because that was what I needed at the time. I wasn’t ready for the ultimate Truth yet, so God gave me what I needed to get through those tough moments in my life. This time was different. I knew by the 4th day that this retreat was not going to be about getting “good feelings”, but I was praying for it so much. God revealed to me that it’s not about the feelings you get.

There was one night that Fr. Thomas gave us one the best meditations ever! It was based on the Passion of Christ. He basically told us to imagine actually being with Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. What would we say to Him? How would we comfort Him? I just sat there in shock at what Father said. I mean honestly, what on earth am I supposed to say to the Son of God who’s about to take on the greatest battle of all, by giving up His own life for me with the most painful death in the history of mankind?! There are no words. I sat in the chapel just thinking about seeing Christ…crying. He’s scared. He sweats blood. He knows what it feels like to be left alone and abandoned.  So what can I do? I’m nothing but just another girl in this world. How do I console the King of Kings?

With my eyes closed, I walked through the image in my head. I was walking towards the rock that Christ was praying on. Satan was there telling Him “it can’t be done” trying to tempt Him to deny His Father. Shaking, crying, sweating blood, Jesus was there alone fighting the first steps of His mission. I slowly walk up to Him, tears filling my eyes at the sight of His passion. As I come up to Him, I put my hand on His shoulder, and He looks up to me with eyes of glass. I take a deep breath and ask him, “Jesus……will you dance with me?”

He stands up weary and slowly, wipes away my tears and says, “Of course, my princess.”

He takes my hand and pulls me close to His chest. I can hear the beats of his heart pumping with a steady pace. At this point, I imagined the slow violin instrumental music from “You Raise Me Up” playing. Slow steps, in each other’s arms, our hearts are speaking to each others. Being in His embrace allows me to show Him that what He’s about to do is worth it; that the love we share between each other, is enough strength for Him to go on, just as it is enough for me. One more moment of happiness. One last smile. How else could I express my thanks and love for Him?

I will always remember this meditation as my favorite.

The next morning, I believe it was the 6th day, Fr. Thomas told us we were going to continue our theme with the Passion of Christ. This time however, it was the Resurrection.

When Christ arose from the dead, walked out of His tomb and clothed in a beaming whiteness, He comes to you first. What do you say to Him? How do you greet your Savior? Again, what in the world do I say to Jesus Christ who just died for me and rose from the dead?! Also, why is He coming to ME? I mean who am I to deserve to see Him first? I would’ve been in agony for three days by then, and out of nowhere He just rises and wants to see ME?! I closed my eyes, and once again imagined being there, but this time at the tomb. Christ approaches me, radiating in the purest form of the color white you’ve ever seen. I just stand there in tears, completely speechless and in awe of how beautiful He is. His eyes are glowing and shining with love as He looks deep into mine. He takes my face, kisses my forehead, wipes my tears and says,” My sweet princess……will you dance with me?”

“Of course daddy.”

There’s something about these meditations that changed the heart in me. I felt a childlike innocence and purity of soul take me over. It was as if Jesus was holding my heart with His. There really are no words to explain what was happening to me, but I knew it was something beyond incredible. As the week was coming to an end, I was getting excited to go back to Michigan, but not in the sense that I was ready to be done. I was anxious to return and apply everything I had learned about myself to my life. I wanted to feel the challenge to be good and love others.

About Laura Gonzales

Laura Gonzales was born and raised in Atlanta, and attended Pinecrest Academy for 12 years. She is 20 years old, and currently serving as a Regnum Christi Missionary.
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