Monday, February 12, 2007

Women's Retreat thoughts

I just got back from a wonderful weekend in Vancouver, B.C where I attended a women’s retreat hosted by St. Herman of Alaska in BC. The guest speaker was Kh. Frederica Matthewes-Green! It was really a wonderful, relaxing and growing time for me. She is a very sweet, soft-spoken humble woman who had a lot to share and it was very practical and needed for me. I will share one thing she said from each topic. There is so much I wrote down I want to share it all but it may not make sense and the post would become too long. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak, do.

She spoke on the 3 Basic Spiritual Disciplines:

  1. Prayer (relates to relationship to God)

Specifically she talked about the Jesus Prayer. She gave us several scripture where Paul tells us to pray constantly. Romans 12:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18

Here are just a few snippets from her:

  • Prayer is a spiritual exercise! Everybody wants to be transformed (poof) but nobody wants to change (work). Theosis is a process of change (work).

  1. Fasting (helps us gain control of ourselves)

This one is hard to pick just one thing. She talked a lot about our passions and bringing them under control and doing that by fasting. But why do our passions torture us so? Because the evil one. He drags us down, he entices us, he wants us to doubt God, he nudges us, tempts us, violates us, lies to us. He tempts us with pleasures and then plummets us into despair by his whispers of doubt and lies. He works very hard at this. Western Christianity does not take this seriously. The evil one is a joke. Fasting strengthens us against temptations. Strengthens us against our passions.

  1. Almsgiving (relationship with others)

If we want to test how we are doing inwardly (prayer and fasting) look at how we are doing outwardly (how we relate to others). If we are doing well inwardly it will reflect outwardly. We can’t always tell that our prayers are “doing” something to us or that our fasting is strengthening us. Sometimes we feel our prayers are dry but we force ourselves and we don’t always like to fast it gets old after awhile, but to test is to look at how we relate to others, we will be loving and giving more and more.

On another note…several people I spoke to had gone to the Getty Museum Icon exhibit. I WANT TO GO!!! I’m trying to figure out how I can get down there within the next 3 weeks (it ends March 4). I’m terrified of flying!!!!! I’d rather pack up my van and drive with four antsy children then get on a plane. Any suggestions! James said, “You are NOT going down there without me.”


grammafaithie said...

Sue, find a sitter for the kids - maybe 2 sitters - you have lots of friends!!! then hold your wonderful husbands hand, walk on the plane and let him hold you tight in those big strong arms of his!!!! it would be a wonderful get-a-way for the 2 of you!!! that is something all married couples need once in awhile!!! ADVICE FROM MOM!!!! I love you!!

sara said...

I'm so glad you're coming down here...I'm sure the break will be nice! Thanks for posting some retreat notes...we had FMG speak at St. Barnabas a while back..she has such a nice demeanor and great perspective.