As far back as I can remember, I’ve always found solace inside a church or chapel by my lonesome. Just sitting there, talking to God, praising Him, asking for His forgiveness, sharing my innermost fears, weaknesses, and desires.
I would spend as little as five minutes to an hour like this. As a student, the accessibility of a chapel within the school was a boon. Moreover, the house we lived in was located just about 200 meters away from our parish. Thus, when I moved away to another city, I found less and less opportunities to give special attention to God’s presence.
It wasn’t until I had already become a mother — in pursuit of my desire to lead by example to my children — that I began to attend spiritual recollections and retreats again at the Banilad Study Centre. As a Cooperator of Opus Dei, I began the continuous struggle of practising norms of piety: daily prayers, spiritual reflections and meditations, praying the rosary, regular confession, et al.
Even tonight, I am challenged to attend the recollection at the Fernall Study Centre in Epsom, having difficulty finding a ride home afterward for myself and for a friend whom I plan to bring along. But I am determined to go, even it means walking after 9:00 in the evening and riding the train home.
The solitude that tonight’s recollection will provide is not a physical one since there will be several other women in attendance, but rather, that of mind and heart. For only in such silence and solitude will I be able to truly experience God’s presence and hear His voice.