I took more notes than usual and would like to give you some highlights. This was the first talk on Saturday morning. It was very Ignatian, though he did not identify it as such.
- God is "I AM"; not I was, not I will be. He is a God of the present and is outside of time as we understand time.
- God is in each moments of our lives, good and bad; therefore no event is all bad as this would imply that God is not present and he is - always.
- Prayer cancels out worry and worry cancels out prayer.
- Fr. Kenan said if God came to him and asked him what gift he would like from God, it would be the gift of absolute trust.
- If we had that trust, we would not worry.
- Be present in each moment and then let it go, moving on to the next.
Saturday afternoon Fr. Kenan spoke about the Beatitudes, specifically "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." It is the only one which speaks of what you will have now, not is the future. So what does it mean to be poor in spirit?
- poverty of spirit means we are totally dependent on God
- we have no identity outside of Christ
- we have an authentic Christian attitude toward life
- this poverty of spirit draws us to Christ
- Gods needs our humility and helplessness
Father also pointed out all gifts and powers given to us by God are to be put in service to others.
Saturday evening he spoke about the ongoing passion of Jesus Christ which takes place in the Body of Christ, using Colossians 1:24 "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking* in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church."
- The Body of Christ is each one of us
- Christ's passion is the passion of all humanity
- we all wind up on the cross with Jesus, taking our place there with total helplessness
- in life, Jesus' passion is lived out with each of us taking turns with the lead role
- hope is rooted in the cross
There is much to think and pray about and I continue to ponder what was said and how relevant it felt to my life right now. It was also refreshing to hear a speaker so full of the Spirit. Father was pretty amazing in that most of the talks were given almost totally from memory, including long quotes from others. He had some notes, but hardly used them yet his talks were clear, concise, and insightful. It also very nice to hear him speak of his own life and spiritual journey without it being all about him.
If you ever have a chance to participate in a mission or retreat given by Fr. Kenan Peters you will be nourished in your spiritual life.