I took this picture on the beach at Santa Cruz in front of the retreat house, Villa Maria del Mar.
As of Monday, I will be sharing some of my retreat, day by day. Now I want to share with you some thoughts from Pope Frncis'
We provide below the full text of the Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei quaerere, "Seeking the face of God", on women's contemplative life, signed by Pope Francis on 29 June 2016, solemnity of the Apostles Sts Peter and Paul. The document consists of a prologue and five chapters: "Esteem, praise and thanksgiving for consecrated life and cloistered contemplative life; The Church's accompaniment and guidance; Essential elements of the contemplative life; Matters calling for discernment and renewed norms; and The witness offered by nuns, and finally a normative conclusion.
The following is the full document:
1. Seeking the face of God has always been a part of our human history. From the beginning, men and women have been called to a dialogue of love with the Creator. Indeed, mankind is distinguished by an irrepressible religious dimension that leads human hearts to feel the need – albeit not always consciously – to seek God, the Absolute. This quest unites all men and women of good will. Even many who claim to be non-believers acknowledge this heartfelt longing, present in every man and woman who, drawn by a passionate desire for happiness and fulfilment, never remains fully satisfied.
St. Augustine eloquently expressed this yearning in the Confessions: “You made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You”. This restlessness of heart is born of the profound intuition that it is God Himself Who takes the initiative; He seeks out men and women and mysteriously draws them to Himself."
I have been praying over some of the aspects that the Pope develops as we are called to be both contemplative and apostolic so I find the first five of the twelve topics that the Pope develops are applicable and are good to reflect on: they are formation, prayer, the Word of God, Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation, and fraternal community. I will share a few quotes with you but you can find the document on Google to read for yourself.