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LIKAS – A Lenten Retreat was held at St Simon Church Likas 20-23 Mar 2014 on “The Most Excellent Healing”.
The Retreat was conducted by the team from Putri Karmel comprising of Sr Maximillian Soon, Sr Geraldine, Sr Roswita, Brother Bosco and Brother Evan.
The talks focussed on the nature and effects of the 7 capital sins: Pride, Envy, Anger, Sloth, Gluttony, Covetousness, and Lust, which are great spiritual blocks that inhibit our relationship with God and one another.
The 7 capital sins which are all rooted in fear were presented as patterns of dysfunction within us that lead to unhappiness. Only through self knowledge can we see the need to repent and be healed.
Sr Maxim reiterated that Pride or Self-Love is the root of all evil and the 7 capital sins.
In Pride, we define life and freedom by our own terms, not by the Word of God. Our culture encourages this egocentric life. To counter this we must practise humility, which recognizes that all our gifts are God-given, and that we must use them for his good.
Envy can be described as feeling sorrow at another person’s good as though it belittles our own excellence. Instead we should admire them for the gifts that God has given them. Pride often leads to envy, then to greed and to anger.
Anger, another capital sin, chains us in an irrational and unreasonable desire for vengeance. We have to break away from this chain of misery through forgiveness.
Sloth is often thought of as laziness but is basically an indifference to our spiritual life and avoidance of God and the life he is offering us.
Covetousness or Greed is a sinful excessive desire for material wealth and possessions.
These two sins of Sloth and Greed have to be countered with finding our purpose and mission in life so we can live it with zeal and to be always generous to the poor.
Gluttony, an overconsumption in one’s desires or cravings to the point of waste can lead to laziness.
Lust is treating others as objects for our own sexual pleasures, hence making us incapable of loving God by loving others.
Overall, the retreat was an uplifting, spiritual journey and a personal encounter with our all-loving, and forgiving God. We learnt
1. to understand the nature and effects of the 7 capital sins and how we can try to counter them
2. to seek divine healing through prayer, repentance, scripture readings (Lectio Divina), the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. In the Eucharistic Adoration we draw nearer to Jesus by being in his presence. Through these we encounter Jesus personally as our most excellent divine healer.
The Retreat was attended by about 150 parishioners, many with their families. Many shared that they have come through the retreat being personally touched and spiritually renewed, healed and relieved of their burdens. – Vera Chin