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PO Box 15, Hartbeespoort, 0216, S.A. Portion 60 of Farm 482, Meerhof Hartbeespoort, N.W. Province, S.A., Off Findlay Avenue…Next to Good Shepherd Catholic ​Church


Dear Friend of Good Shepherd

We are eagerly awaiting the great feast of Pentecost. While we wait, there are some important considerations, if ‘your’ journey finds you at Good Shepherd. What ​would be a good preparation for you who intend to join in a retreat at Good Shepherd. If you are a Catholic, it would be important to receive the Sacrament of ​Penance or Reconciliation (also known as Confession) prior to the retreat. This is a time to let go of sins and make peace with self, with others and with God. Our ​retreats are generally silent retreats, since silence cultivates a spirit of prayer and contemplation. There is such a profound need within each of us to silence the ​mind and heart in order to ‘hear’ God speaking within our hearts. Thus, during a retreat, the use of cell phones and other electronic gadgets becomes counter-​productive to prayer and contemplation, so we discourage that. The prayerful time immersed in silence at Good Shepherd, provides

an opportunity to spend valuable intimate time before the Eucharistic Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Here one will discover a plenitude of graces flowing from the ​presence of Our Divine Lord. This truth, He has revealed to many of the saints. In this encounter, immersed in Sacred Scripture and sacramental worship, so many ​questions are answered, so many prayers are listened to, and so many needs attended to by our attentive, loving, and merciful God.

What does one do upon returning home, after a retreat? Perhaps this question is vital for a sustained movement forward in faith and prayer, especially if the retreat ​has opened up new avenues of encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. The change from the silence of the retreat to the busyness of home often requires an interior ​adjustment, a re-evaluation of self and of one’s daily rhythm. You need to sift through all your activities and review what is necessary and what is not, and discard ​the clutter. Perhaps a first good step is to try to create an interior environment for God to function and communicate more freely within you. How can that be ​achieved? Instead of watching a favourite t.v. programme or spending long periods of time on the internet or in some other social activity, make a change here.

These activities can often flood the mind and heart with anxiety and worries that weigh us down. Rather assign some of that time and space to God. HE needs the ​‘space’ in you to belong to Him, and you need the time for the relationship with Him to develop.

Once space and time have been opened up, you now have the opportunity to fill in that empty space with God-centred

activities. A really good first step is to read selected spiritual books that can impact your life, in reference to and including the Bible. However, you will notice that ​this ‘new’ or ‘different’ way demands discipline and consistency. It’s easy to fall back into our old patterns of behaviour, just like some of the disciples of Jesus did ​after the Resurrection. We live in an audiovisual world. So, it may be a bit strange to ‘read’, but once into it, treasures are unearthed. A healthy alternative is to listen ​to the audio books of the same. Reading the right spiritual material can be an excellent catalyst to re-open one’s heart to God, which would then allow Him ‘inside’. ​Books on the Mystical Lives (of Jesus and Mary), many of which are now available in PDF format (often free as e-books), provide a stress-free, affordable way

to do this. Let us know if you are interested and we will gladly point you in the right direction. This may be a very good

first step after a meaningful, and often, life-changing retreat.

Besides healthy reading habits, we also advise that you listen to the talks on the Divine Will teachings, taught by the Lord Jesus to the Servant of God, Luisa ​Piccarreta, you can register for free to listen on: or you could listen to Fr Robert Young on the ‘Introduction to Divine Will’. You are welcome ​to send us an email for more information on how to register for the Frances Hogan talks and we will send you the navigation guidelines. You could

Google ‘Fr Robert Young’ for his audio presentations as well which are also freely available on Youtube.

Some sound practical habits to adopt also include the daily attendance at Holy Mass or as frequently as you can (in addition to your Sunday obligation). This quiet ​personal practice is ever so nurturing for the soul, and helps to deepen and strengthen our relationship with God. During Holy Mass, after receiving Holy ​Communion, tell Jesus that you will constantly adore Him in your Heart, thereby creating a flow of consciousness throughout your day. Ask Him to remain

with you. Pray more. Try to pray the Holy Rosary daily, even as a family. There are also very powerful prayers that could be prayed like the 3pm Divine Mercy ​Chaplet. Set time once a week to pray and meditate on the Stations of the Cross (not just in Lent). There are a variety of ‘Stations of the Cross’ available for free ​online, that can guide you. Meditate daily on the Word of God. Go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a month. Pray, pray and pray for your Confessor ​(the priest hearing your Confession) before and after the Confession. Ask the Lord that He give you the grace to meet HIM in the confessional. Do not skip Morning ​and Evening Prayer. Extend your prayers to include not just those prayed for yourself and loved ones but also for the intentions of the Lord Jesus and the salvation ​of all souls.

Remember YOU need to create that time and space. During the day, remember to speak to the Lord in the silence of your heart, to continue that flow of ​consciousness. Invite Him to work within you, in your meetings, in all your daily activities, when you enter the store or while driving.

Be conscious that He is aways with you. Be attentive to His actions in your day. Be prudent with your words. Smile to the stranger, constantly pray for all you meet. ​Be merciful and loving

in your actions. Do not be quick to give into anger. Do your tasks with love, in service to the Lord. The way to grow spiritually is to live spiritually. St Paul calls it ​putting on the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16).

At the end of your day, make time to do an examination of your conscience and assess the fruitfulness of your actions, or the lack thereof. Go through your day with ​the Lord. Start with you and the Lord, do not force your family to join you, instead let them be inspired by the change in you. Be charitable and honest in all your ​dealings, for the Lord sees. Even when the world around you is doing the incorrect thing, you do what is right, as the Lord watches..

I hope these thoughts help and inspire you to make the salient changes that can lead you to a much deeper intimacy with His Majesty, who constantly desires to love ​you and be loved by you.

For those of you who have not visited Good Shepherd Retreat Centre, and would like to experience a retreat or who would just like to visit the centre for personal ​prayer, please email us and we will be happy to help with that. Happy Easter once again to you all and may Pentecost Sunday create a flourishing of the Spiritual gifts ​already within you. We will continue to keep all our patrons, suppliers, and associates in our prayers as we await the power of Pentecost

to envelop the Church again.


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