Encountering God in Prison and on Retreat

reaching handYesterday we shared a few submissions from Ignatian bloggers on where they encountered God in unexpected situations. Today we are happy to share two reader responses to the question.

In Prison

It was my first time in prison.

A few of us had permission to give a retreat at the prison for women. I had no idea what to expect, but I prayed that God would use us that day. Imagine our amazement and delight when it was the prisoners’ deep faith that ministered to our team and not just us ministering to them—it was reciprocal. Our presence was needed but not as we anticipated. We witnessed such courage, such concern for family and for each other. In great adversity these women, some of whom I have known now for a few years, live the love of Jesus for each other and for anyone who wishes to journey with them. God was with us in prison that day but in an unexpected way—the power of our God of surprises!

Lynda Clayton is a mother and grandmother from Canada.

On Retreat

Five years ago, while undergoing the 19th Annotation, I was in Puerto Rico on business. Early one morning, I walked to the beach where we were staying, to spend time at prayer with the recommended Scripture reading and to contemplate what Ignatius laid down. I was working on placing myself inside the stories and paying attention to how God was inspiring me.

The reading for that morning was from John chapter 15. Halfway through, I read, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain…” Something happened. There was a charge that went through my body. It was as though my surroundings moved in, and the words from the passage were all that I could focus on. I sat for some time to reflect on what happened. I was at peace. I knew that God had special plans for me, and I was looking forward to discerning exactly what it was God wanted me to do.

Tim Merriman is married, father of four and grandfather of four. He works in marketing and lives in Ohio.Your turn! Where have you encountered God in an unexpected place or situation?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here