Last week the Salvadoran Carmelite bishop of Chaltenango led the spiritual exercises for the clergy of diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán. Monseñor Oswaldo Escobar, O.C.D., was a breath of fresh air, sharing his understanding of the spirituality of Saint Teresa of Avila.
He began the first night with two questions:
“Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)
“What are you seeking?” (John 1: 38)
And he noted the request of the apostles:
“Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1)
And it got better throughout the week as he shared with us his understanding of St. Teresa.
He spoke of prayer as the relationship of friendship with God that needs the virtues of love, humility, and detachment.
He noted that in getting to know ourselves, it is important to remember that God enhances (engrandecer) the human condition; he does not denigrate it! We should not begin with sin.
This fits in with a passage from one of my favorite canticles in Evening Prayer (Ephesians 1: 4)
God chose us in Christ,
before the foundation of the world
to be holy and blameless in his sight,
to be full of love.
There was so much more. I need to read the articles he shared and the notes I made. It was exactly what I needed at the beginning of Lent this year.
Thanks be to God.
If you can read Spanish, you can find links to pdfs of his writings here. The retreat was largely based on these articles: