Year of Youth 2018

Do Your Part And He Will Do The Rest

Last edited 27th June 2018

Do Your Part And He Will Do The Rest

Rest. We all want it. Maybe more often than we will admit. That's why it doesn't surprise me when people come back from a holiday and are already planning the next one. Could it be then that we are looking for it in the wrong places?

This got me thinking - what are the right places to nourish ourselves spiritually to give us the rest we desire?

For me, it was a Catholic retreat. An opportunity that arose to withdraw myself from daily life, and find refreshment for my soul in a picturesque country town where there was no mobile reception and no distractions in sight.

Mark highlights this inner need we all have through Jesus' personal invite to "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest" (Mark 6:31).

In the location of the Benedict XVI Retreat Centre in Grose Vale, I noticed upon entering the grounds a beautiful sunset cascading over the country hills in the background. This was definitely the place of rest he was calling me to.

It sounds peaceful, right? Somewhere picturesque with the chance to escape reality for a short period and just for a moment not have to think about when your next meeting is, how many birthday events you have coming up or one of the other 100 things you have to do from your to-do list.

That's exactly what Jesus is inviting every person to do. Come to him. By yourselves. To a quiet place and get some rest.

I have personally been to several retreats and have found the experience is always exactly that. It is an opportunity to rest in a quiet surrounding, with great people who share the same common interests and are all seeking to learn more about their faith but most importantly, dig deep to discover their personal relationship with God.

In the retreat I attended earlier this year, I took a moment to just immerse myself into his presence. Just being aware of His creation in looking at that beautiful picturesque setting, His presence on the altar, and listening to His words being spoken through the priest was all I needed to gain rest in Him.

In a world where our phones become a necessary accessory to carry around with us everywhere, where sharing your stories on social media become a priority, it seems rare to stop, breath in, out, and enjoy each moment given to us.

5 days after the retreat finished, all I kept hearing from those that attended was "I miss it", "I want to go back" and "I'm having retreat withdrawal symptoms". We seemed to all be on such a high and many realised this was the happiest they have ever been in their life. In the simple action of allowing him into our hearts by seeking his presence, the Holy Spirit ignited a flame in our souls. A flame that continues to powerfully burn in each of us and guide us in striving to get close to Him.

While we can often want to just stay in those surroundings and not return to everyday life, God needs us to have rest to renew our souls so we can "go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15).

You see, rest is all we need. With rest we can do God's will and find great riches. With rest he is able to work through our bodies and bring people back to Him.

So if you find that you are tired with life, tired of trying to work out what you are meant to be doing, tired of the negativity in this world - search for rest with God. Let that be your mission in this Year of Youth. Take something on instead of giving something up. As Jeremiah 29:13 states, "you will look for me and find me when you look for me with all your heart". The greatest version of yourself is possible. It just starts now. Seek, and you will find.
Want to attend a Catholic retreat? Speak to your local parish priest and find out when and where their next youth retreat is taking place.


Antonia is an Australian born Croatian who's passionate about discovering the beautiful world we live in and practising her Catholic faith. She combines her love for travel and love for faith in her blog, The Adriatic Fox (theadriaticfox.com)



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