Young adults camping, hiking, praying and reflecting on St John Paul II's on "Givenness" in the Northern California mountains.
"The aesthetic value of creation cannot be overlooked. Our very contact with nature has a deep restorative power; contemplation of its magnificence imparts peace and serenity. The Bible speaks again and again of the goodness and beauty of creation, which is called to glorify God.”
— Pope John Paul II
One participant said, "As I read St. JP II's reflections on "Givenness" I was particularly drawn to focus on the idea that a gift by definition is for the good of the person it is bestowed upon. More specifically, I was reminded that what is good for us doesn't always feel good. In those moments when we don't understand the discomfort or even the pain, we are being asked to trust that God as the giver of the gift is truly doing what is best for us. It can be difficult for us to see that the loss of a gift is often a gift in and of itself. It is easier to receive a gift with joy than it is to give it back with that same spirit. And so I left this retreat with the challenge of surrendering back to God what He has given me, choosing to respond as Job did Ch. 1:21"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!"