Sylvester Sim

When the subject of the Conversion Experience Retreat was brought up in early 2007, I declined the invitation to attend and kept on postponing my attendance with 101 excuses and reasons.

“Why do I need the retreat? I don’t need it! I believe in God, I serve the Church faithfully, I’m OK where my faith is concerned, in fact, I AM A GOOD CATHOLIC so this sort of retreat is definitely not for me. It’s only for those Catholics who have faith issues or those who are standing on the line between serving and not serving in ministries”. However, over time, I began to wonder if the retreat would benefit me in any way – I prayed and asked God to make a way for me to attend if it was His will. I finally attended the retreat in December of 2007 and, looking back, I would say that, yes – I did need that retreat and I am glad I went.

The first thing that struck me at the retreat was the beauty of being able to praise God in song and from my heart. I felt the Presence of God so close to me. I realized then that Praise & Worship is something that goes beyond singing from my lips – it is the song that comes from a worshipping heart!

I had never taken the Sacrament of Reconciliation seriously. I arrogantly believed that I could confess directly to God when I sinned because He is merciful. I did not need the priest as a gobetween. Moreover, I believed that my service in the church justified all my wrong-doing. I was terribly wrong. At the retreat I found new meaning and joy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and it has given a new and real dimension of the meaning “Lord, I know who you are.” Now I see the importance of not sinning again and returning to his priests whenever I fall into sin. I do not ever want to take His love and mercy for granted again. I have become more conscious of sin in my life.
Since that retreat in December, I am filled with a sense of inner peace and joy. I am now able to remain calm during the trying times with people and events in my daily life. This calmness could only come about as a result of my prayers when these difficult situations arise.

Church work has also taken on a new dimension. I reflected on my works in the RCIC and the Legion of Mary. It was different and I now find it a real joy to be serving in these ministries. They are no longer works to justify my sins; rather works for the love of Him! The retreat helped establish a personal relationship and gave me a personal encounter with God, but more than that, it has enriched my faith and renewed by zeal to do His works for His Kingdom and for His glory.

Come and see what God has planned for you. You will be amazed by what He has in store!

Sylvester Sim
CER 7