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Faith renewed in Magis circles

magis_review_01‘Entirely transforming. I loved the Magis circles and saw my own day-to-day life and faith situations in a whole new way.” Just one of the  reflections from the  young people who participated in the 17-day Ignatian World Youth Day programme in Spain (Magis) and who gathered again in Magis Ireland, Gardiner St, 17 September to reflect on the experience. Participants used the gospel story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus for contemplation and went off in twos to discuss what they themselves have been talking and thinking about since Spain. Conversation also focussed on ‘what next’ and on the importance of community in helping everyone to follow the thread of what stirred for them in Spain. Below is feedback from participants.

FEEDBACK FROM MAGIS WORLD YOUTH DAY PARTICIPANTS ON MAGIS

‘This experience helped me to build on the starting blocks of my faith; for me God was in the experience through the joy of the people we met who were living in poverty. That had a profound effect on me.’

‘I am feeling thankful for the experience I had and how it has opened my eyes to the world around me’.

‘I feel I have become more open to others. I am more willing to share myself with strangers I meet. I am less concerned about whether other people like me.’

‘Really got into the Jesuit spirituality and will be seeking other Jesuit style things in Ireland. Got great advice from one of my leaders on discernment. Excellent spiritual direction from two epic leaders any time I wanted.’

‘Genuinely the best week of my life on so many different levels. The cultural exchange was incredible. The international Magis circles blew me away, many people with many different ways of looking at God’s love and appreciating it.’

‘The Magis circles, spiritual conversations and time in Loyola were the best bits.’

‘Entirely transforming and enriching. I loved the Magis circles and got tons out of them. Saw my own day to day life and faith situations in a whole new way after seeing everyones perspective on everything.’

‘I feel that I have become more aware of God’s presence around me and in the people I meet every day.’

‘God was everywhere I turned in my experience. This has made a huge impact on my faith I feel much closer to God and in a much more personal relationship with God.’

‘It helped me to find myself and my place in the world in future.’

‘The Magis week  was excellent! The amount of spiritual time was helpful.’

‘I would have liked more time in the original place (Loyola) to be more prepared spiritually for the experience week.’

‘I enjoyed Magis a lot because it felt more personal.’

‘I guess I have become more confident in faith, more aware that it can be fun and more trustful of God.’

‘I find myself a lot more grateful for the things I do have instead of wanting the things I don’t.’

‘I feel that I have realised there is an awful lot more to spirituality. I seriously questioned my faith even to the point of non-belief for a day or two but I summarise the experience as moving forward with the faith!’

‘My attitude to the Church has improved slightly in some areas.’

‘God wasn’t the main part, more so the experience of community.’

‘I enjoyed Magis more than WYD although I enjoyed the vigil and final Mass all of Magis was enjoyable.’

‘Joy that I believe I made a connection with God which I was longing for.’

‘It helped me to find myself and my place in the world in future.’

‘I enjoyed Magis a lot because it felt more personal.’

‘My attitude to the Church has improved slightly in some areas.’

‘God wasn’t the main part, more so the experience of community.’

‘This is a winning formula.’

‘Loved it, loved it, loved it, didn’t want to leave.’

‘God was in the stillness, the laughter, the friendships and the intimacy I experienced in our community.’

‘It has deepened my faith and opened me up to other people’s experiences of God, especially the way in which God works in ways which are very different to my own experience of God.’

‘Some of the most powerful spiritual moments of my life so far in those circles.’

‘The spiritual direction by Frederico was sublime, deep but with a light touch.’

‘It had a lot to live up to from my experience last time. But looking back on it I can say I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else in the world for that week. I still can’t fully comprehend what we shared that week.’

‘I feel more confident in my faith and sharing it with others and also I feel like I want to be more involved in the Church.’

‘I found God in the desire of so many young people searching for something more in their lives.’

‘Life changing.’

‘Intriguing.’

FEEDBACK ON WORLD YOUTH DAY

‘I found returning to Madrid for the WYD part most challenging.’

‘Going to some catechesis sessions and not being given catechesis – I found that really frustrating.’

‘I would like if there was some way of retaining the intimacy of the Magis experience once returning and joining the other pilgrims for World Youth Day.’

‘Trying to simply get people to meet in the one place was near impossible and draining to say the least. The good times I had were not part of the madness. They were simple moments with friends, praying together, eating together, being together.’

‘To be honest I thought it was a bit of a let-down compared to the time we had with Magis. They didn’t cater well for English speaking participants.’

‘I got a sense of belonging to something greater. It was amazing to see the number of people that attended the final mass and to be a part of that.’

‘WYD taught me that the Catholic faith is still very much alive. It taught me to hold strong to that faith and to encourage others to do so as well.’

FEEDBACK FROM LEADERS

‘I am naturally reflective and look for the depth in experience which can lead me to take things too seriously. The experience helped me achieve balance and bring out the joyful part of me.’

‘During Magis I had to trust my own leadership capabilities and use my gifts to shift the dynamic in the group. This helped me enormously to grow in trust of myself and God working in and through me.’

‘Magis Ireland has been part of my faith journey for many years and I valued the trust I have been shown as leader and the support and encouragement I received.’

‘I’ve grown in patience to allow God to work in those who I have been asked to minister to, also, to take myself more seriously in terms of trusting my own ideas, instincts and judgements as inspirations of the good Spirit!’

‘I feel more confident as a result of it, more aware of certain gifts. Also, I acknowledge my limitations in a more accepting way.’

‘I think it will take me a long time to digest all the gifts of the experience.’

‘I learned to be more responsible, attentive and patient. To grow is sometimes painful, it is a process.’