Salt for the Earth and Light for the World

Aidan Hughes, one of the young teenagers of the LCSB, writes about the latest retreat organised by Teen leader, Tom Machin.

In February, the Northern Teens (and one from Torquay) were lucky enough to enjoy another fantastic retreat at Soli House in Alton.

 

The theme for the weekend was ‘Salt for the Earth and Light of the World’, reflecting on our role as Christians not in isolation but as a part of a wider society. As a group we discussed how we can live out our responsibility for those around us; our faith is worth little unless put to good practice for the benefit of others.

We started the weekend by giving our consciences a spring-cleaning with adoration, prayer stations and confession. This is always an opportunity to separate ourselves from our daily lives and fix things with God in preparation for a weekend in conversation with him. On pieces of kindling, we wrote down the things that most concern us; later in the weekend, we used these worries to kindle the fire of God’s love and burn our troubles away, replacing them with our own light of the world.

Saturday morning began with a treasure hunt to find pieces of Scripture cunningly hidden in salt shakers around the village; these spoke to us about the strength that God will always give us if we trust in him. With this strength, we can be salt for the earth and light of the world in even the most challenging situations. One person who used this strength to be a light even as she lay dying from a painful cancer at the age of 18 was Blessed Chiara Badano. Even when she heard the news that she would never recover, she declared that she would ‘offer my suffering to Jesus because I want to share as much as possible in his sufferings on the cross.’ Those around her saw her as a shining light who drew great strength from her conviction that her funeral would be her wedding to Jesus.

In the afternoon we enjoyed a walk in the beautiful Churnet Valley, a fantastic opportunity to spend time together as a group and reconnect with nature. It can be so easy to become cocooned in our classrooms, offices and social media circles; the chance to step back from that is part of what makes these retreats so valuable and special.

Mass in the evening included a stimulating Homily from Fr Michael Dolman, discussing different interpretations of what it is to be salt for the earth. What struck me was his insight that salt makes us thirsty – to be salt for the earth is to make people thirsty for God, both those who know Him and those who have never opened themselves to Him. As we read in Isaiah, God is welcoming to the thirsty: we are invited to ‘Come to the water’. Yet the water of God does more than quench our physical thirst – when Jesus speaks to a woman at the well, he tells her that ‘whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ By being salt for the earth, our mission is to make others thirsty for God’s living water.

On Sunday morning, we got our creative juices flowing by decorating jars with tissue paper to use as candle holders, to help us spread the light of the world in our homes.

Unfortunately the weekend was drawing to a close all too soon – time to return to our busy lives, but with the strength to be salt for the earth and light of the world.

Many thanks to Tom and Megan for a fantastic weekend, and I’m looking forward to spending more time over Easter with this fantastic group of people.

Aidan

Salt of the Earth

 

Categories LCSB | Tags: | Posted on March 13, 2017

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