When we had a retreat in Cagayan de Oro, we had it at Betania Retreat house in Malasag. The place is serene, sitauted atop a hill. On the other side you see the vast moutains and on the other side you see the sea and the city of Cagayan de Oro. What's I like most about the retreat place is the labyrinth aside from the yummy foodss they serve.
The sacred space (labyrinth) is situated under the trees, open to the energy of the sun. Purple plants at the edges of the pathways speak of life and growth. In the center there is a native pot with the wide open rim, a symbol of one's openness to receive. The stone recalls Jacob encounter with the angel in Gen. 32-23-33. Jacob placed a rock in his place of encounter , designating it as a holy place and keeping a memory of a sacred moment because he said, " I have seen God face to face".
The labyrinth is a form of walking meditation. There is no need to think about the labyrinth or any other thing. It is designated to inhibit our ordinary linear thinking. You might simply want to be open to the energy and spirit of the place and the design. Or you might walk with a particular focus: a question, a problem, having in mind a person or situation.
The labyrinth is a replica of the labyrinth which was laid on the floor of the Chartres Cathedral around 1220. This labyrinth has only one path. There are no tricks to it and no dead ends. the path winds throughout and becomes a mirror for where we are in our lives. Navigating all the twists and turns of the labyrinth invites us to reflect on our own wanderings. It touches our sorrows and releases our joys. So we walk it with an open mind and an open heart for it leads to healing, to blessing, to self-knowledge, to charity, balance and the shedding of guilt.
The labyrinth invites us to consider how intricately we are fashioned by God , how He continues to knit us, to hold us in His loving gaze, to be intricately involved in our ongoing fashioning , we walk the labyrinth one small step at a time, and often the movement may seem much too slow, but if we simply proceed step-by-step, we will reach the center. All that is required is faithfulness to the path that lies before us. What is important is not speed but being awake to the mystery that we are God's prayer - an act of love.