Magdalena Institute 4th Annual Women’s Encounter
March 3 & 4, 2018
Magdalena Institute organized a weekend for interior renewal and reconciliation on March 3rd and 4th. It was a weekend to go deeper in a faith relationship with Jesus and commit to a lifestyle of forgiveness. Thirty women participated in the March 3rd retreat. The participants were led through the ancient town of Magdala as they prayed with scriptural passages about Jesus’ preaching and healing ministry in Galilee. One woman, having returned from living several years in Saudi Arabia, was grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with a Christian community who encouraged her to pray and draw near to the Lord once again, as well as offer her the sacraments of her Catholic faith, Confession and the Eucharist. Several international women working in Israel appreciated the oasis of prayer and peace for which they were longing.
The following day, thirty more men and women joined the group for a day-long workshop on forgiveness. Jews and Christians received a teaching on forgiveness from Dr Robert Enright, the Father of Forgiveness Research. Dr Enright made his message available through video and encouraged all to see that forgiveness in daily life is possible. “Forgiveness is the most heroic virtue on the planet earth. It is a choice,” voiced Dr Enright.
Orna Grinman, founder and director of Sign and Example offered a teaching and practical workshop while sharing her own testimony. Her experiential analysis of what the human person goes through gave light to many. “Deep inside us, we have a passion for justice. We don’t have legal authority to persecute our offender, so inside of us, we jail them. But when we hold on to un-forgiveness, we become both the jailor and the prisoner.” She walked the participants through different exercises encouraging them to distinguish between fact, feelings, thoughts, and reactions. Two Jewish men were grateful for the practical exercises, as well as the many Christian women from approximately thirteen different nationalities.
Magdalena Institute seeks to promote the universal dignity of the human person, with a particular emphasis on women. Since 2015 the Institute has offered the annual International Women’s Day event with inspirational speakers. Jennifer Ristine, Director of the Magdalena Institute commented that this year’s event offered a nuance to instigate a renewal in each participant’s relationship with God, with others and even within themselves, as they discovered the gift of freedom that enables them to choose to forgive. As a conclusive activity, they committed themselves to act as protagonists and a “healing balm” in a world in need of a revolution of forgiveness.