As you begin your retreat, pause for a few moments and grow still inside. Focus on your breathing, and let go of any distracting thoughts. Let your mind become present to God. Take three slow, deep breaths. Feel God's loving gaze upon you.
Nicholas was a generous man, and also very wealthy. Whenever he met someone who was in need, he would offer that person some money. If the person tried to thank him, Nicholas, who was very shy, would hurry off.
Saint Nicholas lived for God, which means that he lived for love. If people were in need and he was able to help, St. Nicholas gave them hope and strength. He never paused for a minute to wonder what he should receive in return for his help. He only thought about what he could give to those who needed him.
How generous am I with my time and talents?
What word or gesture of hope and strength will I offer to someone today?
St. Nicholas, pray for me and help me to give gifts of love to others.