Ignatian Retreat in Daily Life

"FInding God in all Things"

Ten-Week 02 Daily Schedule

 

                                                                             (Printable Version in Word)

 

Theme

         

Discovering the delight with which God beholds me.

 

Grace/Desire

 

That I may see and know more clearly the deeply personal and faithful care and love of God for me.

 

 

Prayer Material for the Week

 

1.       Isaiah 43: 1-7          You are precious in my eyes.

2.       Romans 8: 31-39      With God on our side who can be against us?

3.       Prayer of Consideration:   Lilies of the Field

4.       Luke 15:1-32           Three parables about God’s merciful love.

5.       Isaiah 65: 17-25       God’s dream of making us new.

6.       Prayer of Consideration:   The Way Things Are

7.       Luke 15: 11-32         The Prodigal’s Father wants to love both of his children.

 

 

Prayer

 

Oh, Lord my God, You called me from the sleep of nothingness merely because in Your tremendous love You want to make good and beautiful beings. You have called me by my name in my mother’s womb. You have given me breath and light and movement and walked with me every moment of my existence. I am amazed, Lord God of the universe, that You attend to me and, more, cherish me. Create in me the faithfulness that moves You, so that I will trust You and yearn for You all my days.

Amen.

 

 

 

Keep in Mind

 

Additional Scripture and Prayer Material

 

Review of the Week

 

For Further Reflection and Consideration

 

More To Ponder

 

Thoughts on Prayer

 

Additional Materials about Prayer

 

Keep in Mind

 

God our Creator and Lord writes God’s hopes into our desiring. If our hearts are made for God, then God has planted deep, deep desires for God in our hearts. If God’s command is that we love one another and do justice to all, then deep in ourselves burns a passionate desire to do those things, and filling those desires will make us beatifically happy. Because of this, we keep asking God for what we want in prayer and in these exercises.

Additional Scripture and Prayer Material

 

Isaiah 62: 1-5       You will be call by a new name … your God will rejoice in you …

Jeremiah 18: 1-6   God is the potter; we are the clay.

Isaiah 49: 8-16     God of mercy. Should a mother forget her infant, I will never

                           forget  you.

Romans 5: 6-11    Christ died when we were still in sin… joyful trust… Is it likely that

                          he would fail us now?

Review of the Week

 

How am I experiencing God these days?

          I am accepted by God…

          God loves me as I am…

          God’s presence is gift rather than threat…

          God begins anew all things at each moment…

          I yearn to know the real God…

 

I am now finishing two weeks of the Exercises that I wanted to go through. I might want to begin examining whether or not I am doing what I set out to do.

 

For Further Reflection and Consideration

 

Prayer begins with the realization that I am loved by God as I am. God’s love is based on nothing and, therefore, is the most basic and secure fact in my life. I simply let myself be loved by God. This is not so much an activity of mine but a passivity in which I let God’s love soak in and permeate my whole being.

Adapted from “As Bread That is Broken” by Peter van Breemen, S.J.

 

 

More to Ponder

 

Through Jesus, God is present to us always (Mt 28:20).  God reveals God’s self as one who cares and is concerned about us (Jn 20:11-18; Jn 21:9-14). The quality of this presence is gentleness and patience. Ignatius suggests that every time we begin a prayer exercise, we should pause for a few moments as we recollect ourselves and consider “how God beholds me.”  We go to prayer with an attitude of listening. In prayer we let God’s word speak of God’s own nearness and care; we let the Spirit give us that deeper trust and confidence that we need.

                                                                               

adapted from John Veltri, S.J., Orientations

 

Thoughts on Prayer

 

1.   If you know how to pray with fantasy, you might do that. Imagine, for instance, that you are a lump of clay and God is shaping you – and then tell Him what you actually experience and feel.

 

2.   When you repeat a passage, give more time to the ideas, desires, feelings that were particularly strong and good, and to those that seem to have been particularly problematic or obscure or vexing. Go back to those places where you felt discouragement, revulsion, anger, or simply nothing at all – places like the “black holes” in our universe from which no light or warmth comes. Go back also to those places where you felt great encouragement, love for God, and enthusiasm to go on – places like the volcanoes on our globe that throw up blazing rivers and that roar with energy. You will visit many of these “black holes and volcanoes” during the Ignatian Exercises.

 

3.   Note about prayerful reading that you read slowly, stop and muse over words or phrases, readily begin speaking with God the Lord, and feel no pressure to finish the passage.

 

Adapted from Joseph Tetlow, S.J., “Choosing Christ in the World”

 

Additional Materials on Prayer

Prayer - Centering

                                                               (Printable version in Word)

Centering

When we come to prayer, we need to collect our scattered thoughts and affects so that we come to God with a single heart. Writers give this process various names. Some talk about coming to quiet, or reaching a sense of harmony with all beings. Some talk about reaching self-concentration, so that my thoughts and desires are not running all over, but come to coherence and rest. Many talk about "centering," meaning that we can come to the core of our self for a moment and desire and act out of that center.

 

Whatever name you use, recognize that some quiet and concentration help very much as we be­gin our prayer time.

 

Here are some ways of accomplishing that "cen­tering" that you might find useful. You might al­ready have your way of doing it. If not, test vari­ous ways until you are able to pray a little more readily.

 

•      Stand or sit (or take some other position that you come to find helpful). Concentrate for just a moment on yourself standing, or sit­ting, or in whatever position. Attend to each part of your body: to the tiny feelings on your scalp and face, to the pressure of clothing on your neck; to the position of your arms and
hands; to the pressures of chair or floor on back, stomach, rump; to the feelings on thighs, knees, calves; to the pressure of the floor on heel or sole. Then just sense yourself in this total position, and go on to ask God to let you feel your presence to your Creator and Lord.

 

•      Take a quiet position. Slowly and gently concentrate your attention on your breathing, focusing down onto the air moving in and out of your nostrils. Keep focused on that moving air for a while until you are quiet.

 

•      Breathing that way, you might begin to think some words as you breathe. So, think "Lord Jesus Christ" as you breathe in, and "King of Eternal Glory" as you breathe out—over and over. Or use the Jesus Prayer, think­ing "Jesus Christ" as you breathe in, and "have mercy" as you breathe out. After con­tinuing this for a time, gently turn to the prayer materials you have prepared. Under­ stand that we never "finish" this kind of pray­ing, we simply turn from it to another kind.

 

•       Take a quiet position. Gradually grow aware of what you are hearing. Listen to each sound, trying to distinguish single sounds from the general noise. Simply hear the sounds, without trying to figure out where they are coming from or to interpret them. Consciously let the sounds continue on their own, aware of the fact that they do not attack you or violate you or depend on you. As you let them go on entirely on their own, grow aware that you are present to your Creator and Lord.

 

•       As you can grow aware of the sounds you are hearing, so you can also grow aware of the sights you are seeing, and even of the odors and fragrances you smell.

 

•       Instead of becoming quite still, you might come to concentration by gentle gesture or movement. For instance, you could think some prayerful thoughts—“Lord, You are God; I come to You; I give these moments to You alone; You hold me utterly"—and as you think them, you could gesture or dance them out. Slowly raise your hand, slowly bow from the waist, slowly hold up your hands together as though they were filled with gifts. After a time of this, you will know to grow still and turn to the matters you have decided to pray upon.

 

•       Others use other means. Light a candle for its fragrance and presence. Gaze at a small ob­ject before you, such as a little stone, carefully seeing everything about it, until you can feel the fact that God our Creator and Lord keeps making you and the stone. Play some quiet music. Burn incense. Note these general rules: We each find a way to concentrate. We commonly find one or other way more useful at one time than at oth­ers. We sometimes feel more dissipated than usual and need to use some means of center­ing that we would not ordinarily use. Center­ing proves useful, but is not an end in itself, and on occasion it expresses or leads to a kind
of self-absorption that makes praying a little
more difficult. Centering at the start of prayer ordinarily makes praying more feasible.

 

Joseph Tetlow, S.J., “Choosing Christ in the World”

 

 

Summary of Prayer

 

                                                                          (Printable Version in Word)

 

 

This simple exercise depends on notes, memory, and lively thinking.

 

•    Here are some likenesses: Two friends have been going over the picture album of a two-week vacation together when they ask each other how many different places they had seen. They flip back through the pictures swiftly, recalling this town and that mountain, noting where they stopped. A summary of for­mer prayer is like that.

 

•    Another likeness: The chairperson of a little volunteer organization wonders, while preparing for the next meeting, how many different projects the group has volunteered for during the past six months and what worked and what didn't. The leader quickly flips through notes and minutes, counting and appreciating and valuing, and then prepares what to say to the members. A summary of former prayer is like that.

 

•    A summary is also like a repetition. It dif­fers, though, because the summary takes you back over more than just the black holes and volcanoes. In doing a summary, you peruse whatever has come up in your prayer.

 

•    So I prepare the material well before my time for prayer. I look back over all that I
have prayed over during a specified period. I single out intense experiences, sharper       con­victions, images, and ideas. I note both posi­tive and negative elements.

 

•    When I come to pray, I do not spend too long on any single point. I try to figure out
what I have gotten at during this period, per­haps seeing more simply and more clearly by moving over all of the matter. From this somewhat determined move through the
fruits of earlier prayer, I find things to take to colloquy and petition. So when I am ready (and as soon as I am ready), I make the Triple Colloquy.