We use the same practical way of proceeding in this week as we have throughout the retreat.
The Mystery We Contemplate
The Grace We Ask For
Our Daily Life Contemplation
The Daily Means
Throughout the day, in all the background times, I will return to these thoughts. This will help me be more conscious of Jesus’ being with me. It will also help me see and experience the discouragements and really dark moments in my day in a very different way. Some examples might help.
I find myself at a meeting with several difficult people (or on the phone listening to a friend talk about a family conflict, or I’m watching television and seeing the terrible news of war or some violent crime). The moment I feel my spirit start to go down — in the presence of such conflicts or failures at reconciliation or outright evil — I will do a very brief exercise. I will imagine Jesus: taking, blessing, breaking, and giving bread. In that moment, I can be open to the grace of seeing that he is present here, in this situation, being broken and given, if only I open my eyes and see.
I find myself discouraged and beginning to get self-absorbed. (Each of us knows, by this point in the retreat, the situations that occasion this movement.) I will do this very brief exercise, acting against that movement. I will imagine Jesus: taking, blessing, breaking, and giving me bread. In that moment, I will no longer be alone. I will be opened to experience love and freedom. God’s victory over this encounter with sin and death becomes very real. In this breaking-of-bread moment, in my everyday life, I recognize he is there. I feel the joy and I feel the freedom this joy gives.
Each night I will find a brief moment to bring the day together in gratitude. I will remember those times during the day when I felt his presence. I simply express my gratitude. I can feel the peace of those moments preparing my spirit to sleep more peacefully. Going to bed this way each night can make a tremendous difference in our lives.
Make use of the various resources provided for this week: the “For the Journey,” and sample words for our attempts at expression, and “In These or Similar Words . . .”
As the breaking-of-bread moments of my week grow, they can form a fabric of presence moments that not only lift my spirit but also offer the gift of abiding presence that the Spirit of Jesus desires for us all, for God’s greater glory and the service of others.