Online Retreat Guide - Week 18
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Three Kinds of Responses

Guide: Motives

Before returning to the life of Jesus, we will take one more week to lay further foundation for our upcoming reflections. We know we will be drawn more deeply into our relationship with Jesus and that this will call us to greater freedom in the choices we will make for living our lives.

This week we will spend our background time reflecting on a simple case study. We will consider an imaginary but very real situation, to reflect on three ways of responding to it.

We consider a case in which someone finds him or herself in a way of life or in a pattern of acting that he or she is not entirely proud of. It is important to note here that we are not talking about something really bad but something that has not been very responsive to God’s movement in that person’s life. It might be an attachment to the way he or she looks, or simply the amount of creature comforts that he or she has become dependent on. It might be an attachment to a pattern of always using his or her gifts to manipulate others to get his or her own way, or simply being attached to the habit of mediocrity in family life or work — getting by with as little effort as is required of me.

Having one or more of these cases in our minds all week, we will consider three kinds of responses.

1. Wanting to free oneself from this attachment and really be more attentive to God’s calls in one’s life but just never getting around to doing it. This type of responder has only good intentions but never gets around to putting them into action.

2. Wanting to free oneself from this attachment but ending up rationalizing it to such a degree that one can work out a justification that makes it seem that this way of being attached is actually what God wants.

3. Responding to the attachment by neither trying to keep it nor trying to get rid of it. This is a desire to free oneself of the attachment in such a way that one becomes no longer attached to it. Rather, one becomes more responsive to and more attached to however God might be moving one to act here and now. The desire becomes purer. One wants only what will be of greater service to God. Whatever would be of greater service becomes what motivates one’s choices.

As we prepare to contemplate more of the life of Jesus, we beg for the grace this week, perhaps every morning when we rise, and each night, before we sleep. We ask for the gift to respond more and more freely, that all we choose might be for God’s greater glory and the salvation of our souls.

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this week with others making the retreat.

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selected to support 

our prayer each week.

Getting Started
this Week

Some practical helps 

for this week's prayer.

For the Journey
Reflections by

Larry Gillick, S.J.

as helps for the


In these or
similar words

St. Ignatius might say: "Speak with Our Lord, as friend to friend, in these or similar words."

Some readings that are chosen

 to fit this week.

Written prayers by others sometimes helps us find words ourselves.

A Place to Share
At any time this week, if you have anything you'd like to share, that has touched you, you can share it by leaving a note here, even anonymously.

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Read what others have shared about their prayer or graces.


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