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These Retreat Conferences are based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Though the retreat was shared with eighty-six men at a Jesuit Retreat House, the spirit and direction of the retreat is for women and men of all Christian faiths.
This retreat may be made in a variety of ways, by individuals or a group:
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has called you here for some reason. What happens here will be by
God's grace. The secret is to let go of control. God speaks through
the ordinary. God asks me to "tell them that I love them; because
they don't believe it." Pay attention to what you hope happens
in you. Each time you pray you will be able to pray more deeply
if you focus on "that which I desire." Stay and dwell
where you feel something is happening. Your last thoughts at night
will condition how you sleep and how you will awaken in the morning.
Dwell on thoughts that bring you peace. Let go and let the Spirit
lead you. You have to let go of your control and independence for
this to happen. What is it that you want? The Lord is standing at
your side and saying, "Will you let me touch you and heal you?"
This grace of the retreat is not just for you but will spill over
into a thousand ways in which the world is thirsting for what you
will receive. [Ending with a relaxation exercise and reflection
questions, preparing for prayer.] "Share with me anything in
your heart and listen, listen to my response within you."
Mark: The blind Bartimaeus, asking for
sight. What do you want? Ask your God. Now be in the scene. Contemplation:
letting the Spirit pray within us. This passage is a paradigm of
prayer. Bartimaeus never gives up. He kept calling. He asked for
what he really desired. So often we ask for the wrong things, in
a restless persuit of things. If God had a face, what does that
face look like? What is that face saying to you? There are many
wrong stereotypes of God. What is correct? Three ways God has revealed
who he is. 1: For the Hebrew community, God is
Truth - fidelity, always there - God says 'yes'
to our existence. The Truth is to celebrate who we are.
2. God is Justice - God keeping his commitments,
a changeless fidelity - even when I sin, God will never abandon
us. 3. God is Love - the complete
and total outpouring of One who has absolutely everything - everything
that is, is for you- and the call is to use those things in so far
as they help you and not use them in so far as they don't help.
The backdrop of our lives should be the Crucifixion. That death
is for you, so that you should know the depths of God's love for
us in scripture. I have to give up my wrong images of God. Paul
Tillich: The courage to accept acceptance. That faith takes humility.
The door to the human heart can only open from the inside. [tape
An introduction to St. Ignatius of Loyola. The whole First Week experience of the Exercises is: How loved I've been! Your being here this moment is redemptive. Examination of Consciousness: where was God present to me this morning? Become present to God. From the time I awoke until this morning? And, to God the Father, say "Thank You." And, what are you sorry for? And, to Jesus I say, "I'm sorry." What do I feel apprehensive, anxious about? From this moment until bed time, what is the grace you need? At bedtime, I do the same thing. Do what you're doing. If you are here, be as totally present to this moment as you can. Jesus says, "Remember me as loving you." It makes us feel powerless: Let me do something to earn it. Why do you need Jesus if you are saving yourself? How has God uniquely fashioned you? John Paul II: You are the unique, irreplaceable, unrepeatable presentation of the face of God for the people of your life time. List your gifts. Mary's response is Fiat - let it be done. "He who is mighty has done great things for me." Be present to your gifts.
If you know who you are, you'll know whose you are. The First Principle and Foundation of the Exercises. Use things in so far as they help you. We have been created and fashioned to carry whatever crosses are put into our lives. Choose a 15 minunte time in the day you are going to worry. When I get to 9 pm at night, I ask why I was worrying about that. When our hearts are filled with worry, there is no room for Jesus. The moments God wants to have with each of us - Listen to me; "Let me show you how much I love you." Jesus within you is thirsty for time, hungry for you. Don't ever be afraid of your brokenness. If a vessel is perfect. Only through the cracks will perfume or light be released. We are so afraid of not being strong or in control or independent. We've got to be like the people in scripture and keep asking. There are only two New Testament commandments. To love God with my whole heart. To call God, "Abba," "Pappa." To do that I need to become child-like. Once you have grasped how loved you are, not even sin will make a difference. Prayer is the communication of your deepest needs, your deepest desires. Help us to accept who we are, your love for us and to know we have something powerful and beautiful to share with our world.
Luke: Zachaeus the tax collector. What
is the grace you seek? The Son of Man has come to seek and to
save that which is lost. Lord, help me simply to say "yes."
Repetition: the call to not give up on the passage. Whatever
God has brought you here for, it is going to happen. The Lord
is at work in you. We are called to be light bearers wherever
we walk.You have that power. We are here to awaken the consciousness
of the gifts I have to share. It's the small things that are
life-giving. If you create conditions for people to believe
in themselves, it will happen. God takes over. Obsticles to
prayer: Our woundedness. Our fear of the darkness that is within.
The need to achieve. Lack of personal freedom. Lack of patience.
Lack of gratitude. Unwilling to be a beginnner. Don't lose signt
of those memories of the people who were life givers for us..To
say to the people we are missioned to serve: remember me as
Read the scripture stories. Love the Lord your God with your whole soul and to love my neighbor as myself. That's what Jesus did for three years: to affirm his followers in this loving. We are so comparative and competitive. How do you love yourself? If I don't love myself in an appropriate way, I'll "thing-ify" you. Jesus' message: you are called to love God - and in deeds not words. Forgiveness is in the intellect. Forgive so that resentment doesn't impede you. If we spent as much time at self-acceptance as self-improvement, what a force God would have in the world. It takes tremendous humility to accept our weakness. Scripture says that we are God's angels - God's messengers. What is your word? Write your own obituary. What do you want to be remembered for? What is your sentence? What is the reason you are here?.
Pray for Vocations. Explosion of spirituality
among the young. In your prayer, stay simple; don't clutter it.
Follow distractions and pray about them. What do you never talk
to God about? Why did you end prayer, when you did? To pray with
open hands. Put an empty chair before you; with Jesus sitting
before you. "Look at the beauty I created in the world."
God has surrounded you with people saying you were a precious
gift. God is trying to convince us, through Jesus and the Spirit,
that we have the gift of life. Everyone needs you and the gifts
you have. Find God in All Things. The need for the human heart
to be known - to be known is to be redeemed. Pick up John 13 and
drift through it. Or, the Passion, Matthew 26:36-75. The grace
to say, "I need you Lord; I don't know why you have chosen
me; help me to see." Can you name the 5 most successful people
in a number of areas? Name a couple of teachers who really helped
you on your life journey? Or, friends who really helped you. Three
people who have really touched you or made you feel appreciated
or worth while? They are the ones who transform us. Allow God
to reveal to you the great joy that is in eternity because of
what God is doing in you. God uses and empowers us to bring life
to others. The gift of God's light is in us; all we are asked
to do is to let our light sign to make the difference of peace
in our world and to the people to whom we are mission.
Consciousness Examen. From awakening this morning, until now, what are you most grateful for? What are you sorry for? What do you feel apprehension about? Ask for that grace. Questions/Answers. End with Sacramentality of Life. Anointing of hands. [Tape ends.]