Some Practical Help for Getting Started This Week

We use the same practical way of proceeding in this week as we have throughout the retreat.

The Mystery We Contemplate
Here it is Jesus alive, enjoying God’s victory over all that threatens to hold me captive.

The Grace We Ask For
Here it is to seek joy with Jesus. There is perhaps the least amount of self in this week. We want our joy with the one we love to be complete. It is the most profound way to enter into how his risen life transforms my life.

Our Daily Life Contemplation
This week we want to imagine those encounters between Jesus and his closest disciples and friends. Those who grieved with him at the cross are given the first gift of faith in God’s power over death. I begin by imagining his showing himself alive to Mary his mother. I move during the week to his showing himself fully alive to me personally.

The Daily Means
Each morning, among the first things I do, is pause to focus on the grace I desire this week. As I move through the various commitments of my day, I let myself stay conscious of a lighter spirit within me, more deeply aware that nothing can separate me from the love of God. I try, at several checkpoints in my day, to ask whether my spirit is that of one whose best friend has just been raised to life. In the various background moments of my day, I can keep telling myself, “The tomb is empty,” or “Jesus is alive forever,” or “I will not give my peace away,” or “I want to live my life in this world, with my heart set on the world that will never end, with Jesus.” As I encounter those situations of sin or darkness or death itself, which I looked at last week, I now let them be fully bathed in the light of Jesus’ resurrection. If I’m faithful to this pattern each day, I should be able to recognize results in people’s saying to me, “You seem different today - lighter, happier, freer some how.” By praying in everyday life this way, the worries don’t disappear; rather, I can rely on a faith that frees me from their devastating effects on my spirit.

Each night I will find a brief moment to bring the day together in gratitude. When the morning grace I desire and some concrete event in my day’s busyness come together, I need to recognize that as gift and give thanks. This ritual each evening increases my expectation the following day to find the joy of the Resurrection there.
Make use of the various resources provided for this week: the “For the Journey,” “Scripture Readings,” and sample words for our attempts at expression, in “In These or Similar Words.”

I may have begun this week with a low-grade sense of discouragement “I don’t know where they’ve taken him.” By God’s grace, I can end this week with a felt joy in the experience of Jesus alive, and a new courage as he says to me, “I am with you always.”

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