Some Practical Help for Getting Started This Week.

Our contemplation on the love of God for us, and our response, can be done both in several prayer periods and in the background times throughout our week.

What We Are Considering
For all these months, we have considered our relationship with God. We now draw it all together to understand and appreciate all that God has given us in this retreat, in our lives, and what God continues to give us.

• The blessings of creation, redemption, and the special graces I have received.
• God dwelling in every part of creation, especially in me.
• How God labors for me in all of creation, giving and sustaining life.
• How all blessings and gifts descend — as the sun’s light and water flowing from a fountain.

And we will consider our response.

The Grace We Ask For
Our desire for this week is to be filled with a deep sense of the gifts we have received, and so filled with profound gratitude, we will be moved to love and serve God, in all things, in our everyday lives. The prayer for this week helps us ask for this grace.

Our Daily Life Contemplation
It is very important to try to focus our attention this week on gratitude for God’s love. The two convictions about love from our guide are critical: love consists more in deeds than in words, and love involves the mutual exchange of gifts between lovers. It would be very helpful to set aside some brief prayer times, using this simple help:

• Begin by feeling the presence of God.
• Ask for the grace I desire — an intimate sense of God’s love for me.
• Reflect on God’s love:
What has God done for me?
What has God given me?
How does God sustain me?
What is God offering me?
• Speak, lover to lover, with words, feelings of gratitude.
• Write down what I wish to remember.

These are not just intellectual reflections. We are asking for intimacy here, and our goal is that our memory and our accounting of God’s gifts will fill us with deep and moving gratitude and stir our hearts to a response of love and service.

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