Some Practical Help for Getting Started This Week.

“Getting started” this week takes on another meaning. This week will be our transition to a daily life after the retreat. Our reflections will take us into our desires for the future and our choices about putting those desires into action.

What We Are Considering
We want to look back over this retreat and consider the patterns that were the means through which God’s graces flowed into our hearts. We want to understand the path that brought us to where we are now, so that we can continue on it for the future. We want to resolve to live our lives as contemplatives in action, by finding intimacy with Jesus in all we do.

The Grace We Ask For
Our desire for this week is that our Lord would guide us in choosing how we will live our lives more with and in Jesus.

Our Daily Life Contemplation
Last week our gratitude for all God has done for us stirred our hearts to a response of love and service. If that kind of reflecting proved to be helpful, it would be very important to stay there and to continue growing in gratitude and to continue making the offering of self expressed by the prayer Take, Lord, Receive. We may want to keep finding ways to say that prayer, or our version of it, each day, at a specific time, in order to move it more deeply inside our consciousness. This week we want to name what it is that we intend to make a part of our life after the retreat. We want this to be a creative part of the process in the continuing relationship God desires with us.
By this time in the retreat we have developed some habits. We want to recognize those and let God show us the path before us.

How We Began Our Day
• What did I do each morning to begin my day focusing on the grace I desired?
• Did I use a simple, daily routine, like putting on my slippers or robe, to fix this as a daily prayer moment?
• What do I choose to resolve to do from now on?

How We Ended Our Day
• What did I do each night to end my day, collecting my day, in gratitude?
• Did I use a simple, daily routine, like taking my clothes off or brushing my teeth, to fix this as a daily prayer moment?
• What do I choose to resolve to do from now on?

How We Used the Background Times in Our Day
• What did I do to carry on a conversation with my Lord throughout my day, if even for thirty-second periods?
• Did I use the brief spaces in my day, between things, to be contemplative in action?
• What do I choose to resolve to do from now on?

Other Patterns That Made This Retreat So Open to Grace
• Were there new ways I let these reflections into my everyday life?
• Did I experience the conflicts, difficult times, differently because of how I placed them in the context of being with and in Jesus during this retreat?
• What do I choose to resolve to do from now on?

Other Choices We Can Consider
One choice is to use the Daily Reflections and the Weekly Guide to Daily Prayer on the Creighton Online Ministries Web site for ongoing support for prayer in everyday life.

Some may feel themselves desiring to make a weekend or weeklong retreat at a retreat center. Making this choice can be a powerful gift one could give oneself to deepen the graces of the retreat. Locate a Jesuit retreat center to contact for more information.

For all of us, we will want to make choices about the ways we will de-selfish our living of our everyday lives. We will want to name concrete people and concrete situations where our loving will be expressed.
Some will want to choose to make some choices to become more involved in service for others, beyond our families and work situations, through our parish or congregation. Some means of getting to know and being in solidarity with those who are poor can be a most profound means of staying in touch with the movements of God in our hearts.

Sharing the graces of this retreat with others can be an important choice. It will not only ground us more deeply in the experience but also will let the grace be not only for us and maybe fruitful for someone else. Our consoling experience of the hundreds of e-mails we have received from around the world underlines the power of sharing. Make use of the various resources provided for this week: especially “For the Journey” and the sample words for our attempts at expression in “In These or Similar Words . . .”

At the end of the Eucharist, the priest may use several dismissals. One of them seems very appropriate at the end of this retreat. “Let us go forth in peace, to love and serve the Lord.” And the people respond, “Thanks be to God.”

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