Online Retreat Guide - Week 33
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God’s Love for Us, Our Response

Guide: Gratitude

Let us reflect on God’s love for us and our response.

Next week is the final week of retreat. This week we look back, to contemplate what we have received in this retreat—God’s love itself. And we consider our response. 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.

Two convictions guide our reflections:

• Love expresses itself in deeds rather than mere words.
Love is the gift of self for the other.

• Love that is reciprocal grows.
Lovers give of themselves to each other, with each deep gift leading to a deeper response.

This week we will recall all of the gifts of love we have received during this retreat. We will remember all the ways God has given us graces that were the gift of self. We want to grow in gratitude for the activity of God’s love for us, especially in the gift of Jesus for us, and the ways in which we have been blessed to know, love, and serve with Jesus.

This week we want to open our hearts to the broadest sense of God’s love that we can imagine. Using images like the rays of the sun’s warm light or the overwhelming power of a constant waterfall, we will consider how God’s life-giving presence and love flow in and through all of creation, given to and for us.
Use the resources this week to enter into these exercises of appreciation in detail.

With each level of gratitude, we want to express our love. Our response, and our offering of self in love, is what seals and strengthens the bonds of love between us and God. We will grow in a sense that all we have is gift. As we have grown in freedom, we can surrender ourselves in love more and more completely.
All week, with growing gratitude and deepening affection, I will make offerings of myself in these or similar words, until they become mine:

Take, Lord, and receive
all my liberty, my memory,
my understanding, my entire will—
all that I am and possess.
You have given all this to me.
I now return it all to you.
It is yours now.
Use these gifts according to your will.
Give me only your love and your grace.
That is enough for me, and all that I desire.

If you haven't done so already, please fill out the anonymous form to the right, to give us feedback on the retreat.  Thank you.

Consider sharing the graces you have received
this week with others making the retreat.

Listen to each week of the Online Retreat
on a CD or on your mp3 player

Click on photo to see larger image
and Photo Gallery.

Photos by Don Doll, S.J.

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.

Read the Sharing
Read what others have shared about their prayer or graces.

Response Form
Please consider reading and returning this form, letting us know your feedback on the retreat.  We also want to know your interest in continuing online support for prayer in everyday life.

Thank you.

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