Online Retreat Guide - Week 6
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The Disorder of Sin — Personal Rebellion

Guide: A Time for Deep Self-Knowledge

After King David had an affair with Bathsheba and had her husband, Uriah, killed, Nathan the prophet came to him with a parable. A rich man, who had many sheep, stole the one sheep his poorer neighbor had. David was filled with outrage at the evil deed of the rich man. Nathan then told David, “You are that rich man!”

Whenever we look at the terrible sin of the world, for which Jesus died on the cross, we must pause and explore that same rebellion from God in our own hearts.

The grace we turn to God for this week is that we might know our sin — completely and profoundly — so that we might know the depth of God’s love for us personally. We want to know our sin at the level of our feelings.

What have I done? What have I failed to do? Habitually? Almost instinctively? At each stage of my life? When, through­out my life, to this very day, have I acted independently of God? When did I make up my own rules? How have I been dishonest — to others, to myself? When was I cruel or abusive? Lustful and greedy in my desires for power, control, consumption, self-gratification? To what degree have I rationalized and made excuses? How have I let my heart become cool to God and to others?

What evil continues because of me? Who remains hurt or damaged because of my selfishness? How have I been deaf to the cry of the poor? By not wanting to get involved or con­vincing myself that it wasn’t my responsibility? How have I insulated myself, lived in my own world, so that I don’t get bothered by the needs of others? How does my comfort cost others? How have I failed to notice, to care, to investigate, to respond, to get involved, to seek change? Do the poor have me as an advocate for them?

This is time for deep self-knowledge with a growing desire to know, as never before, the depth of God’s forgiveness and love. This should not be depressing but liberating. For we will discover that in our own ways we have auctioned off the cross and really strayed far from the desires God has for us. But we will end each day discovering that that cross signs a wondrous love that frees us from our sin.

This is indeed a week to say “thank you” and to say it with growing feeling. In brief moments, let’s tell our risen Lord, Jesus, how grateful we are, in words, with more intimate affection.

The resources and helps will be very important this week. The readings and prayers are particularly rich. The online ver­sion of this retreat has a section called “A Place to Share,” where people can go to share their reflections. Consider shar­ing your graces there, even anonymously.

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.

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