Online Retreat Guide - Week 8
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God’s Love for Us — Forgiving Mercy

Guide: How God Must Rejoice

This week we will walk around in God’s love for us. We want to taste — to fully enjoy — the forgiveness that is God’s gift to us.

Though we have been trying to end each reflection on sin­fulness with the reality of God’s mercy, during this week we will try to let God’s merciful forgiveness fill the background of our entire week.

We begin by focusing on God. The photo of a mother’s embrace of her daughter will inspire us throughout this week to keep our focus on God. This woman’s face will help us to begin to imagine the powerful depth of God’s embrace of us.

As I wake up, put on my slippers or robe each morning, and begin to get moving, I can focus, for a moment, on God’s delight in me. How God must rejoice in my coming to know how much I’m loved and forgiven! As I go through each day, I can recall various images that help my spirit soar with accepting the intimacy of forgiving love’s embrace.

I can imagine the joy I have experienced when a loved one’s biopsy came back negative, or when friends found the child they were waiting to adopt, or when someone I care deeply about receives my love and enjoys it. How much more God rejoices in us this week!

We resist the temptation to figure out how God could for­give our sins, our patterns — all we have done and all we have failed to do. The answer to that question is wrapped up in the mystery of love — love without condition or limit. We might imagine forgiving a spouse or child or someone we love simply because our love is so much greater and stronger than the wrong that was done. And we tell ourselves how much greater God’s love for me must be, to forgive me so freely, so completely!

There is a phrase we use to describe something so won­derful. We say, “It’s incredible; I can hardly believe it!” This week we enter into our desire to not only believe God’s for­giving mercy to me but also to experience it, accept it, and celebrate it. How much that must be God’s own desire for each of us this week!

Use the resources that follow to enrich the week’s retreat experience. You will find other resources on the Online Retreat Web site. Consider sharing the graces of this week there. We will never know how a gift given to us might truly help another.

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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