Online Retreat Guide - Week 9
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God’s Love for Us — Healing Mercy

Guide: God’s Love Heals Us

Last week we surrendered to God’s forgiving embrace. We accepted and celebrated the forgiving mercy God offers us so that we might experience ourselves as loved sinners. This week we take the next step. Our God offers us more than forgive­ness. God’s love for us is so strong that it heals us.

We began with last week’s loving embrace. Now we step back just like in the photo, and listen to the depth of God’s love, saying,

I not only forgive you, I promise to always be with you, so you will never be alone. You no longer need your self-serving independence. I will heal your pride. I will free you from the destructive patterns that bind you. I promise to fill your heart with my love and with gifts of peace and courage and passion for sharing my love in service to others. Throughout this week the photo can symbolize these words: “You are precious to me; I will heal you.” Our journey has shown us so much brokenness. We have celebrated the for­giveness that frees us from our sins. Now, each day this week, in those background moments, we will let ourselves listen to the promise of wholeness. It is personal and addressed to me.

All week, we simply feel it. We let ourselves experience its power. Over the past several weeks, I have seen how powerless I am, how vulnerable to acting out of a rebellious spirit, to being for myself in too much of my life. All week I can imagine the gift of freedom from these patterns.

All week, we let our response keep rising up from deep in our hearts, “What return can I make to the Lord, for all God’s goodness to me!” (Psalm 116:12) This goes beyond a feeling of gratitude and expression of thanks. A powerful experience of love always leads to a loving response. Love always leads to a desire for deeper union.

All week we will express our loving response, and our desires to be with our Lord in love. We will let it just flow from our hearts.

As always, use the resources here and online. Let’s pray for one another — all of us making this retreat together — that this week will be a tender experience of the promise of healing love and a moving liberation of the response and desires from deep within us.

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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