FINDING GOD IN ALL THINGS
A retreat for a pilgrim in a busy world
Session Two: God’s Love, Our Response
EXAMEN of CONSCIOUSNESS
Check-In Where we are at the moment.
Sharing Session See Note about Sharing
1. John 10.1–21: Jesus is the Good Shepherd; he knows me my name
2. Psalm 139: God, you made me in my mother’s womb
3. Luke 11.1–13: Lord, teach us to pray
4. Isaiah 43.1–7: You are precious in my eyes and I love you
5. Jeremiah 29, 11–14 The plans I have for you are for your good
6. Psalm 103 Human life ends quickly, but God is tender and always achieves God’s ends
7. Principle & Foundation Handout
Presentation: God’s Love, Our Response
God’s love for us is unconditional, infinite and is not dependent on what we do. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NIV) “God who loves us creates us and wants to share life with us forever. Our love response takes shape in our praise and honor and service of the God of our life.” In everyday life “our only desire and one choice should be this: I want and AI choose what better leads to god’s deepening life in me.” (SE #23 First Principle and Foundation)
“Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of a person and injures human solidarity. It is defined as ‘an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.” (Catechism of Catholic Church # 1850)
Sin: individual and social
Meditation on Hell
Food for the Journey
THE IGNATIAN EXAMEN OF CONCIOUSNESS
At various points in the rhythm of each day - morning, noon, and evening, or at least once a day - St. Ignatius would have us pause to reflect on our experience. We look at the Divine presence and action in our lives and reflect, as well, on the quality of our response.
1. I give thanks to God our Lord for the favors received. In the prayerful reflection on experience, I am opened up to God’s active, generous presence in the events, relationships, and situations of choice in the period of time contemplated. There is a deepening sense of our life as blessed by God, as filled with God’s presence and action. The movement of mind and heart is toward gratitude and a desire to be even more attentive and responsive in the future.
2. I ask for enlightenment, to know where I have turned away from God’s presence and call that I might be set free to serve more generously. The prayer focuses on the self in the presence of a loving God who not only enlightens but empowers me to greater freedom and authenticity in loving. The prayer is for the grace of a discerning heart and a more profound intimacy with the mind and heart of Christ.
3. I review my thoughts, words, and deeds since my last period of reflection. What I seek is not just to be aware but to understand in a way that leads to a purification of choice. What has been happening to me? How is the Lord working in me? What is God asking of me? The centering of attention is on God and on God’s call and on self as responsive to God’s initiative toward companionship in service, a response of love to love that is a giving and receiving characterized more in deeds than words.
4. I ask the pardon of God our Lord for my failure to respond in love. It is in the presence of the divine forgiving and reconciling love expressed so vividly in the self-gift of the Crucified Christ that I know myself as a “loved sinner.” This “Good News” moves the heart to respond in more generous service, a deeper following of Jesus, a response of gratitude for God’s unconditional love.
5. I resolve to respond with greater fidelity empowered by the gracious love of God. My focus is on the future with its choices, decisions, dispositions and attitudes. I enter once again the world of daily experience with a more sensitive awareness of the divine action in my life and with more freedom for authentic response in “finding God in all things” in ways that unite me more authentically with Christ, giving myself in service.
A Note on Sharing
Please be sure to listen well to one another. Silence is as much a gift as words.
Give every person in the group ample time and opportunity to speak before anyone speaks twice.
Participants speak at random. It is always ok to pass.
Remember that sharing time is not problem-solving time.
Confidentiality is maintained in the group.
Share feelings and not just thoughts, your own prayer experiences. This is not a time for discussion, debate, criticism, problem solving or comment on the validity of a statement.
The purpose of the gathering is not to take care of anyone’s difficulties or give advice. What we are about is to listen to and support each other in our spiritual journeys.
Session Two: God’s Love, Our Response
Almighty and all-merciful God, I see with my own eyes the shame and the wretchedness we humans practice on ourselves and on one another. I feel afraid that one force could cause so much havoc and destruction. But I ask to know that force in all its power and complexity. I ask to feel in human affairs and all through my life world how subtly and virulently sin flourish. Grant me courage, Most High God, to see sin in all its ugliness.
DAILY PASSAGES FOR PRAYER
1. Genesis 3:1–19 “The Sin of Adam and Eve”
2. Matthew 18 Jesus teaches about sin and forgivness
3. Luke12:13–21 “The Sin of Greed” “You fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul!”
5. Matt. 25: 31–46 Social Sin: Judgement of Nations
6. Matthew 13: 36–43 Results of Doing Right or Wrong.
7. Psalm 136 God’s Love
REMINDERS FOR PRAYER
Always begin with the PREPARATORY PRAYER and the GRACE DESIRED.
1. Conclude each prayer period with an OUR FATHER.
2. Immediately after the prayer time, take a few minutes to write down what happened in the prayer - what attracted you, what words or phrases struck you, how you were moved to pray, e.g. praise, petition, thanksgiving, etc.