An Ignatian Contemplation Retreat

Moment 3

God’s Lavish Care – The Giver of all Gifts

The Light of the World

 

 

Centering Meditation

God keeps on creating you, filling you with gifts and with desires.  We experienced last week our own creation by God through His breath - ruah.  His Spirit and love burns at the core of our very life.

As we center ourselves, be mindful of God’s gaze upon you, here we offer our whole self to God at this moment.

 

Prayer for Today

To experience His love for us in His gift of Himself, and to respond in kind.

 

 

 

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God’s Lavish Care- The Giver of all Gifts

 

  • "For God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

 

  • He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible. (Colossians 1:15-16)

  • {For it was} in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through Him, and without Him nothing came to be. What came to be through Him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1)

 

  • For we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance. (Ephesians 2:2)

 

All things were created through Christ, the image of the invisible God, the Light of the world.  Reflect upon being created as God’s handiwork, created in Christ, imagine what is your experience of you created through this Light. 

 

 

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Our Lord Speaks

 

  • Jesus unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”(Luke 4: 18-19)

  • Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

(John 8:12)

 

 

 

Our Response

  • “The LORD is my light and my salvation” (Psalm 27:1)

 

Imagine being there, having Jesus speaking directly to you those words.  in answering the call to follow, how does it feel to have the gift of the light of life shining for and in you?

 

 

 

 

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A Disciple Teaches

The Father’s Plan – Our Adoption

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as He chose us in Christ, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before Him. In love God destined us for adoption to Himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of His will, for the praise of the glory of His grace that He granted us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1)

Our Inheritance Through the Spirit 

In Christ we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of His glory, we who first hoped in Christ. (Ephesians 1)

 

The Father has blessed us, chosen us in Christ, and destined us to be adopted to exist for the praise of His glory. How do the words below of David speak for your heart?

 

 

Our Praise of Divine Goodness

Bless the Lord, my soul; all my being, bless His holy name!
 Bless the Lord, my soul; and do not forget all His gifts
Who pardons and heals all your ills
Who redeems your life and crowns you with mercy and compassion
Who fills your days with good things, so your youth is renewed (PS 103)

 

 

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Spiritual Exercise: “Taking Notice”

Notice what happens to your desires to love as you become more aware of God lavish care for you.  By “taking notice” we offer a daily reflection prayer of gratitude for God’s infinite gifts of grace. 

Invitation From God

The Examen is the daily prayer of thanksgiving, insight, reflection, intentionality, and hope. It invites us to ask ourselves:

  • How was I drawn to God today - by a friend, an event, a book, the beauty of nature?

  • How did I respond to God’s loving action in my life this day?

Give Thanks for the Gifts of the Day

For Ignatius the first and most important step in any spiritual journey is Gratitude. Therefore, we look first to remember and to name the blessings.

Let the day wash over you.

  • Look at the day, at the work you did, at the people you interacted with. What did you receive from them? What did you give them?

  • Pay attention to small things and other seemingly small pleasures. God is in the details.

  • Notice any joys and delights; focus on the day’s gifts. … Be specific.

Savor what God shows you.

Reflection

God, the giver of all gifts, offers us the grace and ongoing care for all our concerns. Ask God to help you answer these questions and for the help tomorrow.

  • What did I learn about God, and myself today?

  • What am I thankful for? What were the blessings?

  • What do I look forward to in my day tomorrow? How can God help me be that person? Ask.

Moment #3 Handout

 

All is Gift from God, who is in Everyone, Every Place, & Every Thing

Central to Ignatian Spirituality is the realization that God is actively at work, revealed through and encountered in the world in all of creation: people, nature, and throughout our daily encounters.

 

 

The Principle & Foundation

"All of the things in this world are created because of God's love and they become a context of those gifts, presented to us so that we can know God more easily and make a return of love more readily" (Ignatian Spiritual Exercises #23)

 

Finding God in all things is at the core of Ignatian Spirituality and is rooted in the need for a growing awareness that God can be found in everyone, in every place, and in everything. When we learn to pay more attention to God, we become more thankful and reverent, and through this, we become more devoted to God, more deeply in love with our Creator.

 

It is a way of viewing life, a pathway to deeper prayer, for good decisions guided by discernment, and for an active life of service for others in gratitude, passion, and humility by becoming a contemplative in action as a disciple of Christ.

 

HOW DO WE FIND GOD IN OUR LIVES?

Praying with Scriptures – Meditation and Contemplation, and The Examen is what St. Ignatius taught us ways to move in and towards discovering God’s will for our life.

 

 

 

Reflect on Your Experience

The Daily Examen is a reflective prayerful experience of finding God in all things. Experience alone does not teach us much; it is when we reflect on our experience that we really begin to learn. The Examen can help us see God’s hand in our daily lived experience.  It’s a simple prayer that has the capacity to transform our lives by helping us become more aware. The more you practice the Examen the easier and more clear it will become shedding light on the path that God has laid out for you.

 

The Daily Examen

The Daily Examen is a prayer of graced awareness in reflecting upon encountering God’s presence and action in our every day: to see the day as it was through the eyes of Christ; to discern the Holy Spirit’s leading direction for us; and to respond to the Father’s loving invitation for renewal and rejoicing.

 

How to pray the Daily Examen

 

Step 1 Preparation

Slow your mind and calm your body and gently relax into God‘s presence. Imagine God welcoming you. Rest back into the arms of the One who loves and cares for you unconditionally.

 

Step 2 Review the Day with Gratitude

Ask God to show you the day through God’s eyes.

Notice any joys and delights; and focus on the day’s gifts.

Look at the day look at the work you did, look at the people you interacted with. What did you receive from them? What did you give them? Pay attention to small things and other seemingly small pleasures. God can be found in the details.

 

 

Step 3 Review the Day Again Notice Your Feelings

Notice moments when you were fully alive, times when you felt at peace, joyful, happy, comforted, whole, your best self, and moments when you feel close to God. Allow some of these moments to come to mind. These are times of consolation.

Pick a moment that you feel most grateful for and stay with it, savor it.

Notice how God is drawing you to more of those experiences. Take some time to give thanks to God.

Now remember anything that you are less grateful for. Experiences that caused you to feel drained of energy, frustrated, irritated, angry, sad, alone, isolated, unaccepted, fragmented…less than your best self.

Bring these memories before God; ask God to bring you the healing you need.

 

Step 4 Choose one feature of the day and pray from it

Asked the Holy Spirit to direct you to something during the day that God thinks is particularly important. It may involve a feeling - positive or negative. It may be a significant encounter with another person, or moment of pleasure or peace. Or it may seem something that’s rather insignificant. Look at it.

Pray about it. Allow a prayer to arise spontaneously from your heart. Have a talk with God.

 

Step 5 Look Forward to Tomorrow with Hope

Look forward to tomorrow and ask God to give you grace for tomorrow’s challenges.

Pay attention to the feelings that surface as your survey what is coming up. Are you doubtful, cheerful, apprehensive, full of delightful, or anticipation?

What do you think you particularly need for tomorrow: strength, energy, patience, courage? Ask God for that gift.