Ignatian Retreat in Daily Life

"FInding God in all Things"

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Week of Prayer 3 - The Intimacy of Prayer

Posted by Thomas David McMurray on October 26, 2020 at 8:50 AM

Week of Prayer 3 - The Intimacy of Prayer


 Orientations, Volume 2, Part A, Chapter 3, John Veltri, S.J.

 "Principles of Spiritual Direction" - Robert Moreau

 "Characteristics of Good Spiritual Direction"

 "Qualities of a Good Spiritual Companion"

 "Helpful Tips When Companioning With Your Retreatant"

 "Where Do We Experience God?", A Friendship Like No Other, William Barry, S.J.

 "Distractions in Prayer," The Ignatian Adventure, O'Brien, p53

 "Images of God," The Ignatian Adventure, O'Brien, p 55


Respond to any one or two of the following questions. Post your reflections for the other interns to consider and comment on. Comments (that is, replies to a posting, are to be limited to "affirming," "clarifying," or "mirroring" statements. And, as usual, they are to be non-judgmental avoiding any form of debate.

Questions to consider as you review the reading.

1, What were the highlights of the material for me?

2. What touched me or gave me new or nuanced insights?

3. What challenged me in this material?

4. What connects or resonates with my experience of the Spiritual Exercises

5. What was relevant to my formation as a prayer companion or spiritual director?

6. What would you like to take to prayer?


Categories: RIDL Formation Intern Reflections

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Reply Cat
5:26 AM on November 10, 2020 
I feel blessed to have an art practice that is all about the "thin places" that William Barry writes of in "Where do we experience God." I notice that artistic inspiration brings me to these "illuminated" and heightened awarenesses -- often taking me by storm. My artist statement mentions "seeing the Divine in the mundane." Barry writes of "liturgy as a thin place." I have a strong recollection of being overwhelmed by the presence of God in his congregation one Sunday morning. I was a children's liturgist. In this role I was expected to process in with the celebrant. I admired this priest's profound presence and peacefulness on the altar; he celebrated Eucharist with "striking beauty and prayerfulness." However on this morning, when taking my place on the altar I was overtaken by the beauty of the parishioners, the congregation. The sea of several hundred faces was so overwhelmingly beautiful I had all I could to not fall to my knees sobbing. I sensed their good intentions, their deep yearning for God, the heaviness of their sins, and their steadfast hope and love. This collective thin place was breathtaking alive. I'm struck by how a more common perception or understanding "falls away" to reveal another radically new and newly available set of perceptions to us -- these heightened moments are unforgettable -- each one a grace from God.
Reply Carlene
11:34 PM on October 26, 2020 
WOW! While I enjoyed reading the assigned pieces this week, I was truly left breathless by the writing of Barry in "Where Do We Experience God". I spoke to my Spiritual Director tonight about the peace and closeness I feel when I am at the ocean. I shared that last week my husband and I were at our little cottage in Chatham and I was out on the deck until after 11 pm and then up at 5:45 am just listening to the ocean waves and feeling the closeness of God - the "thin line". I had Barry's reading left to do after our meeting. What a gift to get to share this experience with my Spiritual Director and then have such a wonderful perspective shared through the reading.

I have also had occasion to experience the thin line in a very different way. Barry talks of finding the thin line in sorrow. I can remember sitting in a chair at Dana Farber. I had my IV hooked up - this was before my port had been implanted. It was my very first chemotherapy treatment. I was terrified by what was going to be going into my body, how I would handle the after effects, wondering if I would even survive the treatment(s). I was praying and silently calling out to God to bring me peace. I can remember so clearly looking up at the mixture of medicines about to be released into my IV and clearly hearing in my heart, "This is my blood and water going into you. Trust in me." I know God was right there with me... the thin line! Fighting cancer twice has given me the opportunity to experience the thin line many times. When I faced my mortality in that way, I was able to understand in a new way the depths of God's love for me, the power He has to bring me out of my darkest moments, and how truly THIN the line is between us.