Ignatian Retreat in Daily Life

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Week of Prayer 8 - My Own History of Sin and Grace

Posted by Thomas David McMurray on November 12, 2020 at 8:20 PM

Week of Prayer 8 - My Own History of Sin and Grace


• Orientations, Volume 2, Part A, Chapter 8, John Veltri, S.J.

• 'Personal Sin," Chapter 6 in Spiritual Freedom by John English, S.J.

• "Reluctance to Admit Sin" - Robert Harvanck, S.J.

• "Shadow"

• Penitent's Blessing


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 Carlene
10:08 PM on November 29, 2020 
This week’s reading helped me to understand the challenge I often face as I work to address my own sin. I find myself only looking at the first two levels of the iceberg that Veltri discussed in his writing. I look at the things I do that I want to stop doing and then I often attach them to one of the seven deadly sins. This has been neat and orderly (remember the list I mentioned bringing into confession last week). I find it to be really hard to look deeper, to examine my own “shadow”. After going through the readings from this week, I almost feel embarrassed to write that. I feel like this avoidance of looking deeper shows my lack of knowledge/understanding of God’s depth of love and mercy for me and my lack of trust. In the reading by Harvanek, I was moved deeply by the idea that being aware of and acknowledging my sins should be fulfilling and graceful act because it means that I recognize God’s personal love and mercy for me. It is such a different way for me to recognize my sinfulness. I will be spending time using the colloques to ask for understand of my disorders, to look at those dark parts of myself, for God’s healing, and to learn how to move forward in a different way that strengthens my relationship with God. Another powerful week! Thank you!!
Reply Cat
9:33 PM on November 29, 2020 
I’m feeling called in prayer to leave my queendom for my father’s kingdom. I’m aware of being held in ways new to me, in ways that are more tender and deeper. I sense that these spiritual embraces during prayer are readying me for a truer intimacy, for the moment when my sins become the gateway to God’s unfathomable mercy and love. I see both realities simultaneously — my disordered tendency to hide from myself and God in tandem with my running toward God. The readings this week have been powerful testaments for me to appreciate the many nuances of these graces as experienced in the process of true conversion. I continue to offer prayers of gratitude for each of you, our community, and the graces of patience and generosity.
Reply Kathy OhEigeartaigh
10:22 AM on November 29, 2020 
This week was a release from the heaviness of last week, but at least as intense, if not more so. Thank you for the Penitents Prayer! That pretty much sums up the week for me- gratitude, awe, and humility. That said, I keep trying to wrap my brain around the paragraphs about the saints extravagant notion of their own sinfulness in the essay on the reluctance to accept sin. This also brought to mind the many comments last week about each of us feeling a tug toward the monastic life. As I try to put this into words, this is what I have “come up with”: the saints extravagant acknowledgment of personal sinfulness is a courageous statement of Gods extravagant love for each element of creation, no matter how small, in the midst of the human condition so overwhelmed with a sense of personal sin that humanity cannot see beyond its own pain to the healing release that is God’s unconditional love. Those of us in this faith community are groping in the darkness of humanity’s original sin toward the light of Gods love and courageously moving beyond the experiences of most of those we know. No wonder we feel like sojourners in a strange land! Taking it a step further, this may be the true spirit of evangelization- the courage to live as a beloved child of God in the midst of a world sunk into its own misery. On a very personal level, I am struggling to “turn off” my interior voice of judgment that judges me so harshly, seeming to affirm the sense of worthlessness imposed by original sin, and which rejects Gods unconditional love in every second of those utterings, and have the courage to live in the certainty of God’s unconditional love.