Ignatian Retreat in Daily Life

"FInding God in all Things"

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Week of Prayer 10 - God's Merciful Love for Me

Posted by Thomas David McMurray on November 12, 2020 at 8:25 PM

Week of Prayer 10 - God's Merciful Love for Me


• "Rules of Discernment for First Week" (notations 313-327), Draw Me Into Your Friendship, David Fleming, S.J.

• Rules for Discernment - First Set

• Some Simple Rules of Thumb for Discernment

• Graces of the First Week: ending the week

• Consolation/Desolation


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
4:25 PM on December 16, 2020 
Tetlow’s nuanced list “The Graces of the First Week,” both the substantive and process experiences, were enlightening. The notion that “gratitude and the sense that life is not an achievement, but a gift" helped me feel a profound sense of liberation as I began to perceive my life measured in the fullness of God's glory. The unsteady and destructive weight of taking too much on, of believing that in the end I am solely responsible for my well-being and the well-being of those around me – where once again, God is perceived as a lovely notion and not as a loving force — ends with acknowledging and graciously living in God’s great gift. Such humble beauty to simply be and live in this gift! Further, Tetlow suggests that through these graces we are able to “move more honestly, think and feel more simply." Often I ponder the quiet and peace of a more simple life, of life choices that are singularly good in their intention. I also appreciated the suggestion that through God's grace we gain "a clearer and stronger sense of what I can and cannot do; a more realistic acceptance of the strengths and limitations of my interior life.” Acknowleging my limitations, allows me to be all the more grateful for God’s gifts. The interior movement I felt most strongly was my desire to honor God by being in relationship with God as my loving creator, to embrace this mystery. This was coupled with an equally strong distaste for any false idea created by my own delusion/sinfulness or those of others that might impose/tempt a sense of a false God.
Reply Carlene
7:49 PM on December 13, 2020 
This week's readings helped me to hear the same message, repeatedly. This message focused on consolation and desolation - with an emphasis on desolation. One big take-away for me was that when I am experiencing desolation it is not a time to sit back idly and wait for the feelings or the moment to pass. It is a time to take action! I must discern why I am in desolation. This discernment will allow me to see a bit more clearly during a time of anxiety, sadness, and doubt. Then I need to push through to turn outside of myself and move, whether that movement takes the shape of increased prayer, helping someone, or cheering someone up, I feel like this is powerful instruction. I also appreciated the importance of being open with my spiritual director and/or peers. I feel that this group has helped me to work on being open and honest about both my weak and strong moments. I continue to pray for clarity in my life choices and direction, as well as protection from the evil spirit. His call can be loud at times, but my heart's desire for closeness to God has to always be stronger!
Reply Kathy OhEigeartaigh
4:38 PM on December 13, 2020 
After the intensity of the las few weeks, it felt like the readings for this week gave me a chance to slow down and catch my breath- a great time to learn more about consolation and desolation. It gave me a chance for an additional opportunity to look back over the past few weeks and reflect on those feelings that were consolations and be grateful for the blessings. Likewise, a chance to review the work on sin, and reflect on the feelings of sorrow, and recognize that we often bring desolation on ourselves. With prayer and God’s blessing, it doesn’t last forever. Just as our distorted view of the world gives rise to desolation, we also learn that being in a period of desolation often reinforces the distorted view of our situation, and Ignatius warns us not to make any major decisions when we are in this state. It was really helpful to review this information and be reminded how to distinguish between human emotions and God’s blessings.