Retreat in Daily Life: Prayer 6

God Gives Each Person An Original Purpose

Reminders:

  1. Keep in mind that you make your prayer time fuller by looking over the materials beforehand.
  2. Recall that when you go into God’s presence, the Lord always regards you with constant love and caring, and has regarded you every moment of your life.

Notes about Prayer:

  1. A Summary of Prayer is a simple exercise that depends on notes, memory, and lively thinking.
  1. A summary of prayer is like this:       Two friends have been going over the picture album of a two-week vacation together when they ask each other how many different places they had seen. They flip back through the pictures swiftly, recalling this town and that mountain, noting where they stopped.
  1. In doing a summary, you peruse whatever has come up in your prayer. So we prepare the material well before our time for prayer.       We look back over all that we have prayed over during the week. We single out intense experiences, sharper convictions, images, and ideas. We note both positive and negative elements.

Theme: God gives Each Person an Original Purpose

Grace:

My Lord God, I beg for a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of You. May the eyes of my heart be enlightened, that I may know what is the hope that belongs to Your call.

Consideration and Scripture Passages:

Read and reflectively ponder on the Principle and Foundation asking yourself questions as, “What does this phrase mean to me? How do I understand it? How do I see this applying to my life?” Then talk to the Lord about it.

  1. Principle and Foundation: first part

Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.

The other things on the face of the earth are created for man to help him in the attainment of this goal.

What is the meaning of ‘to be created?,’

other things ‘?

What are the other things in my life that exist between my ‘I’ & God?

It may be helpful to list them.

Read Jeremiah 17:5-11.

Note: See page 6 for David Fleming’s paraphrase of the P & F.

  1. P & F middle part

It follows that man is to use all other things in as much as they help him achieve this goal; and he ought to refrain from using these things in so far as they are a hindrance.

From my own experience what creatures have proved helpful,

have proved a hindrance?

When? Where? How? Why?

What creatures tend to influence my life decisions?

Read Phil 3:7-16.

  1. P & F last part

Therefore, with respect to all created things in which we have a free choice, it is necessary to become indifferent (free, detached). Consequently, on our part, we should not prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, a long life to a short one, honor to dishonor and so for all other things.

Our one desire and choice should be what is most conducive for the goal for which we are created.

How can a person be ‘indifferent’?

How can one be free from the desire for health or a long life?

If I am to be truly open, what ‘things’ do I need to be freed from?

Does this freeing mean that I will never get them back?

Read Phil 1:18-26 on the freedom of St. Paul.

  1. Phil. 4:11-13 In him who is the source of strength I have strength for everything.
  1. John 14:15-28 He will give you the Spirit who will teach you.
  1. Repetition
  1. Summary of Former Prayer (See page 1).

Principle and Foundation

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.

The other things on the face of the earth are created for man to help him in the attainment of this goal.

It follows that man is to use all other things in as much as they help him

achieve this goal; and he ought to refrain from using these things in so far

as they are a hindrance.

Therefore, with respect to all created things in which we have a free choice, it is necessary to become indifferent (free, detached). Consequently, on our part, we should not prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, a long life to a short one, honor to dishonor and so for all other things.

Our one desire and choice should be what is most conducive for the goal for which we are created.

The Principle and Foundation

St. Ignatius of Loyola

As paraphrased by David Fleming, SJ

The goal of our life is to be with God forever.

God gave us life because he loves us. Our own response of love allows

God’s life to flow into us without limit.

All the things in this world are gifts of God presented to us so that

we can know God more easily and make a return of love more readily.

As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God in so far as they

help us develop as loving persons. But if any of these gifts become the

center of our lives, they displace God and so hinder our growth towards

our goal.

In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance before all of

these created gifts in so far as we have a choice and are not bound by

some obligation. We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,

wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or a short one.

For everything has the potential of calling forth in us a deeper response

to our life in God.

Our only desire and our one choice should be this: I want and I choose

what better leads to God’s deepening his life in me.

Nothing is more practical than finding God,

that is, than in falling in love in a quite absolute, final way.

what you are in love with,

what seizes your imagination,

will affect everything.

It will decide what you get you out of bed

In the morning,

what you will do with your evenings,

how to spend your weekends,

What you read,

what you know that breaks your heart,

and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in love,

Stay in love,

And it will decide everything.

– Fr. Pedro Arrupe

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