Focus on her poverty of spirit -- from her "let it be done to me according to your word" -- through her many ponderings -- to her participation in the paschal mystery.
Mk 10:23-31; 11:12-25; 13:1-13; Mt
14:22-33; 16:13-23; 17:1-13;
Passion: Jn 13; Mk 14:26-42; Lk 22:31-34; 22:54-62.
Resurrection: Jn 20:1-10; 21 whole chapter
Early Church: Acts ch 1 & 2; 12:1-17; ch 10; 15:1-21
1P 1:3-9; 2:18-25; 3:14-18; 4:12-19; 2P 1:16-19
GROWTH IN CHRIST JESUS 2
phases to help one move toward
Phase 1 - Being relaxed in the awareness of God's presence.
This is a phase of simply quieting down, of being, of relaxing, of being comfortable with your surroundings, with yourself and with the Loving God.
Pray as you can - Do not pray as you can't. You can use vocal prayers that have been part of your life and go through them slowly. You can pick one or other of the following scriptural passages and use them in any way - to ruminate, or to reflect, or to wonder about, or to ponder -- in your own way.
From time to time ask your Loving Creator in the name of Christ Jesus and through the working of the Holy Spirit to fill your whole being with a deep trust.
Make use of the outdoors and of sleep to help.
Ps 62; 63; 91; 103; 131; Jn ch 14-16;
Is 55; Mt 6:26-34; Lk 11:1-13
Phase 2 - Learning to pray ... being a listener ...putting discipline into your efforts.
Here you might ponder over the scriptural teachings on prayer. Ask God to teach you the attitudes and practices that will help you become a better listener of God's word.
What would be a good rhythm of periods of prayer throughout the day for you?
In order that you might be better open for God's word with you during these periods, how should you handle the times in between times of prayer; namely, exercise, sleep, use of nature, silence, walking leisurely, reflecting etc.?
Phase 3 - Growth in the awareness that God is near , and cares for us, that God is with us in all the moments of our lives. God is the divine friend or mother or father and so much more than we can imagine.
Scriptural texts for the prayer periods:
Begin each period of prayer making an act of belief in God who is near and close. Ask for a deep sense of God's caring about us. Using the scriptural texts above, identify from your own experience the truth of some of the phrases from scripture.
As you look backward over the years what moments stand out in your memory as being moments in which you recognized God as near?
Have there been moments when you did not recognize God's nearness?
Carry on a conversation with your God expressing your feelings and thoughts about these various moments.
Other readings that may be helpful in between the prayer periods:
Jn 14:15-20, 25-28; Rom 8:26-34; Is 54:5-10;
Rev 21:1-7; Deut 32:10-11; Ps 145
Phase 4 - Growth in the awareness and acceptance of our creaturely condition
Depending on your present needs and the graces you are seeking from God, you may want to dwell on one or other aspect of what it means to be created and loved:
a) the holiness
and grandeur of God
a) God, the Holy
One: Is 6:1-9; Ps 8
a) Ps 19,
and Ps 104; Col 1:15-20; Ex 3:1-6
Phase 5 - Growth in the awareness of my need for healing in my life.
Read the scripture passage about Jesus healing the blind man from Mk 8:22-26.
Place yourself into a prayerful atmosphere and as you read this story again let your imagination capture the drama and discover the meaning of the story of Jesus and the blind man for your own life. Spend as much time doing this as you can.
After you are through, it may help to write out your own answers to the following questions:
1. Complete these statements:
2. I can identify with
the blind man in his feeling of:
3. If I had been the
blind man who was healed and Jesus had said to me "Don't tell anyone" I
4. Considering the
experience of the blind man as a picture of my present spiritual state
5. In what specific areas of my life do I need to feel the healing touch of Jesus?
6. Imagine Jesus present and carry on a conversation with him about your need for healing in some specific area of your life.
7. On a large sheet of paper draw a graph or symbols or a design to illustrate the high and low points of your spiritual pilgrimage over the last few years.
Further Prayer Exercises
Choose some of the following scriptural texts that deal with Jesus as healer. Taking only one of these texts at a time, spend a great deal of time letting your imagination capture the drama of the story. You might want to place yourself in the drama itself to allow the word to become more concrete for you. Whenever you feel moved carry on a conversation with Jesus.
Lk 4:33-44; Lk 8:40-56; Lk 17:11-19; Mk 10:46-52; Jn 5:1-15
Phase 6 - Growing in love with Jesus, Lover of Humankind.
I need to fall in love with Jesus so that I can trust him completely. Before I choose the material that would be helpful in disposing me for this love I should reflect more precisely upon what my needs are now. Do I need to grow in the acceptance of my weakness; or in forgiveness; or in greater trust or in compassion of others; or in the acceptance of failure? In the light of these needs that I am now experiencing I can choose one or other of the following.
In each period of prayer I ask God that I may know Jesus with a deep-felt knowledge that I may love him more and follow him more closely (in weakness or forgiveness or compassion or failure or trust).
1. Looking at Jesus who became weak for our sake
Material for prayer: Lk 2:1-12; Lk 4:1-13; Lk 22:39-46.
Heb 4:14-16; Heb 5:7-9; Phil 2:1-11;
2. Looking at Jesus who is constantly forgiving
Material for prayer: Lk 7:36-50; Jn 8:3-11; Lk 19:1-10.
Lk 15; Mt 18:21-35; Lk 23:32-43; 1Cor 13; Lk 11:1-4.
3. Looking at Jesus who is always compassionate
Material for prayer: Jn 2:1-11; Mt 14:13-21; Jn 13:1-17;
2Cor 1:3-7; 2Cor 2:5-11; Lk 22:24-32.
4. Looking at Jesus who accepts failure
Material for prayer: Lk 4:16-30; Lk 17:11-19; Mt 11:28-30.
Lk 24:13-35; Mt 5:3-12; Mt 16:21-23;
5. Looking at Jesus who calls me to trust
Material for prayer: Mt 14:22-33; Mt 15:21-28; Jn 20:24-29.
Lk 12:13-34; Lk 18:18-27; Lk 11:5-13;
Phase 7 - Growth in awareness of our daily walk with God.
"This is what the Holy
One asks of you: only this, to act justly, to love tenderly
SIX MOMENTS WITH GOD 3
Theme 1 Deep trust and confidence that God cares for us
Because you are precious in my eyes
Theme 2 God's care is manifested in God's desire to forgive.
For as the heavens are high above the earth so surpassing is God's kindness
Theme 3 To appreciate that Jesus is my personal saviour.
It is precisely because I am a sinner and helpless that Jesus can be for me the saviour.
Rom 7:14-25, 5:6-11
While we were still helpless Christ died for us.
Jn 10:7-18; Jn 21:15-17; Gal 2:19-21; Gal 4:1-7
1Tim 1:12-17; Heb 4:14-5:10; Eph 2:11-22.
4 God calls us uniquely, with our weaknesses and fears,
Call of Peter
5 To know and love Christ Jesus so intimately
It is God who begets in you any measure of desire or achievement.
2Cor 6:4-10; Col 1:24-29; Phil 3:7-1.
6 To know and love Christ Jesus so intimately
Rom 12:3-8; 1Cor 12:12-31; Eph 1:17-23.
1. Jesus leaves home and goes to the river Jordan. Back to document
2. This prayer pattern was created for the following situations - a person comes to make a directed retreat and for a variety of reasons can not enter easily into the dynamic and needs some structure to keep oneself occupied between the sessions with the prayer guide - to teach a person gradually to recognize one's own needs and grace to pray for - for the more programmatic person who comes to retreat expecting content to think about and needing help gradually to pay more attention to the thoughts of the heart Back to document
3. This outline can be used for a shorter directed retreat of four to six days. Back to document