All "methods" of prayer are simply human ways of disposing oneself to be open to the mystery of God's unique communication. This collection of methods, prayer exercises, prayer patterns and suggestions is no different. Dom Chapman is quoted as saying, "Pray as you can, do not pray as you can't." Many of the items contained in this booklet may or may not be a help either for your own prayer or your guidance of others.
Sometimes during a directed retreat or during spiritual guidance over a longer period of time, a spiritual guide will want to help a directee to make the experience more available to the influence of God's Word and Spirit. Many of the exercises contained herein are intended for just that. The idea is that a guide would have several copies of this booklet on hand and in a needed circumstance would lend a copy of it to the directee to use a specific exercise on a particular page.
For example, the page entitled "Entering Into Retreat" is helpful for a retreatant who is making a directed retreat for the first time or when the director cannot meet with the directee upon arrival and would like something to keep the new retreatant occupied until the first interview. Again, the section called "Developing A Discerning Heart" (phases of growth in the practice of the consciousness examen) is a help to develop the skill and habit of the consciousness examen in the situation of ongoing spiritual guidance over a long period of time. This is particularly useful for persons who are not accustomed to reflect on their interior spontaneous reactions.
Sometimes in the course of ongoing spiritual guidance or during a shorter directed retreat, a guide will want to use one or other of the exercises from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. I have found that my own paraphrase of the Sp Exs contained in this book very useful for this. In the guiding of the Sp Exs in any setting this paraphrase also should prove beneficial. This Sp Exs paraphrase has been newly updated in many different ways. The explanation of the context out of which I wrote it is in the appendix at the back.
Some items in this little book are from others and slightly adapted, of which some are under copyright. Although many other items began with the creativity of others, I have adapted them significantly. Other items are completely my own composition. The acknowledgements are made at the end of the book.
This volume is now gender sensitive. I have found the exercise of "regendering" this book a worthwhile task. I discovered, once again, how a change of imagery really does affect my responses! This little manual has been regendered, revised, and somewhat expanded.
have never looked upon this manual as having a unique theme with one part flowing into another. In my mind it has always been a resource with all sorts helpful materials for our journey with our Caring God. "Every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from the storeroom both the new and the old" (Matt 10:52).
First published on the
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, 1979.
Revised and published
John A. Veltri, sj.
Copyright © 1993 John Veltri
Poetry of Ruth McLean Copyright © 1990 Ruth McLean
Press here for the collections of Ruth McLean's poetry.
Press here for J. Veltri's website.
For information on acquiring a printed copy of this book: Press here.
INSTRUCTIONS ON PRAYER
Notes on "Orientations Vol 1"
- As a collection of helps for prayer and spiritual guidance, this material will prove very useful for both those seeking and giving spiritual guidance. Please feel free to use the material in this file for your own personal use.
- Should you prefer to own your own hardcopy version, a printed copy of the book is available from:
B. Broughton Co. Ltd.,
2105 Danforth Avenue,
(4l6) 690-4777 or [in Canada] 1(800) 268 4449
Their website with further info is: http://www.bbroughton.com .