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THE GARDEN OF GOD - Retreat #2 in the Everyday

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

God’s Ongoing Creation - Living in God


In the opening of one’s prayer time St. Ignatius taught that we as enter into a prayer period we begin with a prayer request for grace to have all our intentions and desires directed towards what will bring praise and glory to God, for our service in Christ.



TWO GRACES


The Preparatory Prayer St. Ignatius recommends each time to ask for this grace. The Preparatory Prayer he recommended each time is: “I ask God our Lord for grace that all my intentions, actions, and ways may be directed purely to the praise and service of God.”


You can write your own version from this example.


He also recommended we are to ask for specific graces depending upon our circumstances or based upon the scriptures such as the theme of this mini retreat – God is Love loving.

For example to experience the reality of God’s ongoing, active, unconditional love for me.


You can write your own version from this example __________________________________________________

PRAYER FOR GRACES TO:

Experience the wonder of the reality of God’s creation; and for an increase in gratitude for the gift of God creating the world and all who have been and who here with me today.


Write your own based upon what you desire – what do you truly desire - what do you want or need from God about how God is Love loving you now and at every moment, always without fail.



My desire is to

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God is a God of surprises, let God surprise you!


Review of Prayer Time & Methods


Ignatian Meditation

Reading: What does the text say?

Reflecting: What is God saying to me through the text?

Responding in Prayer: What do you want to say to God about the text?

Action: What do you want to do based on your prayer?


Ignatian Imaginative Contemplation

An Ignatian contemplation prayer method is entered into naturally when we are using our God given gift of imagination when there is activity. We come to image what is going on in scripture passage, who is there, what the environment looks and sounds like’ we engage as a participant to experience being there. This brings the past present allowing us to be transformed by the reality of Christ’s loving action.


Imaging the Composition of Place & Application of the Interior Senses

What do you see?

What do you hear?

What do you smell?

What do you feel?

What do you taste?




Reflection

Take notice of your thoughts, feelings, desires, images, insights while praying

  • Select a section, a word or phrase that stands out for you.

  • What came up for you during this prayer time.

Select one of these passages above to re-read, as if God is speaking directly to you.

  • What image do you have of God as He speaks to you?

  • What does God’s presence feel like?

  • How does God see you now?

  • What feelings came up for you as you reread these words?


Close of your Prayer Time
  • Share with God, Jesus, Mary your responses to being with them during your prayer time ( a Colloquy)

  • End with a vocal prayer - Our Father, Hail Mary, and / or Glory Be.


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CONTEMPLATION


The Garden of God (Gen 2: 4-6,8-9)


The Garden of Eden. 4 This is the story of the heavens and the earth at their creation. When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens— 5 there was no field shrub on earth and no grass of the field had sprouted, for the Lord God had sent no rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the ground, 6 but a stream was welling up out of the earth and watering all the surface of the ground— 8 The Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and placed there the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground the Lord God made grow every tree that was delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.


As you read imagine placing yourself in the Garden*.

  • Imagine what the garden looked like?

  • What action is going on? Ex: Imagine the stream welling up out of the earth.

  • Walk through it. Who do you Encounter?

  • Use your senses to see, touch, smell, hear and taste the beauty of what the garden has for you.

  • Notice your feelings.

  • Write them down; draw a picture or write a poem.

*Prayer of the Composition of the Place & the Application of Interior Senses – Ignatian Contemplation



God’s Laboring (PS 33: 6-7)

By the Lord’s word the heavens were made; by the breath of his mouth all their host. [He gathered the waters of the sea as a mound; he sets the deep into storage vaults.



God Resting (Gen 2: 1-3)

1 Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. 2 On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. 3 God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.


Reflection
  • With your mind’s eye, see how God was working as He gathered all of the waters.

  • What other images can you gather about His activity in creating the world?

  • Picture yourself right there with God. What images and feelings come up for you about how God felt that 7th day?

  • What other images can you gather about His activity in creating the world,now as you read this?


____________________________________________________A Saint’s Responses


CANTICLE OF BROTHER SUN AND SISTER MOON by ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI


Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord, All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings. To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.

Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun,

who is the day through whom You give us light. And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor, Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars, In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and fair and stormy, all weather's moods,

by which You cherish all that You have made.

Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water, so useful, humble, precious and pure.

Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire, through whom You light the night and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You my Lord through our Sister, Mother Earth who sustains and governs us, producing varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

A canticle is a hymn or other song of praise based upon the holy texts.


Reflection

St. Francis was intimately close to God and felt so interconnected with God’s creation that he saw all as gifts and part of his family.


  • Ask yourself: Where have I seen this awesome glory revealed in my life and in the larger world?



____________________________________________________MEDITATION


God’s Care for His Creation (Ps104)


Sections from David’s Response of Creation

Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty,

2 Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain. 3 He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind; 4 He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers.

5 He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever. 6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters were standing above the mountains. 7 At Your rebuke they fled, At the sound of Your thunder they hurried away. 8 The mountains rose; the valleys sank down To the place which You established for them. 9 You set a boundary that they may not pass over, so that they will not return to cover the earth.

10 [h]He sends forth springs in the valleys; They flow between the mountains; 11 They give drink to every beast of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst. 12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; They lift up their voices among the branches. 13]He waters the mountains from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works.

14 He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the labor of man, So that he may bring forth food from the earth, 15 And wine which makes man’s heart glad, So that he may make his face glisten with oil, And food which sustains man’s heart. 16 The trees of the Lord [drink their fill, The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,17 Where the birds build their nests, And the stork, whose home is the fir trees.

18 The high mountains are for the wild goats; The cliffs are a refuge for the shephanim.

19 He made the moon for the seasons; The sun knows the place of its setting. 20 You appoint darkness and it becomes night, In which all the beasts of the forest]prowl about. 21 The young lions roar after their prey [v]And seek their food from God. 22 When the sun rises they withdraw And lie down in their dens. 23 Man goes forth to his work And to his labor until evening.

24 O Lord, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; The earth is full of Your [x]possessions. 25 There is the sea, great and [z]broad, In which are swarms without number, Animals both small and great.


Reflection
  • Ask yourself again: Where have I seen this awesome glory revealed in my life and the larger world?

  • You can go back as far as you can in your first memories of seeing all the beauty in nature, and the beauty in being with a loved one.


Final Reflection

  • What graces have you received from God by praying with these passages?

  • What would you like to share with others about your experience of receiving His gifts?

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