Ignatius wants us to really absorb the material, not just to read, learn or study the scriptures and readings; he wants us to feel and taste it interiorly. Faithful to this principle he wants us to go over the meditations again, feeling them and tasting them. (Cardinal Carlo Martini, Letting God Free Us, p.62)
Begin our pause and deepen the material and commence practising repetition.
To allow participants:
To explore together with God their journal and see where God has been very close and drawing them to.
Recognise the value of repetition and deepening of prayer in areas that we are drawn to.
Welcome and Stilling
Group sharing: Feedback from the last two sessions: Spirituality in Practice and God’s work of Art, Art in Prayer
Input on the 3 R’s: Reviewing, Resistance and Repetition
Longer prayer time looking back through your journal
Sharing in groups
Link: Music: All my heart lies open to You
Praying in an Ignatian way has three movements:
Preparation: looking over the material you are going to pray with.
Movement into prayer where we still and centre ourselves and this is followed by our time of prayer.
Using our journals we look back over our prayer.
You can write or draw in your journal in any way that you find comfortable and helpful.
The following questions may be useful to you when you are looking back on your prayer-
What were the significant feelings, reactions, intuitions, desires, emotions, thoughts, or insights?
What was the prevailing mood of your prayer: peace, agitation, excitement, boredom, confusion, calmness etc?
What word, phrase, image, or memory meant most to you during prayer?
Is there some unfinished business that you think God is calling you to return to during another time of prayer?
Is there something happening in your life that is becoming part of your prayer? Do you feel moved to do something concrete in your life?
Reviewing your prayer with your Journal is not about recording every thought; it is rather a way of going deeper and gathering all the graces you are being given. There is no right and wrong. It is YOUR space.
When you look back at your prayer time there may be times when you pushed aside things that came up. This kind of resistance is normal.
As you review your prayer, notice any resistance, was there anything in the material you actively disliked or pushed away. Resistance might seem like a negative, but generally “Whenever there is resistance, there also is God.” In other words, we don’t resist unless there is something to resist; God’s action is always there inside the resistance. Therefore, if we notice any resistance, it is helpful to be patient and to trust that God is still at work.
Repetition is a way of honouring God’s word to us in the earlier prayer period. It is recalling and pondering an earlier conversation with one we love. It is as if we say to God, “Tell me that again; what did I hear you saying?” In this follow-up conversation or repetition, we open ourselves to a healing presence that often transforms whatever sadness and confusion we may have experienced the first time we prayed.
In repetition, not only does the consolation (joy, warmth, peace) deepen, but the desolation (pain, sadness, confusion) frequently moves to a new level of understanding and acceptance within God’s plan for us.
It is recommended to select a period of prayer to repeat in which you have experienced a significant movement of joy, sadness, or confusion. You might also select a period in which nothing seemed to happen—perhaps because of your lack of readiness at the time.
To begin, recall the feelings of the first period of prayer. Use as a point of entry the scene, word, or feeling that was previously most significant. Allow the Spirit to direct the inner movements of your heart during this time of prayer.
Ask God to show you what God wants to show you.
Look through your journal since we started again in September.
Notice and highlight whatever stands out for you.
Where did you feel closest to God? Where did you feel most challenged? Where did you feel yourself to be most fully alive, most completely the person that God has created you to be?
Are there any biblical passages, words or phrases, or images, which capture something important for you to remember from this time, things that you can come back to in your prayer in the coming days and weeks?
Where do you notice resistance?
Over this week, revisit any prayer material that seemed particularly meaningful and try some repetition.
All my heart lies open to You
And you know how much I love You
All my heart lies open to You
And you know that I love You.
I love… you
I love you