Inner Peace in Divine Love Retreat
Week Four – Love in Service
Ex 21 – Program for Life
Immediately on waking up, I rouse myself to joy by imagining Jesus delighted with my program for life. I will get dressed with thoughts like these.
2. Opening Prayer
I ask for the grace to direct my whole self toward the Trinity.
I desire to create a program for life.
I read the prayer texts. Then, I draw up an outline of a program for life:
1. What time can I give to enhancing my family life? For children? For parents?
2. What time can I give to enhancing my work life? For finding God at work in it?
3. What time can I give to enhancing my personal life? Recreation? Exercise? Holiday?
4. What time can I give to my prayer life? How often? For personal prayer? Communal prayer?
5. What time can I give to engagement in my church? When?
6. What time can I give to engagement in my community? What service? When?
7. What time can I give to engagement in my faith life? For a retreat? For a little pilgrimage?
8. Is there a particular spiritual desire, awaiting action, that I have always felt?
9. Is there a particular work of Jesus that I desire to imitate?
10. Is there a particular opportunity I can use in the service of God?
After writing my program for life, I examine it as a whole.
I consider my whole self and life in regard to it. Do they enliven each other?
I end by explaining my program for life to Jesus, asking his help.
Beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned . . . and the God of peace will be with you.
In the reform of one’s life, one should seek nothing other than the greater praise and glory of God our Lord in and through everything. So it must be borne in mind that a person will make progress in things of the spirit to the degree to which they divest themselves of self-love, self-will, and self-interest.
Be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ.
(1 Pt 4:7, 10–11)
We must always remind ourselves that we are pilgrims until we arrive at our heavenly homeland, and we must not let our affections delay us in the roadside inns and lands through which we pass, otherwise we will forget our destination and lose interest in our final goal.
I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
(Phil 3:8–9, 12)
Time: As needed
For greater guidance, depth and practical use of this exercise and retreat, source the First Spiritual Exercises here.
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