Ignatian Retreat in Daily Life

"FInding God in all Things"

The Way Things Can Be



Discovering more deeply the love and generosity of God in my regard.




To know and hear God’s voice more clearly – and to see how deeply God cherishes me as I am.



Preparing for Prayer


1.       Open to the guided meditation for the day (it is below).


2.          Be aware that you are in the presence of the Living God, the One who beholds you with compassion and delight and who is relentless in seeking to bless you with all that is good.


3.      Ask for the Grace/Desire being sought this week:


 “I ask to and hear God’s voice more clearly and to see how deeply God cherishes me as I am.”


4.       Address this prayer of desire, first to God the Source of Life, then to God the Source of Wisdom and Goodness, then to God Creator and Comforter; or Father, Son and Holy Spirit; or Father, Jesus, and Mary, the mother of Jesus.



During the period of prayer


Then, enter into the guided meditation. You can do that in many different ways, and nothing constrains you to do it one way rather than another.


¨       One way that helps some people: Notice how each of the points presented moves you—positively or negatively. Jot them down and return to them for further consideration.


¨   Another way that helps: simply spend time on those points that most move you. Using your imagination, explore what more might be revealed and speak to the Lord about what surfaces.


¨   And a final way: Read over the points several times moving your lips. Let each of the points gently enter your mind, consideration and heart.


Whichever of these ways you use, try to keep involved. For intimate knowledge reaches both into the one known and into the one knowing and deep love of God comes only to the one who knows himself or herself loved even while loving.


Continue with the meditation on the next page.



Guided Meditation: The Way Things Can Be


•     My life world is a welter of things—things that attract me and draw me; things that repel me and fill me  with loathing.

•     In some ways, I know from myself which of all things around me are valuable to me. For instance, my lungs absorb oxygen and my di­gestive system absorbs whatever my body
needs to keep living and working.

•     But I am a free person. How do I know which choices are really valuable to me? What of all the things I can have or not have will bring me to God and make me happy and helpful?

•     Nothing in things themselves automatically makes them the right ones for me. No one of these alternatives can guarantee happiness for any person: to make a lot of money, to have no money at all; to have power and influence, to live as just another citizen; to marry, to live single; to be healthy, to be sickly; to go on liv­ing long years, to die very young.

•     The fact is that God our Creator and Lord decides which alternative is of value to me and in me to my life world. God attends to me; God elects which of all opportunities and alternatives around me bring me to my authentic self. Some things make me more lov­ing towards God and towards others; other things make me more selfish and less loving even towards my own self.

So whether I find a thing attractive or not, I will choose only those things that lead me to God and toward my most authentic self. This seems obvious and simple, but consider what it entails: I will not have a fixed determination always to choose one alternative over others. For instance, I will not make up my mind that whatever comes along, I am going to choose the alternative that lets me make more money than any other. Can I let myself live just to stay exuberantly healthy? Can I put living in a certain place first on my list of concerns? No. I will hold myself in balance until I have decided which concrete alternative will lead me to God and to loving those around me.

•     This balance can be a matter of life and death in important affairs. The lawyer who allows himself to have an unbalanced desire to be rich may seize an opportunity to take a large sum of money unjustly. The business partner who ambitions too much may deliber­ately spread grave lies about a colleague in order to beat him to a higher position that is opening up. Their lack of balance before good things and rich opportunities prepares the way for them to act contrary to their original purpose in life and contrary to their authentic self. And if because of this lack of balance we act in a deadly manner one time, what will
stop us from doing it again and again, since we remain unbalanced, until we are truly wrecked persons?

•     Obviously, this balanced stance proves enormously difficult. Yet, it seems to be nec­essary if I am to grow in God's love and to reach the Reign of God with all the saints. Suppose God has been hoping that I would marry, and I insist on becoming a priest and then disloyally leave? Suppose God has put a wonderful spouse in my life and I destroy our love because I choose to make it big in my ca­reer? Suppose God has hoped that I would create great wealth for the good of others, and I refuse to work all that hard and end up a night watchman? I know that I am capable of wrecking my own life, as others clearly seem
to have done, by determinedly setting my own values and trying to force God to agree with me. I know what lasting harm I can do to oth­ers if I fail to live true to my self and to what God hopes in me.


•     Who can achieve this wisdom and this bal­ance on their own? I need God's power at
work in me. All things are possible to God. ♦



Conclude the period of prayer:


Have a simple conversation  with God about what happened during the prayer, thanking God, asking that the grace/desire you prayed for continues to deepen throughout the day and week. End with the “Lord’s Prayer.”