Delight and meaning in the Father
Spiritual Exercise 64
I will allow my spirit to rest a little and consider where I am going and for what purpose. I make a gesture of reverence and humility. I read the prayer texts.
I ask the Father for the grace to direct my whole self toward him.
I desire to find delight and meaning in the Father.
In this prayer I pray each word or sense phrase of the Our Father prayer. (See text below). Keeping my eyes closed, or fixed on one spot without wandering, I say the words “Our Father,” staying with these two words for as long as I find meanings, comparisons, relish, and consolation in considerations related to it.
The meaning of each word straightforward. Comparisons means comparisons that illuminate the word. So for the word ‘Father’, your receiver might compare God the Father to his or her own father, or fathers and mothers, or being a parent like the Father, or how different fathers love and protect, or the lack of a father compared to one present, or God as Father compared to God as Mother, and so on. Relish would be finding wonderful feelings, taste, tang, or delight in the reality of having God as a Father. Consolations means spiritual consolations, so joy, freedom, wonder, quiet peace, new hope, confirmation of choices, love, etc. in a relationship with God the Father.
These four ways of engaging with each word should be taken in turn and savoured before moving on.
I give more time to those words that I have more feeling for and less on those that do not.
I spend my whole prayer time on the Our Father. When I am finished I say the Our Father, Apostles’ Creed, Soul of Christ, and Come, Holy Spirit, aloud or silently, in the usual way. (See these texts below).
I ask the Father for the virtues or graces for which I feel the greatest need.
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.”
And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Lk 11:1–13)
Time: 15 Minutes or as desired
Four Traditional Christian Prayers
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come;
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us;
and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.
(Lk 11:1–13; Jn 16:23–24; 17:11–26)
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.
(Jn 6:65–69; 11:17–27; Mt 3:11; Rom 8:15–17)
Soul of Christ – Anima Christi
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from Christ’s side, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me;
within your wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from thee;
from the malicious enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me
and bid me come unto thee that I may praise you
with your saints and with your angels,
forever and ever. Amen.
(Jn 19:17, 32–34; 20:19–29; Rom 8:35, 37–39)
Come, Holy Spirit — Veni, Sancte Spiritus
Come, Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit
and they shall be created.
And you shall renew the face of the earth.
O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit
did instruct the hearts of the faithful,
grant that by the same Holy Spirit
we may be truly wise
and ever enjoy his consolations,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Acts 2:1–4; Jn 14:15–27; Mt 3:11)
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