Every gift descends like the sun’s rays
Spiritual Exercise 17
After slowly reading the prayer texts, I stand for a few minutes before the Father of lights, bathed in the brightness of his generosity. I allow his light to wash through me.
I ask the Spirit for an interior knowledge of all the good I have received so that acknowledging this with gratitude, I may be able to love and serve the Lord in everything.
I ponder with deep affection how God is loving me.
I see how all that is good and every gift descends from above:
As rays descend from the sun, I see how my limited power descends from the supreme and infinite power above.
As rays of dawn slowly rise over me, new and glorious, so will the gifts of my supremely generous God rise in me.
As the rays of the noonday sun grow the wild and tended plants of the earth, so my divine Gardener will grow me.
As rays of the sun shaft through soft rain, making a rainbow, so every good from my Creator rainbows over me.
As rays of the setting sun set the clouds alight, and fall into peace and quiet, so my gifts flame and rest for another day.
I respond to God as a friend, beautiful creature, or lover.
With the Communion of Saints in support, I express my gratitude.
Then I consider what, in all reason and justice, I ought to offer and give God.
I conclude saying, as one making a gift with heartfelt love:
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding, and my entire will,
all that I have and possess.
You gave it all to me; to you I return it.
All is yours; dispose of it entirely according to your will.
Give me only the grace to love you,
for that is enough for me.
(SpEx 43, 231–35)
Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures. (Jas 1:17–18)
“We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, and wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. (Jn 9:4–7)
We do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 4:5–6)
Time: 35 Minutes
Preparation: 10 minutes. Opening Prayer: 1 minute. Desire: 1 minute. Prayer: 20 minutes. Conversation: 3 minutes. Listening Book: 10 minutes.