Inner Peace in Divine Love
The gifts of divine love descend upon us like rays from the sun or water falling.
Love rises in mutual communication.
The lover gives and communicates to the loved one what they have, or something of what they have, or are able to give; and in turn the one loved does the same for the lover.
Each gives to the other – Ignatius Loyola
In the first week, you remember being loved and bring your feelings into the present. In the second week, you feel the invitation of Father, Jesus and Spirit to dwell in their love. In the third week, you lavishly consider each gift you have received from God, personal and divine. You see how the Creator dwells and works in you and creation. In the fourth week, you see the traces of divine love burning its way through your life, or flowing through you like water, refreshing all, and you are invited to respond.
How to make a retreat
To make a FSE retreat first print the exercises to be made, one week at a time is the most useful. Alternatively, this site is designed to work well on a tablet and mobile phone. If you have an internet connection you will always have access to each exercise.
Each week of exercises usually includes Monday to Thursday exercises and a weekend exercise. Some retreats have a Friday and a Saturday exercise. The exercises are written with a dynamic that means you need to make them in order, one after the other. You will receive the most fruit this way.
These retreats are ‘retreats in daily life’. That is to say they are for busy committed people who cannot afford to take time off work and pay for increasingly expensive retreats in spirituality centres. The FSE retreat is made over four weeks, normally one after another, but could be stretched out a little further to make way for unavoidable life events or commitments.
Choose a good time in a prayer day for your exercise, where you will not be interrupted. Turn your mobile off. Follow the steps outlined in each exercise with the suggested timing provided.
Use a Listening Book
Enter your experience after receiving an exercise in your Listening Book, an Ignatian prayer journal that will be a very powerful voice to your desires and everyday life choices. The craft of using a Listening Book is taught here.
Through a Listening Book your graces will help many people if you share you retreat experiences with significant others whom you trust and they may help you to break open to greater depth the graces you have received. A great many people have found this sharing throughly life giving and confirming all round. You may even seek a spiritual guide or trained spiritual director.
A word to the wise
Please do not read the Inner Peace in Divine Love retreat at depth if you are in the middle of receiving a different retreat. The reason is simple, you have chosen to receive one retreat at this time and God has responded. This means that a sudden interest in the other retreats is a very real distraction that will take you out of your retreat and so out of the special relationship you are forming with God through it.
Sometimes this can be simple curiosity, sometimes it can be the bad spirit, who realising that you are receiving great help from God, wishes to draw you away from that source.
How to make a retreat with others
The first way is to find a companion or a local group of people to make a FSE retreat with others. You could approach local communities or organisations that you already belong to and invite a small group to receive a retreat together. Ask them to join the FSE Cloud community and print the retreat exercises.
Each person in your group prays by themselves through the week and fills out their Listening Book after each exercise. Then you meet weekly for spiritual conversation to share the experience of your exercises the week just past. There are special guides created for you and your group on the use of the Listening Book and practice of spiritual conversation. You will find them in the Art and Craft Studio under the School of How menu.
Be ome aware through experience of how the three main phases of spiritual conversation, sacred listening, conversation and mini-discernment work. There is also a very good threading together of these three phases in The Golden Rules for conversation in our FSE Cloud community under the same menu name in the secondary menu.
Organize weekly meetings – Let the Spirit flow through you
In each weekly meeting, the first half is spent in spiritual conversation on the previous week and the second half in learning the first exercise of the coming week. The method will be new but the same throughout the week.
Your graces, gifts and insights will help others and they may help you to deepen the graces you have received. The Spirit will flow through you.
Indeed, there is nothing stopping you from inviting a friend in the FSE Cloud Community to receive a retreat with you – they could be anywhere in the world – and bring an undreamed of cultural richness to your retreat together. How amazing is that!
Of course, if you are a local group, a little food and drink for a common table, and social conversation, are always good after spirituasl conversation.
Please Note. One of four FSE retreats will be available one retreat each month, rotating through the four retreats.
If you are interested in a retreat, unavailable in a particular month, you will find four taster exercises from each the four retreats under the menu FSE Taster Exercises. If you want the full set of exercises of a retreat immediately, the book of The First Spiritual Exercises is available here.