Spiritual Exercise 42


1. I Enter into the Gift  of Service
I read the prayer texts to contemplate the reality of service.
I imagine myself in the relationships, feeling as a disciple or as Jesus felt.
I awaken my served and serving heart.

2. I Ask the Holy Spirit for Help
I ask for guidance in this spiritual exercise.

3. I Journal my Experience of Service
How, when, and for what do others serve me?
How, when, and for what do I serve myself?
How, when, and for what does the Lord serve me?

4. I Respond to What Has Emerged
I express to Jesus how I feel when I am served, when I am serving.
I seek to understand how service enhances life.
I offer to serve him.

5. I Choose for the Future
I contemplate my journal to see what patterns have emerged in answering point three above:

  1. Are there similar gifts? Revealing differences?
  2. What consoles me or enlivens me? What desolates or deadens me?
  3. Which gifts, revealed in service, are the most important? Which can I do without?

I journal these patterns, insights, and priorities.

Our Father.

Prayer Texts


Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. (Rom 12:9–11)

After Jesus had washed his disciples’ feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example that you also should do as I have done to you.” (Jn 13:12–15)

Be strong and of good courage, and act. Do not be afraid or dismayed; for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished. (1 Chr 28:20)

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. (1 Pt 4:8-11)


Time: As needed


Interested in Inner Peace in Darkness and Light, the retreat containing this exercise? Buy The First Spiritual Exercises here.
Alternatively, each FSE retreat will given online in monthly rotation under the Spiritual Exercises menu.

Your responsible agreement is necessary for use of this exercise:

I agree give the FSE to others without cost.
I agree to embody the FSE Code of Ethics and the The FSE Golden Rules.
I agree to create a FSE Safety Net before giving the FSE retreats.

This excerpt from The First Spiritual Exercises: Four Guided Retreats  ©2013 by Michael Hansen is used by permission of Ave Maria Press. All rights reserved.