Week #17

Forty Weeks ~ Sacred Story

Week 17 Prayer Exercises

Encouragements & Wisdom

In addition to this week’s prayer materials, there are VERY IMPORTANT Encouragements and Wisdom for Week 17 (PDF).

Part Two
Building Sacred Story Prayer Practice

1 I will ask for patience to start each day with renewed commitment. I will have my notebook at hand for each prayer period and resolve to spend no more and no less than 15-minutes in each formal prayer session.

2 I will continue to draw consolation and insight from my letter to Jesus and/or my Whole-Life Confession

3 This week I am invited to learn the first meditation in Sacred Story prayer: Creation. My fidelity to the linked practice of these daily exercises will produce life-long sustained spiritual growth and enlightenment.

I will awaken to the present moment.
I will awaken to my spiritual nature.
I will not make any decisions based on fear.
I will practice Sacramental Reconciliation monthly.

Focus Affirmation for Week Seventeen

I will say this affirmation aloud once daily:

God resolves all my problems with time and patience.

Read this at the beginning of the week

Awakening to Sacred Story Prayer—Creation

Every day, consciously enter Sacred Story prayer during your set time(s). For these next weeks, we are building the five meditations of Sacred Story prayer. Set aside the other pieces and focus on Creation for your 15-minute prayer sessions this week.

Your focus is Creation. Remember the structure of the 15-minute sessions you were introduced to last week. Be faithful to the structure. Ignatius was wise in developing the ritual, and rituals are very important. The ritual itself detailed below does not save you. Yet the ritual, faithfully practiced, makes it easier for you to open your mind and heart to the One who does save you! Rituals are good.

Remember that the daily practice of Sacred Story has six parts:

  1. Prayer upon waking
  2. “Awareness” exercises during the course of the day
  3. 15-minute Sacred Story prayer at Mid-day (for this week: Creation meditation only)
  4. 15-minute Sacred Story prayer in Evening (for this week: Creation meditation only)
  5. Sacred Story day journal (immediately following Sacred Story evening prayer)
  6. Prayer upon retiring

During this week, we are only focusing on Creation for the 15-minute prayer periods so you can learn it by heart. There are four ways to learn a meditation: a single word; a single phrase; a single description (Prelude); and a single grace for which to pray (Illuminative Grace).

All four elements comprise a single exercise. It seems like a lot at first, but in time you will be able to understand the elements of Creation without having to refer to any text. One way to internalize the meaning of the meditation is to read through the prayer exercise text (the phrase, the Prelude, and the Illuminative Grace) and then ponder those ideas while using one of the two ways to focus (letting yourself be led by the inspirations of this word or letting yourself be led by the conversation with the Lord about the graces you seek related to this word).

Remember, eventually we will be mediating on five different words, but only spending significant time with those words that the Spirit is leading us to for that day. This is why it is important for us to learn both the substance for each of the words, as well as the standard meditation process for the 15-minute periods.

Do not be anxious about learning everything at once – we are going slowly for a reason! This week, focus on internalizing the meaning of Creation and learning the rhythm of the 15-minute prayer period.

The meditation text for Creation is below (remember, this is the summary of the word, which you will use as a guide during your meditation).

Prayer Exercise—Creation

I believe God created everything in love and for love; I ask for heart-felt knowledge of God’s love for me, and for gratitude for the general and particular graces of this day.

Prelude: God created the universe—all persons and all things—in love and for love. Every thing, and every person in creation is linked in Love, through Christ, in whom and for whom everything was made. We are made to reverence God and each other, and to delight in creation as both Divine gift and support for our lives. The God of All knows me personally and loves me, even before I was knit in my mother’s womb. So fearfully and wonderfully made am I! (Ps 139: 13-14). My gratitude increases as my awakening to these truths is illuminated.

Illuminative Grace: Here I ask for what I desire: to know and feel God’s tender and passionate love and to know myself as beloved—a treasure of God’s heart in the grand symphony of creation. I pray for the grace of gratitude. In particular, I pray to know by whom I am created and why I am loved. I pray to know and believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Review the structure of the 15-minute prayer sessions

When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and stars that you set in place—
What is man that you are mindful of him,
and a son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him little less than a god,
crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
put all things at his feet:
O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name
through all the earth!

(Ps 8: 4-6)