Week #18

Forty Weeks ~ Sacred Story

Week 18 Prayer Exercises

Encouragements & Wisdom

In addition to this week’s prayer materials, there are Encouragements and Wisdom (PDF).

Part Two
Building Sacred Story Prayer Practice

1 As I engage the Sacred Story prayer this week, I may find it helpful to recommit to my daily 15-minute sessions. I resolve to spend no more and no less than 15-minutes in each formal prayer session.

2 For week eighteen I am invited to open my heart to Presence, the second meditation in Sacred Story prayer. I will strive to trust St. Ignatius’ wisdom and engage the prayer disciplines at least once daily as he suggested.

3 Meditation Two—PRESENCE: Use your first prayer session to read Presence and then do the Exercise as suggested during your 15-minute prayer sessions for the rest of the week.

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 Eighteen

I will say this affirmation aloud once daily:

I will always have difficulties in this life.

Read this at the beginning of the week

Awakening to Sacred Story Prayer—Presence

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 Presence for your 15-minute prayer sessions this week. Your focus is Presence. 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. Review the structure of the 15-minute prayer sessions. You will find these at the bookmark you left in Week 16.

Awakening to Sacred Story—Presence

Prayer Exercise—Presence

I believe God is present in each moment and event of my life, and I ask for grace to awaken, see and feel where and how God is present.

Prelude: The eternal God can only be experienced in the here and now, for everything in the universe is sustained by God’s love in the present moment. When I worry about the past, or fret about the future, my consciousness of God, of creation, and of my deepest desires, is blocked. My challenge is to anchor both heart and mind firmly in the present: in each thought, word, and deed, as the story of my life evolves, in each moment, in God’s presence.

Illuminative Grace: Here I ask for what I desire: to be present and awake to every feeling, thought, word and deed—in the present moment. I beg for the grace to wake up to God’s presence in every person, experience, event—good or ill—that I encounter in my day.

How lovely your dwelling,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and flesh cry out
for the living God.
As the sparrow finds a home
and the swallow a nest to settle her young,
My home is by your altars,
Lord of hosts, my king and my God!
Blessed are those who dwell in your house!
They never cease to praise you.

(Ps 84: 2-5)