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This is a daily solitary practice manual with suggestions for meditation, contemplation, prayer, and journaling using Christian scriptures. I have drawn on material from the spiritual exercises of Ignatius, but this is not an Ignatian retreat. The purpose of doing the exercises daily in this manual is to come to trust life as it comes to us as good and to bring awareness to and freedom from any obstacles that prohibit that basic trust and that prohibit our living in love toward our neighbor.
A Solitary Manual
for Realistic Living
Write the day, the date, the time.
Silence: I settle into this moment, this body, asking the Infinite Silence to calm my heart and spirit.
Write your state of being and your expressions of gratitude.
Reading: Romans 8:26-28; 31-32; 35; 38-39 – Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
The Spirit of God not only maintains this hope within us, but helps us in our present limitations. For example, we do not know how to pray worthily as children of God, but his Spirit within us is actually praying for us in those agonizing longings which never find words. And God who knows the heart's secrets understands, of course, the Spirit's intention as he prays for those who love God.
Moreover we know that to those who love God, who are called according to his plan, everything that happens fits into a pattern for good.
In face of all this, what is there left to say? If God is for us, who can be against us? He that did not hesitate to spare his own Son but gave him up for us all - can we not trust such a God to give us, with him, everything else that we can need?
Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, pain or persecution? Can lack of clothes and food, danger to life and limb, the threat of force of arms?
I have become absolutely convinced that neither death nor life, neither messenger of Heaven nor monarch of earth, neither what happens today nor what may happen tomorrow, neither a power from on high nor a power from below, nor anything else in God's whole world has any power to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord!
Reflection: Read the reading again, writing the words and phrases that stand out to you today, that speak to you, address you, bring up feelings in you.
Prayer: Write your prayer to the Loving Infinite in response to these verses, acknowledging your self doubts and your longings for yourself, others, and for the world.
Closing: May I be open to the Spirit of trust, love, and freedom praying within. I choose to be chosen.
Hymn: O Love, That Will Not Let Me Go
For a copy of either manual send $10 to Joyce Marshall;