Day 1 | 31 days of St Ignatius 2018

An image of two people on a bench painted by Elizzabeth Wang

Entering into a time of retreat

It takes time to enter into a time of prayer and retreat. Time to begin to allow yourself to feel at home in a new routine. Time to adjust to a change of pace. Time to let your deeper hopes and desires come to the surface. Time to meet God in this place now. 

The good news is that there is all the time in the world available. Even in the midst of a busy summers' day, there is time enough to relax and let God do everything that God wants to do. So don't rush, but enter into this time asking God for the gift of wholehearted confidence and trust in God's care, especially during these days. 

Preparing for prayer

Like a child at rest

One of the things that frequently gets in the way of prayer is a lack of quiet and stillness, inside and outside of myself. I can perhaps do something about the outside noise: choose a quiet place, switch the phone off, pick a time when I am less likely to be disturbed. But what of interior stillness and silence? How do I stop my mind racing off in a dozen different directions, throwing up all sorts of distractions which come between me and God? 

Taking a few minutes to try one or other of these stillness exercises as I start my prayer can be very helpful in this regard. Sometimes this may be a preparation for another kind of prayer. At other times, simply entering into a companionable silence with God may be all the prayer I want and need. 

Beginning with how...

Watch and let this video guide you into how you might approach your prayer time.

Today's suggestion for prayer

Matthew 11:28-30 

'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.' 

(Message translation) 28-30 'Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.'

Prayer walk 

Take a walk. 

Walk quite slowly, stopping whenever something  catches your attention. 

Notice how Creation looks, sounds, smells, feels. 

There might be a conversation with the Creator or with Jesus as you go. You might be connecting with God without the need for words. 

It's possible!

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