Week #13 E&W

Forty Weeks ~ Sacred Story

Week 13 Encouragements & Wisdom

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E & W reflections are additional helps for your Sacred Story prayer journey. Reflect on them ahead of your prayer exercises for the week or outside of your fifteen-minute prayer windows.

The Grace of Making a Whole-Life Confession Continued

Please be encouraged by each others’ prayers in this final week when we take time to bring our whole lives to Christ for this healing love. The Archbishop is praying for you and you are praying for each other.

I have included selections from the Sacred Story community on the following pages. Please feel connected to others spiritually who are doing what you are doing. The comments shine a light on the process of writing a letter to Jesus and bringing our lives, as we find them, before the Divine Physician.

Continue to pray for each other. We have nearly completed the foundational exercises of the Sacred Story year. Soon, we will begin to learn the Sacred Story prayer.

Remember what Christ told the Disciples—You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit that will last…Jn. 15:16

I am still working on the letter and struggling with putting my thoughts and conversations in writing on the page in a comprehensive way. I might be over thinking it and putting pressure instead of letting it flow. I guess that is the advice to myself: let go of expectation and let the letter be what it is today with the loving inspiration of Christ and not worry that it must be “right” and “for all time”.

I am just so grateful for this experience. Again, just a reminder to us participants, that this experience will be attacked by the evil one and cause doubt and frustration. I know that by persevering I will receive tremendous grace.

As I wrote this letter the tears flowed but I was at peace, perhaps for the first time in my life. Let our Heavenly Father guide you, Stop trying to guide Him. Our Father will take us where we need to go and that won’t be where we want to go. Trust Him to know what is best for you.

It is a valuable process, even if I fall behind, or can’t do all of a week’s exercises.

My advice is like yours to hang in there it is not easy writing about sins and vices but Jesus will listen and heal and don’t worry if you got it right. There is no right or wrong (way to do it).

I still am not sure where the Sacred Story is taking me, but I will continue to follow/take the course.

I have a hard time digging deep and I am hoping that I will be able to find out what is at the root of my vices. I believe that if I can find the root then I can have healing.

Be Calm and Turn It Over to Jesus – Always!

I have experienced a feeling of healing from some of my addictions and vices. It is such a relief and I need to thank the Divine Healer. This will be a prayer of gratefulness.

This was a very powerful week! I thought I had it ‘figured out’ but sitting with the prayer exercises…it took me a whole different direction. I thought about the exercises in the night and throughout my day and insights came to me!! I was confused at first but prayed for peace and to not be afraid…day-by-day my story began to unfold, while I don’t have all the answers, I understand that I never will and it is ok. At first I worried that I was ‘doing it right’ but had the feeling that what ever came out was right. I appreciate the simple prompts that kept me on the path to discovery. I think I am learning!

This was amazingly difficult. I’m glad you talked about how saints became saints after realizing they sucked out loud—which I appear to do. I repeatedly make choices when I can make better ones. Really, a very clear theme once I saw it. I can’t fix me, because right now I don’t like me very much. Luckily, Christ still likes me and brought me to this understanding and will help me move through it safely; but it is so very hard to look at right now. It’s a law of physics I believe – to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If I can feel this bad, I can feel that good. I don’t yet, but just think of how powerful that will be when I do. I heard that God’s Dream for me is bigger than my dream for me; I think I might get there. Not today, but if I keep listening with courage I will.

Last week was a very good experience for me. I was able to write what needed to be written. I just need to fit it in three pages or 1000 words. That’s my goal this week. I got sick starting Saturday evening and still getting over it. I hope to be well enough this week to finalize my letter to Jesus. Please pray for me. Thank you!

What I found most amazing about this exercise is that I was so apprehensive and anxious about writing this letter, but when I began praying about it, it was as though all the exercises this week came together for me in my mind as a giant puzzle and the connections were all there. I could not believe the extreme peace this brought me. It all made sense and I understood so much about the various connections from my very youth, which brought me to this point. I know I have so much more to learn, but it was so clear that the Lord was offering me such a clear understanding of what I needed to see to move forward in my walk with him. It was and is absolutely incredible. The clarity of understanding is what I still finding so amazing and each day I thank God for Him leading me on this journey. He didn’t promise it would be easy, but it has so far brought me more peace than I’ve felt in a long time and growth in my relationship with the Lord. It is what I’ve been missing for so many years in my life and I am eternally grateful.

What I found most amazing about this exercise is that I was so apprehensive and anxious about writing this letter, but when I began praying about it, it was as though all the exercises this week came together for me in my mind as a giant puzzle and the connections were all there. I could not believe the extreme peace this brought me. It all made sense and I understood so much about the various connections from my very youth, which brought me to this point. I know I have so much more to learn, but it was so clear that the Lord was offering me such a clear understanding of what I needed to see to move forward in my walk with him. It was and is absolutely incredible. The clarity of understanding is what I still finding so amazing and each day I thank God for Him leading me on this journey. He didn’t promise it would be easy, but it has so far brought me more peace than I’ve felt in a long time and growth in my relationship with the Lord. It is what I’ve been missing for so many years in my life and I am eternally grateful.

It was easier for me to write the letter as speaking directly to Jesus, just as I would pray. If I tried to “pretty it up” it didn’t seem to be as true. I found this strangely comforting – maybe because I felt like I was speaking directly to Our Lord with no intermediary (i.e. a priest). Because I wanted it to be true, I really had to dig deep to try to find the root cause of my sins. I still have not identified all the causes, connections, etc. but I feel for the first time, that I am beginning to understand why I lived my past life the way that I did. It is a tiny step, but it is the path I wish to walk.

Thank you for having me do this exercise of writing the letter to Jesus. I feel more connected and loved or I should say I am allowing my heart to feel these things.

I was put at greater ease after reading about the explanation of the “whole life” aspect in contrast to what I was anxious/unsettled about when I thought about it early on. I found it especially helpful to hear that writing this letter should not be made into a mountain and somehow this struck my heart as a reassurance that daunting though the task might sound it is not a burden or a time to struggle mightily but rather something to be a fountain of relief and calm. This bit of reminder was the most helpful in urging me to engage fully in this week’s exercises.

You’re encouraging words every week have kept me with this program. I would be gone by now without them.

I had a breakthrough when I let go of some of the terminology that I couldn’t identify with like addiction and the definition of pride and some of the other vices. I realized Pride applied to me even though I wasn’t prideful in a boastful way—that out of a sense of woundedness and feelings of inadequacy, pride and narcissism were prevalent in my life and evident in a pattern of behaviour. I was also enlightened when praying the rosary and for the mystery of the Immaculate Conception, I recognized God gifting the Blessed Mother for her Sacred Story. I wasn’t sure about writing the letter, but it helped me to just begin and I didn’t think about it being complete or readable to anyone else, I just wrote and found that I was able to identify some behaviours that I hadn’t recognized before.

First try, I listed vices, addictions linking to commandments, named people, events. Second try – now understand object to weave in my story often comparing my life experiences with St Ignatius life experiences; keener insight into causes, behaviors, offenses, people/events perspective; educational in vices, commandments, grace; deeper faith/gratitude to God; I’m overwhelmed with reality of my past arrogance, pride, selfishness in deliberately turning away from One who willingly suffered, gave his life for me, out of his love for me. Thank you Fr Watson for this unique prayer gift, and to Loving Spirit’s lifeline – grace – an open heart a will to listen, obey, love, serve!

Writing this letter was very difficult and I was definitely anxious, but I told Jesus all of this and asked for his help and as a result, I came to some insights I have never considered before in my life. It was an exhausting exercise but a wonderful exercise!

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