Week #9

Forty Weeks ~ Sacred Story

Week 9 Prayer Exercises

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Encouragements & Wisdom

In addition to this week’s prayer materials, there are Encouragements and Wisdom (PDF). You can also View E&W for Week 9 as a webpage.

 

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Part One
Listening to Your History

1 I will select my 15-minute quiet times for the week ahead and visualize where I will go each day and at what times. I will ask God for the grace to keep those times sacred throughout the week. I will have my notebook at hand and spend no more than 15-minutes in each formal prayer session.

2 My 15-minute quiet prayer this ninth week consists of six simple prayer exercises, one each for Monday through Saturday. I can use my Sunday prayer time to read over the prayer exercises to set my heart for the week ahead. If I am doing two prayer sessions a day, I have the option to engage each exercise twice.

3 I will begin each 15-minute prayer period by sitting in a comfortable position. Speaking God’s name, and with personal words from my heart, I ask to be open to my own heart and life story as I enter the short time of prayer. If I focus better by breathing deeply and saying God’s name with each inhale and exhale, then I will do so. I will pray with personal words from my heart to see what I have not seen before, and to see connections between aspects of my life story. I am invited to watch these components of my life narrative with the Divine Physician by my side. Christ invites me to wake up in my life.


I will awaken to the present moment.
I will take each day and each exercise as it comes.
I cannot do Sacred Story better by going faster.
I will ask God to help me.
I will awaken to my spiritual nature and to the inspirations that inspire faith, hope and love.
I will awaken to the inspirations that inspire cynicism, impatience and lusts. I will wake up!

 

Focus Affirmation for Week Nine

I will say this affirmation aloud once daily:

I believe every thought, word and deed of mine carries a force that can change me, others, and history.

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Read this reflection at the beginning of the week

The six spiritual diagnostic exercises for this week’s lesson offer you the potential for more enlightenment. Spend your 15-minute sessions this week listening to your heart. Ask God for the grace to discern the key elements in your life story linked to: gratitude; relationships; spiritual, social and financial values; and those you need to forgive, or whose forgiveness you need accept. Take one day for each of the six spiritual diagnostics. Deciphering these can help you see the two plot-lines in your life history more clearly. Be sure to ask for God’s assistance to “see” each of these six elements. Use the personal name for God to ask for this grace for each day’s prayer.

For your journal exercise, write one short phrase at the end of each day’s lesson: one phrase capturing an aspect of what you wrote that increases your faith, hope and love, and one aspect that diminished the same.

 

First Spiritual Exercise for Monday — GRATITUDE:

I ask God for the grace to remember the one experience, event or person for which I am most grateful. It could be a kindness someone showed me. It could be a loving gesture from a parent, friend, husband, wife or child. It could be something that did not happen to me—some danger or threat, sickness or accident that was avoided or minimized. It could be some significant event in my life that moved me in a new direction. It could be a spiritual experience that opened me to a deeper hope and joy in my life. What comes to mind? I will pray for the grace to recall the feelings I felt at the time of the event and take note of the reasons why. I pray to see connections in my responses to other prayer exercises as they occur. Before I finish my prayer, I will write my memory in one sentence below and why it inspires gratitude.

Example: My brother with Down’s Syndrome brought our family together and made us realize the true meaning of life and love.

 

 

Second Spiritual Exercise for Tuesday — RELATIONAL GOAL:

I ask God for the grace to identify the most important relational goal I can imagine for my life story. It could be with God, my spouse, my children, my family or a close friend. This is the one relational goal that if I accomplished it, would cause me to believe my life was fulfilled. I will look for connections in my responses to other prayer exercises as they occur to me. Before I finish my prayer, I will write my relationship goal in one sentence below and why it would define my relational success.

Example: That I can be a faithful father and husband for life.

 

 

Third Spiritual Exercise for Wednesday — SPIRITUAL GOAL:

I ask God for the grace to understand my most hoped for spiritual goal for my life story. It could be with God, my spouse, my children, my family or a close friend. It is the one spiritual goal that if I accomplished it, would cause me to believe that my life was fulfilled. I will look for connections in my responses to other prayer exercises as they occur to me. Before I finish my prayer, I will write my spiritual goal in one sentence below and why it would define spiritual success for me.

Example: That I do something every day to strengthen my relationship with God and also one thing to serve those most in need.

 

 

Fourth Spiritual Exercise for Thursday — SOCIETAL GOAL:

I ask God for the grace to understand my most hoped for societal or political goal for my life story. It could be with God, or for my spouse, my children, my family, a close friend or for the Church, the country or the world. It is the one societal goal that if I accomplished it, or helped accomplish it, would cause me to believe my life was fulfilled. I will look for connections in my responses to other prayer exercises as they occur to me. Before I finish my prayer, I will write my societal goal in one sentence below and why it would define social success for me and the world.

Example: That I will not be afraid to take a stand to help promote a culture that respects life from conception till death.

 

 

Fifth Spiritual Exercise for Friday — FINANCIAL GOAL:

I will ask God the grace to understand my most hoped for financial or economic goal or ambition for my life story. It could be for God, my spouse, my children, my family, a close friend or for the Church, country or the world. It is the one financial goal that if I accomplished it, or helped accomplish it, would cause me to believe my life was fulfilled. I will look for connections in my responses to other prayer exercises as they occur to me. Before I finish my prayer, I will write my financial goal in one sentence below and why it would define financial success for me.

Example: That I work to live and not live to work and that I can teach my children that living simply is the source of joy.

 

 

Sixth Spiritual Exercise for Saturday — FORGIVENESS:

I ask God for the grace to understand the one person who would be most grateful to receive my forgiveness. I also ask God for the grace to understand the one person whose forgiveness I would be most grateful to receive. Before finishing my prayer, I will write two short sentences below, one for each person, describing why gratitude would be present in each instance of forgiveness.

Example: That I will continue to ask God to help me forgive my parents for getting divorced and breaking our family apart.

 

 

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I am starting a Relationship that will carry me
for the rest of my life.

All relationships require time and patience.
I will strive for patience and ask for God’s help
when I don’t understand a lesson.

I will learn the fundamentals and open my heart to God.

I trust that God will lead me.

I believe that my Sacred Story will unfold in truth,
in powerlessness and with my patience.

I believe that Jesus awaits me with His
grace, mercy and forgiving love.

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