We go to our place of prayer quiet down a short while and begin with some prayer:
We place ourselves in the presence of God and pray that everything we do would serve the good for us and for all.
Asking what we want:
In this step we ask the grace to open ourselves to God’s creating love and understand the vocation for which we are created.
Orientation and meditation:
“GOD CREATES EVERY MAN AND WOMAN OUT OF LOVE AND FOR THE SAME HUMAN VOCATION: TO LOVE AND PRAISE GOD WITH THEIR EXISTENCE AND SERVE HIM WITH REVERENCE. LIVING THIS WAY THEY WILL FIND THE FULFILLMENT OF THEIR LIFE AND COLLABORATE IN THEIR SALVATION AND THAT OF ALL HUMANKIND.
ALL OTHER THINGS – MATERIAL GOODS AS WELL AS SPIRITUAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL GIFTS - ARE CREATED OUT OF THE SAME LOVE OF GOD TOWARD EVERY HUMAN BEING, TO HELP THEM TO REALIZE THEIR VOCATION.
HENCE, EVERYONE OF US SHOULD USE OR ACCEPT ALL CREATED THINGS EXACTLY AS FAR AS THESE ARE HELPFUL TOWARD THE HUMAN VOCATION OF LOVE; AND LEAVE THEM WHENEVER THEY ARE VERIFIED TO BE AN OBSTACLE IN THIS” *
After this preparation we read one of the Scripture passages given below. Following the reading we spend a short time to reflect on it. In this way our emerging thoughts and feeling will be a response to the Word of God just read. Finally we jot some points in our notebook concerning our experiences and insights while meditating on the material of this step.
Couples can read it aloud to each other and after the reflection then share as companions on the road the thoughts and feelings emerged in each and take notes. If the companions desire, they can spend in silent meditation further 15-20 minutes.
To each of the readings we dedicate one session at least, always beginning with the same prayers, reading, reflection, sharing and ending with the final prayers. In this way the Second Step will occupy five meetings or sessions. Usually we do one session a day but it can vary according to what the companions feel like appropriate.
1. Psalms 139
2. Isaiah 43:1-5
3. Isaiah 49:1-16
4. Ephesians 1:3-14
5. Psalms 100
We spend some time speaking with God about our experiences in this session; thank him for the graces received. Close with an Our Father...
* From the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, “Principle and Foundation” , first part, our translation (see “First Phase: Reforming” in the Manual).