Step 10: The "Hidden Life" and the Value System of Jesus Christ

Each prayer session will be structured as it follows:

We go to our place of prayer quiet down a short while and begin with some prayer. After the opening prayer and asking the grace we want to receive in this step then read the orientation and one of the scripture quotes listed below, then we spend some time with silent prayer. At the end we jot down a diary about the experience of this meditation and share with our companion about it. Finish always with a short prayer. Each session should take at least half an hour and not more than one and the half hour. We remain with the material as long as we feel that it is fruitful in insights and feelings. We have given some scripture quotes to each occasion but others can be chosen for more prayer sessions to prolong the time spent with this step, which can take usually one or two weeks if we do it in our daily life with one prayer session a day.

Don’t forget to do the "Daily Examination of Consciousness"

The practice of Examination will be a great help that you need to use during this retreat.

Opening 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 the time spent for the following Step we will continue to contemplate the life of Jesus and do an essential meditation of the Spiritual Exercises called the "Two Standard" [136-148].

As for all the contemplations of the Second Phase "it will be to ask for an intimate knowledge of our Lord, who has become man for me, that I may love Him more and follow Him more closely" [104].

In the exercise about the "Two Standards" which is a meditation preparing us to decisions we ask to recognize the traps of the value system of Satan in our personal life and in our society in order to avoid them, and we ask the grace of the existential knowledge of the value system of Jesus and choose it when discerning about our decisions. The companions need to pray for each other’s choices and for the grace that they could help each other in this exercise and later in the decisions.

Orientation and meditation:

The contemplations we will do as we did in the case of the birth of Jesus in the precedent step, using the scriptural passages of the childhood and hidden life of Jesus. For the "Two Standards" meditation we have the material in the Manual in the chapter "The Two Standards: Conflicting Value Systems Defining Our Way"

Scripture Passages:

1. Lk 2:22-29- The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

2. Mt 2:13-23 - The Flight to Egypt and Return to Nazareth

3. Lk 2:41-50 - Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple

4. Lk 2:51-52 - The Hidden Life of Jesus

5. Deut 30:15.19 - The Way of Life and the Way of Death

6. Mt 7:13-14 - The Two Ways in Jesus’ Teaching

Final Prayers:

"At this juncture of the Exercises process the companions need to stop for a common review and sharing on how things are going. It is advisable to arrange a session when there is common prayer and after it each companion can describe her or her experiences, mainly regarding the last exercise on the "Two Standards", sharing the feelings and insights emerged during the meditation and what decisions seem necessary, if there is any. We should remember that the companions act also as spiritual guides to each other and it is important that they know what is happening with the other, but they should restrain from forcing each other on concrete decisions in any way…

"After this sharing the companions follow with three prayerful conversations. First asking the intercession of Mary (1) for their personal and common situation and end it with a Hail Mary… The second and third prayer is as usual with Jesus Christ (finished by the prayer Soul of Christ…) and with the Father. Conclude with an Our Father…"

(Excerpts from "147. Prayerful conversation, sharing and review" of the "Two Standards" in the Manual )

 

Notes:

(1) We propone that protestant companions address this prayer to the Holy Spirit.