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 one of the given Scripture passages 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 and add 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. The “Orientation” below gives help for how to arrange the sessions of this Step.
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.
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:
As St. Ignatius says: “Here it will be to ask for the grace to be glad and rejoice intensely because of the great joy and the glory of Christ our Lord” .
This grace what we ask in the Fourth Phase is part of the general goal of identification with Christ and with his ideals throughout the Exercises. With other words, the joy asked now is a “unitive” grace as the compassion, shame and sorrow were in the Third Phase. And is a gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit as we saw it in the “Fourth Phase Introduction”.
Besides this generous joy with Christ we can be glad also for what the resurrection of Jesus means for us, for the hope of our own life now and of our future resurrection.
The appearance of Jesus to the disciples on the road to Emmaus is also a paradigm of catechumenate. The story presents a basic teaching about Jesus (done by himself here) and introduction to the Eucharist with the liturgical gesture of the “breaking of the bread” following the explanation of the Scriptures.
Luke is the only New Testament writer who mentions the suffering Messiah, an idea not found elsewhere in the biblical and rabbinic literature that knows only the triumphant (political) messianism. The typology Jesus used for himself is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah which was not a messianic figure. Jesus used the role of “servant” and the title “son of man” (meaning simple “man”) to clearly avoid the political messianic role.
For this as for all the contemplations of the Fourth Phase we take as model the first appearance of the risen Jesus to his mother from Step 28. Read with attention also the [226-229]“Notes on how to proceed” for the Fourth Phase in the Manual
- Additional readings:
1 Peter 1:3-12
Is 53 – The Suffering Servant
In the Fourth Phase the companions can end the contemplations with a prayerful dialog or choose the threefold prayer as in the previous phase. After some sharing and jotting in their diary they close with an Our Father…