Step 14: Three Types of Attitude in Scriptural Case Studies

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 meditation" and one of the given Scripture stories 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.

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 this meditation we ask for the grace to be able to choose always what serves more the fulfillment of our existence, as Ignatius words it "what is more for the glory of His Divine Majesty and the salvation of my soul" [152], which is the grace involved in the "Principle and Foundation" [23]. With other words, we might say that we seek here to receive from God the desire to act always with spiritual freedom, clarity and according to our authentically discerned choices".

Orientation and meditation:

We will repeat in this Step the "Three Types" meditation with the help of three Scripture stories each representing one Type.

As we told before, "The meditations in the Second Phase become more and more specific and concrete as we get near to the decision, beginning at the general vision of "The Kingdom of Christ" [91-98] that ushers this Phase, through the more specific "Two Standards" [136-148] to this demanding meditation. Further difference is that while in the previous two meditations the stress was on the call coming "from above" for so to say, here our attention turns toward the possible human approaches "from below" to salvation (1), namely we will consider three types of inner attitudes people can have toward the saving gift of God. This might be called a "test-meditation"(2), the goal of which is to test if the freedom of the companions and their readiness to accept the consequences of their choice of a way of life as they gradually have understood these from the previous meditations and in fact beginning from the "Principle and Foundation" [23] and from the understanding of the abyss of human brokenness and of the reality of sin in our world in the First Phase. The choice of the value system of Christ should translate in every question or issue of our daily existence and now the meditation on the "Three Types" aims to help us to render our love for God and his way concrete…"

For this Step read "Repetition and scriptural presentation of the "Three Types of Attitudes"" from the chapter "Three Types of Attitude" of the Manual

After reading the presentation of the three "case studies", go to meditate upon these stories one by one.

Scripture passages:

1. Mk 10:17-22 - The First Type

2. Lk 9:57-62 - The Second Type

3. Lk 19:1-10 - The Third Type

Final Prayers:

" Before the threefold prayer in a similar way as in the "Two Standard" meditation in [147], the companions need to do their sharing on the things understood during this exercise, to summarize it in their diary to see the road they are making. This notes later will turn to be helpful in eventual decision situations when the companions will need to apply the principles learned here.

The question of how to use financial resources they have - or how to obtain them if they don’t have - are important issues in the life of married couples who try to take seriously the integrity of their existence and their faith in God. To find what is right to do, where is attachment and what are their real necessities will require a continuous effort of discernment and openness for change. There is no formula or recipe to follow and we cannot wait always to feel that we know the right solution. The crucial thing is to be aware and try to make good decisions -which in time will become also "better" - and God will bless our efforts and even the non-too-perfect choices if we sincerely try to understand what is the best in a given situation. Not even the bad choices are fatal as God can write straight with our crooked lines and turn out good from bad, too. We need not to be afraid but have an unshaken unconditional trust in God.

In the threefold prayer then they will ask to be able to realize their desire of spiritual freedom, to rely on God alone and accept the consequences of their choices. The following note gives a help to how to pray at this point. "

(Excerpts from the chapter "Three Types of Attitude" of the Manual )