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 file “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 gospels did not say anything of the appearance of Jesus to Mary, however St. Ignatius supposed that it should have taken place because of the love between mother and son. This contemplation presents an occasion to reflect upon the place and role of Mary in our life as our model, the “perfect redeemed” who became our mother, too”.
This contemplation, [218-225] “First Exercise: The Appearance of the Risen Jesus to His Mother” is part of the “Fourth Phase” of the Manual
Read with attention also the following [226-229] “Notes on how to proceed” for the Fourth Phase
- After the encounter of the risen Jesus with his mother we can contemplate on the appearances to the other women at the empty tomb and particularly to Mary Magdalene from the gospels:
1. Mk 16,1-11; Mt 28:1-10; Lk 24:1-12
2. Jn 20:1-18
- Additional reading: Col 3:1-4
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…