Do you often wish you had more time in your day? More time for physical exercise, social activities, prayer, reading, hobbies, etc.? As many of us are constantly running from one activity or deadline to another, we can assert that creating patterns in our lives that help us to be healthy, balanced, and open to God’s guidance is hard work. Especially in times of transition or new phases in life, habits that sustain us become very important in order to keep ourselves grounded in the things that are most important. Even when we’re not in transition, there are usually areas in our lives that could use more attention in order to move us toward greater balance.
This meeting helps members to look at the spiritual habits that influence this balance.
Specifically, members are invited to identify what about CLC has been helpful to their spiritual growth. It may be community, prayer resources, accountability in their spiritual life, time for silence, a consistent space for processing, or opportunities for service or retreats. An identification of these tools may encourage young adults to seek out these spaces or utilize these resources throughout the various transitions in their lives. Reflecting on these habits may help members to articulate a commitment to their continued spiritual growth.
This meeting is a launching point for the group, a time of review. It can be helpful to physically bring in objects that can trigger past experiences of prayer with the group. For example: ambiance might include books or resources used in the past, replaying a song which was helpful in the past as a part of the opening prayer, sharing journal entries from retreats, or sharing pictures of the group over the years.
Lord, help us to hear your voice, see your beauty, and experience your mystery in our gathering tonight. May our sharing and listening reveal to us even more your presence in our daily living.
May our community be centered in Christ and in the Paschal Mystery. May our spirituality continue to draw life from the gifts you have given us: the Sacred Scriptures, the liturgy and our worship together, the shared wisdom of our Church, and the revelation of God’s will through the events of our times.
May the life, writings, and Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius continue to be a characteristic instrument in our shared prayer together, particularly through personal and communal prayer and discernment, daily awareness examination, and spiritual guidance.
May all of these tools you have given us, open us to whatever God wishes for us in each concrete situation of our daily lives. May they aid us in seeking and finding God in all things.
Adapted from the General Principles of CLC #5
Thinking back over your week, describe one thing that you do that you consider a habit.
Invite members into a short reflection on their time in CLC by guiding them through the following reflection.
- I take a few moments to rest into the stillness of God’s presence in this moment and among beloved companions.
- I pause and reflect about my time in CLC. What comes to mind first as being most life-giving to me about this community?
- I recall my history in CLC- how did I first learn about it? How did I first become involved? Who were some of the first people I met? Who have been the members in my group(s)? What key experiences stand out? I look upon these moments with gratitude.
- What about my experience of CLC has influenced my daily life? Has it affected my individual habits and attitudes towards prayer, my way of relating to my family, my work or schoolwork, my understanding of God, my faith?
- Are there other things that I have committed to doing weekly over the past few years that have helped me grow in my spirituality? Do I find time to worship with a community? Have I attended retreats? Have I tried praying regularly?
- How do I desire to continue to grow in my spiritual life in the next few years? What do I fear may be obstacles to growing in my faith in the future?
- Do I notice anything about myself, such as how I have grown in my time in CLC? Do I notice any feelings that emerge (even sadness, confusion, or pain) as I look back over my time in CLC?
- What habits can be further cultivated for continued growth?
- What holds us back from cultivating the habits that we know would be good for us?
- How can we support one another in nurturing self-care and balance?
- What has struck you as you have been listening to others share? Do you notice any patterns or similarities?
- How have you been feeling throughout the meeting? Comfortable? Anxious? Curious?
- Is there anything you would like to share after listening to another person share?
- What is remaining with you? What do you hope to return to in prayer at another point in the week?
Distribute the handout and introduce that it is available for them to reflect with this week. Encourage them to spend 10 minutes looking at it this week and praying for guidance in developing habits of self-care. Allow some time during check-in at your next meeting to share what people discovered in that reflection.
As an alternative, consider utilizing the Self Care hand-out as the focus exercise of the next meeting in order to deepen this week’s reflection. Continuing this reflection in the group may create the space for members to identify concrete commitments of self-care. Encourage members to identify how they can exercise accountability with one another in fulfilling their identified commitments.
Invite a volunteer to lead. Give time for each person to offer any hopes or petitions for the future of the group and our time together.
“The spirituality of our Community is centered on Christ and on participation in the Paschal Mystery. Our spirituality draws its life from the Sacred Scriptures, the liturgy, the doctrinal development of the Church, and the revelation of God’s Will through the events of our times. Within the context of these universal sources, we hold the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius as the specific source and the characteristic instrument of our spirituality. Our vocation calls us to live this spirituality, which opens and disposes us to whatever God wishes in each concrete situation of our daily life. We recognize particularly the necessity of prayer and discernment, personal and communal, of the daily examination of consciousness and of spiritual guidance as important means for seeking and finding God in all things.” (CLC-USA General Principles #5)
“And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.” Genesis 2:2-3
“In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.” Mark 1:35
“You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability.” 2 Peter 3:17
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2