Listen to the Spirit … adapt as needed … stay longer where you are drawn …
“I ask for the gift of being able to recognize the false lights of Lucifer…and for the help not to be led astray; I also ask for what I desire: a graced knowledge of true human living exemplified in Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God, and the grace to live my life in his way.” – Spiritual Exercises #139
Life is about self-revelation and revealing ourselves in a multitude of ways to the people around us and to the world. Through our actions and words, we unveil who we are and share ourselves with humanity. Intimacy requires allowing another person in our heart, mind, body, and soul. In its purest form, it is a complete and unrestrained sharing of self. It is the process of mutual self-revelation that inspires us to give ourselves completely to another in the mystery we call love.
In reference to Matthew Kelly, author of The Seven Levels of Intimacy, he expresses how sex is not intimacy. It can be a part of it, but it doesn’t come with a guarantee. And yet, almost every reference to intimacy in modern popular culture is a reference to sex. If we are ever to truly experience intimacy, we must first move beyond the notion that sex and intimacy are synonymous.
How we look at and live our sexuality reveals:
- who we are
- who God is
- what is love and what it really means
- how society and even the universe are ordered
- what our destiny is
For man or woman who has not been married to that special someone, the most difficult part is waiting. It is common that their sex drive is at full blast and the fire is only fueled by the constant onslaught of public sexuality. Lust and sexual desire for other people feels like a natural need and feeling as if they are being held back from experiencing. However, the Lord wants what is best for His children. Desiring someone who does not belong to us in marriage produces frustration and deviance from the course that would lead to a happy marriage. What God wants for us is true love and intimacy…to be close as physically and spiritually possible to a person who will be with us for the rest of our lives. Intimacy could not be achieved with someone who could legally just walk out of a relationship and never come back.
When we disrobe in front of someone, it is a vulnerable moment because it is a commitment of giving ourselves completely to that person…everything that is good and bad…and everything we like or dislike about ourselves. Nudity goes beyond just the physical revealing of the body. It goes deep into the soul and inner being. For this reason, God wants us to reveal to the one we are joined to for life.
Sex frees us to love completely and allows us to be fully human…living in the light of God’s truth. The union in which we become one flesh is the key to discovering the meaning of the whole existence, the meaning of life. Our bodies reveal the core truth about the human person, we are made to give ourselves in love. This intimate union is a reflection, a visible sign, of the invisible mystery of God…the deep and endless self-giving love within the Trinity. God is at heart a communion of persons, an exchange of love. He chose to create the sexual nature of our bodies as the expression of his own inner life of communion… all in His good timing. Until that time, we need to consciously and actively work to overcome these tendencies. Christ calls us to freedom…through His very life, and the action of the Holy Spirit, He offers us countless graces to be able to respond. We must ask ourselves…
Will I accept Christ’s offer of redemption and freedom?
Or will I settle for something less?
Suggested Song: Two Worlds by Disney
Grace to seek/ask: To live in the light of His truth…
Try to keep this short, focused on how people’s hearts are as they come to the meeting.
There doesn’t need to be something written for this for each meeting, but if there is a way of checking in that would be helpful in setting the theme for the meeting, include it.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things… – 1 Corinthians
John 8:32 – You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
Corinthians 13:1-13 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always persevere. Love never fails.
Listening and Sharing
Is my primary relationship helping me to become the best version of myself?
Have I learned to be comfortable with who I am? Am I afraid to reveal myself?
These are questions that allow community members to listen to and share about what is moving within them after the focus exercise. Specific questions about the focus exercise can be included here, but facilitators may choose to approach it differently such as with more open ended questions.
- 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?
Hearts on Fire, Page – Page 53: Teach Me Thy Paths by Peter Faber SJ
Show, O Lord, Thy ways to me,
and teach me Thy paths.
Direct me in Thy truth, and teach me;
for Thou art God my Savior.