Listen to the Spirit … adapt as needed … stay longer where you are drawn …
“(For as it happens)…some persons happen to be slower in finding what they are seeking, that is, contrition, sorrow, and tears for their sins. Similarly, some persons work more diligently than others, and are more pushed back and forth and tested by different spirits.” – Spiritual Exercises #4
“The person…will benefit greatly…by offering all their desires and freedom to him so that His Divine Majesty can make use of their persons and of all they possess in whatsoever way is in accord with his most holy will.” – Spiritual Exercises #5
Some of us are very gifted, but we may think our gifts are too little to be used. At times, we may be intimidated by others who have similar gifts on a higher level. Intimidation, fear of either losing, or being criticized, can prevent us from using our talent. But no gift is too small to use for God and humanity.
Every human being is endowed with some gifts or talents…and each person is gifted according to his or her ability. God has given each one of us natural abilities, time, talents, and treasure to use for the building up of His kingdom on earth. However, recognizing our talents and using them to serve those around us, and therefore God, is the first and often most difficult step.
Discerning our vocation is an ongoing process…and yet, we have the tendency to associate “discernment” with “decision” at times, which is truly not the way to view the process. Even after a decision has been made, we should continue to discern whether it was the best choice. Regardless of where we may be in our lives, discerning enables us to determine if we are on the right track and doing something that is fulfilling and brings us joy.
Our Lord entrusts us with gifts and graces and the freedom to use them as we think best. We either get more or we lose what we have…and we either advance towards God or we slip back. We must ask ourselves, “Do I earnestly seek to serve God with the gifts, talents, and graces He has given to me?”
Suggested Song: Who Says by Selena Gomez
Lord, Let Your Divine life and energy flow into us, giving us the power to love and care for one another.
Help us to be committed to You, even in the face of many challenges.
Teach us to use the unique gifts that You have given to us to make the world a better reflection of Your will for all humankind. Amen.
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.
“A man knows when he has found his vocation when he stops thinking about how to live and begins to live.”- Thomas Merton
Roman 12:4-5 – Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.
Timothy 1:6-7 – For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
Matthew 25:14-30 – “For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, `Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more. His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, `Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’
He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, `Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, `You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’
Listening and Sharing
Do I recognize my gift?
Do I cherish or appreciate my gift or talent?
Am I using my time, talent, and treasure positively?
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?
Lord, be the ruler of my heart and thoughts, be the king of my home and relationships, and be the master of my work and service.
Help me to make good use of the gifts, talents, time, and resources you give me for your glory and your kingdom. Amen.