Listen to the Spirit… adapt as needed…
stay longer where you are drawn…
“The most important qualities in the person who enters into these exercises are openness, generosity, and courage.” – Spiritual Exercises #5
Suggested Song: “God Is” by Danielle Rose
Grace to seek/ask: To have a deeper awareness of how I imagine & relate to God…
Exodus 3:11-14 — “God replied to Moses: I am who I am. Then he added: This is what you will tell the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.”
Acts 17:22-29 — “The God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything. Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.”
Please share for a few minutes about how you are doing, based on the following questions:
- Since the last time we’ve met, what has given you life or drawn you closer to God? -In particular, were you able to get in-touch with a sense of gratitude for the gifts God has given you? Did you experience or understand God in a deeper way at all by getting in-touch with these gifts? If so, how?
- What has drained you of life or drawn you away from God?
- Please describe any significant encounter with God in prayer, service, or relationship with others.
So far in this new section of meetings, we’ve considered different attitudes that might help us discover who God is–creating space and internal dispositions that might make it more possible for us to be aware of God’s self-revelation in each of our lives. Tonight, we’ll move on to considering our different “images” of God–ways we think of and relate to God. We may have each shared a bit during our spiritual autobiographies about who God has been for us over the course of our lives and who God is for us now. Now let’s look more deeply at how we “image” God–how we each see, understand, and experience God–and how our images affect us and those around us. Let’s read over tonight’s handout together (“Images of God“) and reflect on some related questions.
Listening and Sharing
Invite members to consider what images of God in their life have been helpful and unhelpful to them by considering some of the following questions. Encourage members not to feel pressured to have to answer every question…
- Who was the God I was introduced to as a child? Who or what were the most influential factors in shaping this image of God? How did this God positively or negatively affect me?
- How and when–if at all–did my God change?…Who is God for me now?
- What causes me to struggle with or question the God of my life now? How is the way I relate to God now affecting me positively (helping me grow, become my most authentic self, give or serve more whole-heartedly, etc.)?
- What might be an even deeper expression of how I relate to God now?…In what ways might my image of God still need to be purified or transformed?
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 this time differently, such as with more open ended questions, etc.
- 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 stays with you? What do you hope to return to in prayer at another point in the week?
Hearts on Fire – Page 50 – An Intimate Request by John Eagan SJ
How do you, Lord, look at me?
What do you feel in your heart for me?