Recite prayerfully the mantra from the end of Part 1:
“God loves and delights in me.
God loves and delights in me.
God loves and delights in me.”
A favorite of many people, Psalm 139 speaks of God’s nearness to you. It speaks of being at home with God. Pray these lines very slowly and reflectively as your opening prayer.
1. O God, you search me and know me
2. You know if I am standing or sitting.
You perceive my thoughts from far away.
3. Whether I walk or lie down, you are watching;
you are familiar with all my ways.
True spirituality means to be at home with yourself (first of all), with other people, with all creation, and above all, with God. You are dwelling in God, and God dwells in you. You are at home when you are with God.
Think of yourself as a house with four rooms: one is the room of your physical life, another of your emotional life, a third of your intellectual life, and finally there is the room of your spiritual life. These four rooms are all part of the whole house, of the whole you. Now think of yourself as entering each room of your house for at least part of each day:
Now spend some time writing in your journal as you reflect on your experience of living in these four rooms today.
Think about places in your everyday life–maybe your bedroom, the kitchen or family room, a favorite chair, the corner of a room, a window, a garden, a familiar spot in church. In what ways are you “at home” in this place? In what ways do you feel whole (holy) there?
Let yourself go to that place either through your imagination or through actually going there. Write a description of this place in your journal. How does this place make you feel? Why is this place important to you? What does or has happened to you in this place? What other people do you associate with this place? Is God in this place with you? How are you experiencing God right now?
Your favorite place will only be as nurturing as the spirit you have brought to it. Real estate ads offer “houses” for sale, not homes because a house is made a home by the people who live there. Home is the place where you (and others who live with you) become yourselves more fully. What in your home makes you fully yourself? How does it help you to be aware of God?
Thank God for the graces of your retreat. Know that you are already “at home” with God, yourself, and others, but simply be more aware of it.
Say again the words of the simple hymn from Part 1: “We are one with the heart of each other. We are one with the heart of love. We are one with the heart of creation. We are one with God.”
Throughout the week remind yourself that you are at home with yourself and with God. Repeat this mantra often: “God lives in me and I live in God.”
Now turn to the next part of the retreat. Part 4: Finding God Through Relationships.