Ruth 2 Discovering God’s amazing grace
Reading: Ruth 2
Introducing consolation and desolation
Invite someone to open in prayer.
Every event has the possibility of connecting or disconnecting us from God. Being life giving or life draining. Ignatius calls this consolation (life giving) and desolation (life draining).
Image from Landmarks by Silf
The issue is which way are we facing? If we are facing Jesus then the shadows are behind us. That’s a life giving place, a place of consolation. If we are facing away from Jesus, the shadows are in front of us and the same event can be one of desolation. What we need is a Copernican Revolution, where we realise that the God and the world of our current circumstances do not revolve around us, but that we and the world we inhabit revolve around the son, that is Jesus Christ.
Read Ruth 2 together.
Where are the potential places of consolation (life giving places) for Ruth?
Where are the potential places of desolation (life draining places) for Ruth?
Explain that the two questions you have asked of the passage you are now going to ask of God and before God for yourselves. Worth stating before you start that the smallest sometimes most insignificant this are where God may direct us, nothing is too big or small for him.
Lead people slowly through the Examen. Use a combination of conversation and guided praying.
- Stop and become aware of God’s presence. (See introduction or session one lead people to a quite place before God.)
- Invite people to ask Jesus to bring to mind the places of consolation (life giving places) from today. What was it that helped you connect with God; what was it that was life giving. Breathe in the gratitude you felt and the life of that moment.
- Invite people to ask Jesus to bring to mind the places of desolation (life draining places) from today. Why did you feel disconnected or drained? Stay and acknowledge how you feel but don’t try to change it. Breathe deeply the love of God, allow him to fill you.
- Invite people to give thanks for the experiences of the day. Either in the quietness of their hearts or out loud. Spend some time sharing the journey you have been on.
Invite people to do the Examen each day.
Please remember that Sharon and team are available to listen to issues raised or to take things deeper where needed.
Ask someone to close in prayer.
Mark Searle, 22/06/2008