For January 2009  

Instead of offering prayers for January 2009, I thought I would follow up on our December retreat by suggesting that we practice some of the strategies we have learned and discussed in 2008. You might consider this month trying these exercises and recording your thoughts and feelings in the retreat notebook to continue your personal journey. Of course, you can use this guideline in any way that seems to fit you and your life style. Some of you might want to work on one of the following suggestions the entire month or change the exercise daily. There is no right way- just what is comfortable and easiest for you as you begin. The main idea is to try

different exercises. Like anything in life, the more we practice something

new, the easier and more comfortable it becomes. Blessings to each of you.

          Mary Carter

  For the week of January 4:  

Practice the five finger prayer:

Start with your thumb and pray for those closest to you

Next is the pointer finger, praying for those who teach, instruct

Then comes the middle finger, the tallest- pray for our leaders

Next comes the ring finger, the weakest finger- pray for the weak,

          those in trouble or pain

And finally the baby finger- pray for yourself last.

  For the week of January 11:  

Try one or more of the breath prayers on the two page handout.

Remember to inhale as you pray the name you choose- God, Jesus, Shepherd

Then exhale as you pray what you want- give me peace, have mercy on meÖ

  For the week of January 18:  

 Try some of the imagery exercises:

a.     close your eyes and think of someone who needs the healing power

of Godís love; focus your attention on Godís presence within you;

imagine this presence as a warm light; picture the person who needs

healing and pray for the whole of that personís life; pray that this

person may be open to receiving the gifts of Godís love; close

your prayer by asking if there is anything you can do as an expression

of Godís love for this person and commit them into Godís keeping.


b.    choose a Bible passage or use one of the handouts from the retreat-

(Prodigal Son, Mary and Martha handouts)

put yourself into the scripture, character- use all five senses to

imagine what you see, feel, hear, taste and touch.

  For the week of January 25:  

Practice examen of consciousness- being more aware of Godís presence

in your daily life. You could do this every day this week or review last

weekís activities/events. Use the handout, answering the questions:


WHERE did you see Godís presence in your activities today?

WHERE did you sense His presence in your feelings?

WHAT did you see as Godís call to you today?

WHAT was your response to Him?

WHAT is the gift or grace that you need right now, today?


You could also use the handout based on the Lordís Prayer-

answering the questions within that text- Godís presence,

how did you seek Godís will? What is the ďbreadĒ that sustained

you this week? Did you forgive others- did you harm others-did

you make amends? Where was your faith, patience, love, hope

tested? Give thanks and name the blessings of the week.