First Spiritual Exercises – Restoring Love
Now says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. Because you are precious in my sight, and honoured, and I love you.
We pray that refugees like Ahmad in Indonesia, who has experienced so much hardship, experience the restoration of love and a bright future. We pray that his tailoring centre continues to provide a sense of belonging, psychosocial support to other refugees and builds a community of acceptance.
1. Desire...I ask the Spirit for the Gift of Love
I hold a cross. I trace and feel the figure of Jesus on it, considering his life-giving love.
I touch his wounds and feel the touch of the Spirit on mine.
I read the prayer texts that we are precious and dearly loved by a personal God.
I ask the Spirit to be loved and loving when I most need it – even in the bleak times when love is denied and life itself may be at stake.
2. Relish...Today I live in the loving Trinity
Now I imagine I am surrounded in a circle by the Loving Trinity, Father, Jesus and Spirit.
Each person addresses me by name, saying, ‘You are precious to me, I love you’.
Without knowing quite how this love will feel when I can barely love myself, or how I will feel loved when my situation is without much affection or tenderness, I sit humbly for a while in the mystery of the Loving Trinity and my desire.
I relish being loved.
3. Love... I breathe in the Spirit of Love
Then I imagine and feel the Spirit breathing the gift of Love into me.
I breathe it in deep, wait, then breathe it out to fill my life and all my relationships, and flow into those who have been denied love, or live a loveless life.
I repeat as desired – breathing, loved, loving.
I conclude with thanks, cross in hand, moving into daily life feeling I am truly loved.
PRAYER TIME: 10 minutes.
Click here to download the prayer of Restoring Love.