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A Weekend Retreat by Fr. Larry Gillick, S.J., April 2016
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Gillick, Larry, S.J.
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This retreat was given by Fr. Larry Gillick, S.J. at the Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House, Lake Elmo, Minnesota, April 28 - May 1, 2016This retreat is meant to be listened to but it is also intended that each conference talk will lead to prayer.Conference 1 (20:32 min)A presentation on the meaning of the Spiritual Exercises as a way of recovery from chaos to relationships. Spirituality is misused if it is just for self-improvement it is inward preparing to go outward.Conference 2 (32:39 min)The Exercises are a method of beginning to look at how we look at things and how God looks at us through those things. Any relationship causes tension and the relationship that Jesus offers results in the tensions of His call against the call of our fragile humanity. The tensions Jesus causes are creative of valance and community. We will pray with the Gospel of John and how it plays with themes from the Book of Genesis during this retreat.Conference 3 (31:17 min)God’s Will is to be God, Who is love. God’s will is to love and be seen through the Light Who has come into the world as Life, Light and Love. We, as humans, do not achieve, but receive that Light, Life and Love. The reception of it all is completing in our lives the Will of God.Conference 4 (32:25 min)Praying is allowing ourselves to be loved in our truth by the Truth of God’s Love. Each of us is to be delighted by God, but we have to learn what delights us and accept God’s loving us there. Jesus meets the Woman at the Well and He continues her creation, her recovery, her return to her village. God’s Love is always creative of community.Conference 5 (35:55 min)Asking questions, listening to the answers form attitudes and our actions flow from these attitudes. The Ignatian questions and his answers form the beginnings of his spirituality. We pray with the experiences of life which form questions and we pray and ponder with all the possible answers. We do not change very deeply if we begin with changing our actions. We begin with listening in the presence of the God Who is love, to our answers.Conference 6 (32:58 min)There are implications to intimacy; relationships are responses. Firstly there is the “ah-ha”, the encounter, the excitement, but then comes the “oh-oh”, because any relationship calls us out of our self-containment and into the mystery of the relationship. Then comes, in time, the “ahh”, which is not always clarity and security, but trust and availability. Prayer is always an encounter leading us from self to community.Conference 7 (30:23 min)We are of this earth and the earth has its gravitational pull on us and other kinds of pulls. It is natural to us to be greedy, selfish, and tied to feelings of our not being “enough”. This world’s ways, this planet’s ways are to accumulate ourselves so in our eyes and in the eyes of others we will appear, seem to be, “enough” or more than “enough”. The temptation of Adam is our own, “If we only had that one other thing we would be sufficient”. This earth has its ways with us and the Exercises help us meet them, pray with them and find our ways to freedom from them.Conference 8 (30:24 min)Jesus is the inside of God now made visible. In this Year of Mercy, Jesus’ face is the face of the God of Healing, not just of being judicial and forgiving. If sin is selfish and forces insolation, then Mercy is a healing for our place in creating relationships and community. Sacraments do not do away with our human frailty, but strengthens us and encourages us to live through them into His Light.Conference 9 (31:30 min)The planet of Christ, the Kingdom to which He calls us, reverses this world’s ways. Instead of envy and cover-up of our personal not being enough, Jesus invites us to a gratitude for the simplicity or poverty of our individual selves. We pray with the freedom of Jesus to be Who He was in the face of the temptations of this world toward accumulation, notoriety and independence. It is always a tug-of-war and we are caught by the attractions to both kingdoms.Conference 10 (34:31)We are saved, or found, or freed, by the fidelity of Jesus to His being Who He is. The Resurrection is God’s response of fidelity to Who God is. Jesus rises to bring others out of their tombs and so begins anew the community or Kingdom of God. Those Jesus collected as His friends, He then gathers them and from there sends them out to continue God’s creation of the Kingdom, the Community of God. We pray with what and how is life after death. What heaven is remains something for which our human longings will be fulfilled. It remains a good question, whether heaven is a reward or a gift. for wholeness