An Audio Retreat by Fr. Don Driscoll, S.J.
Driscoll, Don, S.J.
MetadataShow full item record
Fr. Don Driscoll, S.J. gave this retreat at the Jesuit Retreat House, Barrington, Illinois, September, 2000. All eight, 35 to 40 minute talks are here.These Retreat Conferences are based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Though the retreat was shared with eighty-six men at a Jesuit Retreat House, the spirit and direction of the retreat is for women and men of all Christian faiths.This retreat may be made in a variety of ways, by individuals or a group: over a 3 day weekend; over 8 days, one conference a day; over 8 weeks, one conference a week.INTRODUCTORY CONFERENCE (35:24 min)God has called you here for some reason. What happens here will be by God's grace. The secret is to let go of control. God speaks through the ordinary. God asks me to "tell them that I love them; because they don't believe it." Pay attention to what you hope happens in you. Each time you pray you will be able to pray more deeply if you focus on "that which I desire." Stay and dwell where you feel something is happening. Your last thoughts at night will condition how you sleep and how you will awaken in the morning. Dwell on thoughts that bring you peace. Let go and let the Spirit lead you. You have to let go of your control and independence for this to happen. What is it that you want? The Lord is standing at your side and saying, "Will you let me touch you and heal you?" This grace of the retreat is not just for you but will spill over into a thousand ways in which the world is thirsting for what you will receive. [Ending with a relaxation exercise and reflection questions, preparing for prayer.] "Share with me anything in your heart and listen, listen to my response within you."SECOND CONFERENCE (43:49 min)Mark: The blind Bartimaeus, asking for sight. What do you want? Ask your God. Now be in the scene. Contemplation: letting the Spirit pray within us. This passage is a paradigm of prayer. Bartimaeus never gives up. He kept calling. He asked for what he really desired. So often we ask for the wrong things, in a restless persuit of things. If God had a face, what does that face look like? What is that face saying to you? There are many wrong stereotypes of God. What is correct? Three ways God has revealed who he is. 1: For the Hebrew community, God is Truth - fidelity, always there - God says 'yes' to our existence. The Truth is to celebrate who we are. 2. God is Justice - God keeping his commitments, a changeless fidelity - even when I sin, God will never abandon us. 3. God is Love - the complete and total outpouring of One who has absolutely everything - everything that is, is for you- and the call is to use those things in so far as they help you and not use them in so far as they don't help. The backdrop of our lives should be the Crucifixion. That death is for you, so that you should know the depths of God's love for us in scripture. I have to give up my wrong images of God. Paul Tillich: The courage to accept acceptance. That faith takes humility. The door to the human heart can only open from the inside. [tape ends there.]THIRD CONFERENCE (34:33 min)An introduction to St. Ignatius of Loyola. The whole First Week experience of the Exercises is: How loved I've been! Your being here this moment is redemptive. Examination of Consciousness: where was God present to me this morning? Become present to God. From the time I awoke until this morning? And, to God the Father, say "Thank You." And, what are you sorry for? And, to Jesus I say, "I'm sorry." What do I feel apprehensive, anxious about? From this moment until bed time, what is the grace you need? At bedtime, I do the same thing. Do what you're doing. If you are here, be as totally present to this moment as you can. Jesus says, "Remember me as loving you." It makes us feel powerless: Let me do something to earn it. Why do you need Jesus if you are saving yourself? How has God uniquely fashioned you? John Paul II: You are the unique, irreplaceable, unrepeatable presentation of the face of God for the people of your life time. List your gifts. Mary's response is Fiat - let it be done. "He who is mighty has done great things for me." Be present to your gifts.FOURTH CONFERENCE (38:07 min)If you know who you are, you'll know whose you are. The First Principle and Foundation of the Exercises. Use things in so far as they help you. We have been created and fashioned to carry whatever crosses are put into our lives. Choose a 15 minunte time in the day you are going to worry. When I get to 9 pm at night, I ask why I was worrying about that. When our hearts are filled with worry, there is no room for Jesus. The moments God wants to have with each of us - Listen to me; "Let me show you how much I love you." Jesus within you is thirsty for time, hungry for you. Don't ever be afraid of your brokenness. If a vessel is perfect. Only through the cracks will perfume or light be released. We are so afraid of not being strong or in control or independent. We've got to be like the people in scripture and keep asking. There are only two New Testament commandments. To love God with my whole heart. To call God, "Abba," "Pappa." To do that I need to become child-like. Once you have grasped how loved you are, not even sin will make a difference. Prayer is the communication of your deepest needs, your deepest desires. Help us to accept who we are, your love for us and to know we have something powerful and beautiful to share with our world.FIFTH CONFERENCE (37:33 min)Luke: Zachaeus the tax collector. What is the grace you seek? The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost. Lord, help me simply to say "yes." Repetition: the call to not give up on the passage. Whatever God has brought you here for, it is going to happen. The Lord is at work in you. We are called to be light bearers wherever we walk.You have that power. We are here to awaken the consciousness of the gifts I have to share. It's the small things that are life-giving. If you create conditions for people to believe in themselves, it will happen. God takes over. Obsticles to prayer: Our woundedness. Our fear of the darkness that is within. The need to achieve. Lack of personal freedom. Lack of patience. Lack of gratitude. Unwilling to be a beginnner. Don't lose signt of those memories of the people who were life givers for us..To say to the people we are missioned to serve: remember me as loving you.SIXTH CONFERENCE (33:35 min)Read the scripture stories. Love the Lord your God with your whole soul and to love my neighbor as myself. That's what Jesus did for three years: to affirm his followers in this loving. We are so comparative and competitive. How do you love yourself? If I don't love myself in an appropriate way, I'll "thing-ify" you. Jesus' message: you are called to love God - and in deeds not words. Forgiveness is in the intellect. Forgive so that resentment doesn't impede you. If we spent as much time at self-acceptance as self-improvement, what a force God would have in the world. It takes tremendous humility to accept our weakness. Scripture says that we are God's angels - God's messengers. What is your word? Write your own obituary. What do you want to be remembered for? What is your sentence? What is the reason you are here?.SEVENTH CONFERENCE (39:44 min)Pray for Vocations. Explosion of spirituality among the young. In your prayer, stay simple; don't clutter it. Follow distractions and pray about them. What do you never talk to God about? Why did you end prayer, when you did? To pray with open hands. Put an empty chair before you; with Jesus sitting before you. "Look at the beauty I created in the world." God has surrounded you with people saying you were a precious gift. God is trying to convince us, through Jesus and the Spirit, that we have the gift of life. Everyone needs you and the gifts you have. Find God in All Things. The need for the human heart to be known - to be known is to be redeemed. Pick up John 13 and drift through it. Or, the Passion, Matthew 26:36-75. The grace to say, "I need you Lord; I don't know why you have chosen me; help me to see." Can you name the 5 most successful people in a number of areas? Name a couple of teachers who really helped you on your life journey? Or, friends who really helped you. Three people who have really touched you or made you feel appreciated or worth while? They are the ones who transform us. Allow God to reveal to you the great joy that is in eternity because of what God is doing in you. God uses and empowers us to bring life to others. The gift of God's light is in us; all we are asked to do is to let our light sign to make the difference of peace in our world and to the people to whom we are mission.EIGHTH CONFERENCE (40:17 min)Consciousness Examen. From awakening this morning, until now, what are you most grateful for? What are you sorry for? What do you feel apprehension about? Ask for that grace. Questions/Answers. End with Sacramentality of Life. Anointing of hands.