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I was really struck by the following invitation to a highly personal dialogue between Jesus and people making a St. Thomas More parish retreat.

Susan Stabile is a close former colleague from our earlier days at St. John’s University. In this retreat, she invited each participant to…

Hear Jesus speak these words to you.

Don’t just read them: really hear Jesus speak the words to you personally. 

And when you hear him speak, respond to him as you are moved to do so, including sharing any hesitations that arise.

Jesus says: If you wish to follow me, to live and work under my standard, here is what I will look for from you.

Are you willing

  • Are you willing to be poor in spirit, that is, to realize how much more you need to grow in realizing who you are called to become?
  • Are you willing to learn to mourn and deal with loss and failure in your own life, as well as how to comfort people who are grieving?
  • Are you willing to be gentle, docile, and unassuming, for you will be required often to show compassion to the lost and forgotten, the poor and the sick, the anxious and the discouraged?
  • Are you willing to be continually merciful and forgiving toward others – even toward your enemies and toward yourself?
  • Are you willing to be open and pure in heart, for only then will you be able to recognize my presence in the least likely places?
  • Are you willing to be a peacemaker, willing to keep searching to find ways to mutual understanding with others and defending the innocent without resorting to violence?

I am looking for

  • I am looking for men and women who hunger and thirst for honesty and truth and are willing to take a stand against injustice.
  • I am looking for men and women who expect to be persecuted for being good, honest, and compassionate, and who will not be surprised to be scorned falsely and hear all kinds of evil spoken against them on my account.
  • In addition, I am looking for you to be proactive and creative, to be the salt of the earth, never losing your taste for the kingdom.
  • I am looking for you to be a lamp for the world, letting God’s light shine through you, so that others may see the good works around them and give glory to the Creator.

Can you

  • Can you be these things for me?
  • Can you believe that I am always with you, even in the direst poverty or the deepest grief?
  • Can you believe that even when you are persecuted or rejected by others, you will have all the grace you need to grow and do your task?

What was your experience of this dialogue??

This Mindwlk might be best experienced in the audio version of this post.

(Apologies to those who experienced technical difficulty with the audio version. It is now repaired.)

The dialogue is inspired by Louis Savary’s book, The New Spiritual Exercises in the Spirit of Teillhard de Chardin