Welcome to our second week of the Oriens journey. Some of you may be just joining us. If you missed a few days this week, or even missed the whole week--perhaps you were exceptionally busy, our your book just arrived from Amazon--don't try and "catch up". Start with the Introduction (pp. 9-12) and then read the bit on Imaginative Prayer (pp. 51-52). Then just pick up with the current day and do that day well. The goal of Oriens is to spend regular quality time with God, not to pray every prayer period. If you try to "catch up" you'll get overwhelmed and you'll try to rush. And you'll give the Enemy an opportunity to whisper in your ear, "It's not perfect. Instead of failing, just quit now and you can do a perfect job next year." You'd be surprised how many people will fall for that temptation. Keep walking. Pilgrimages often do not go as we had planned they would.
We have 110 people signed up for the Virtual Bible Study which meets Thursdays at 10:00 AM Central Time (16:00 UTC). Sign up by sending an message with your name and Bible Study in the body. Those who signed up should receive three emails a week: one Sunday or Monday, Thursday before the event and then a link to watch a recording of the study after the event. If you're supposed to be subscribed but not receiving the emails, let me know.
This week we will learn about a prayer form called Imaginative Prayer. This prayer form was developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola as a part of his famous 30 day retreat. It works well with Bible stories that contain a lot of action. We began our journey with the creation of the world. Now we take a look at the fall. We will spend several days with Noah. I hope you enjoy it.
Small Group Outline
In addition to the daily prayer time, some folks might want to meet with friends or family for an in person or their own virtual group. Here is an outline to facilitate such a meeting.
- Opening Prayer
The leader opens the group with this prayer or with a prayer he or she has composed themselves. "God of love and mercy, we thank you for creating us and making us stewards of your Creation. We have made us like yourself by giving us in intellect and free will. We regret of the times we have ignored your voice and chosen to grasp and hurt instead of loving and giving. Help us to experience for deeply the pain of separation from you so that we can desire you even more strongly. Bless our conversation today.."
- Group Check-In
Go around the room and share a burden and a blessing you experienced this past week. Where did you see Jesus, or who were you Jesus to this week?
- Suggested Discussion Questions
- If you meet early in the week, you can draw on some of the questions from last week.
- Tell us about your favorite or most moving prayer time this week?
- Corruption surrounds us. Where do you encounter this sinful corruption and how does if affect you?
- How did you feel when you considered all those beautiful animals threatened with flood waters, and realized that human sin was to blame for their predicament?
- Would you have joined Noah on the ark? What would that experience have been like?
- Apparently they had never seen a rainbow before. What would you have thought or felt coming out of the ark and seeing a rainbow for the first time?
- How does the feast of the Immaculate Conception look different after praying with the Noah story?
- How do you like Imaginative Prayer compared to last weeks Lectio Divina?
- Are you encountering difficulties in your Oriens journey?
- Group leader should not feel pressure to get every question answered. Allow people the space to say anything and to have an honest, fruitful discussion, while also being mindful of the time allotted. It is important to end the formal part of the Bible Study at the time agreed upon by the group.
- Close with a prayer. Ask the group what they would like prayers for. Then conclude by praying an Our Father together.