Before beginning your retreat, pause for a few moments and focus your attention on your breathing. Take several deep breaths. Be aware of God's loving presence within you.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.
Our God is so close to us! Ours is a God who knows our every affliction and responds with compassion and encouragement. Knowing that we are not alone in our affliction provides the courage and the energy to see us through. \nThis encouragement has a domino effect. When we experience the effects of our spirits being lifted by God, we are inspired to go and do the same for someone else. God's nature is compassion. We become instruments for God to use to touch the lives of others who are challenged.
Who has been a source of God's compassion and encouragement in my life?
How have I been an instrument of God's encouragement for another?
(Pray to God, using these words or your own.)
Father of compassion, God of all encouragement, thank you for reaching out to me when I am most in need. Help me to do the same for others.