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.
You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass, nor anything else that belongs to him.
These four commandments focus on what belongs to another, whether it is possessions or one's good reputation. We have all heard the saying, "Keeping up with the Joneses." Envy robs us of energy, gratitude, and joy. When our focus is on the things that others have we become enslaved by possessions, and lose sight of what is really important - people and relationships. When we allow our energy to be sapped by misplaced desire, we lack the energy to focus on our mission: living in God's love.
How do I experience being enslaved by possessions?
How does that interfere with relationships in my life?
(Go to God in prayer, using these words or those of your own.)
God of all good gifts, give me a heart of gratitude for all that I have and for the many ways in which my relationships express your love for me.