As you begin your retreat, pause for a moment. Take several deep breaths, and allow yourself to grow still. Be aware of God's loving presence within you.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
How familiar to us are these words of Jesus? Perhaps too familiar, that they have lost their meaning. Jesus shared with his disciples the same love he received from the Father. What is clear to Jesus can at times be vague to us. We are able to love others because we have first been loved by God. It's one thing to know that in our heads. It's quite another to be convinced of it in our hearts. The key is to make time in our busy lives to stop and allow God to love us, to actually feel God's love for us personally. Loving others will flow naturally from our deep belief in God's personal love for us.
How can I open myself more fully to God's love today?
Is my experience of God based more on knowing or on feeling? How might I begin to merge the two?
(Speak to God using these words, or ones of your own.)
Loving and gracious God, thank you for the love that you poured out on us in giving us your Son, Jesus. Help me to deepen my awareness of your love, and to share it with those I meet.