Before beginning your retreat, pause for a few moments and focus your attention on your breathing. Take several slow, deep breaths. Become aware of the great love God has for you.
"Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."
There is a story about a woman who asked her parish priest for advice about what to give up for Lent. The priest encouraged her to abstain from judging others-to fast from gossip. She responded, "That's too hard, Father. I'll just give up chocolate again." \r\r\r\rWhen we throw stones at others, when we point fingers and wag tongues, the heat is off us. It is easier to recognize the shortcomings of others than to accept responsibility for ourselves. Sin is real and present, often taking simple forms such as gossip, passing the buck, and white lies. But imagine how freeing it would be to acknowledge our sinfulness and to get on with the business of healing what is wounded.
What stones have I thrown recently in judgment of another?
How does recalling my own sinfulness help me relate to others?
(Pray using this prayer or one of your own.)
Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner. Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. Forgive me my sins and lead me to everlasting life with you.