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  • Dr. Karen Shields Wright

Christmastide: Bethlehem to Egypt to Nazareth

Continue along the Way of Mary and Joseph with Christ the King

8-Day Self-Directed Retreat

He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary

Preparing for Your Retreat

Night Before Preparations

Retreat Mornings - Offering, Lectio, Close, Reflection

Retreat Day Time - Recalling

Retreat Evenings - Examen, Journaling

Self-directed or Directed


Preparatory Prayers

The Preparatory period is a time for recollection to dispose ourselves rightly with an offertory and a petition of asking for grace what we want and desire from the Lord based upon the meditation exercise. Each prayer lasting a minute.

Offertory Prayer

Beginning your prayer time: At the beginning of each prayer period, offer yourself to the Lord. Pray the “Take and Receive”

Take Lord, and receive all my liberty,

my memory, my understanding, and my entire will,

all that I have and possess.

Thou hast given all to me.

To Thee, O Lord, I return it.

All is Thine; dispose of it wholly according to Thy will.

Give me Thy love and thy grace, for this, is sufficient for me.


Preparatory Prayer

“The preparatory prayer is to ask, God Our Lord for the grace is that all my intentions (wants and desires), actions, and operations (interior mental activities) , maybe order purely to the service in praise of the Divine Majesty” (SE 46)*

Write in your own words your intentions ­­­­­­­­­­____________________________________________

Petitionary Prayer

Now being situated within the mystery, after reading it the night before (or before the prayer period begins) we ask for what we desire from the Holy Spirit to reveal to us how we may go forth to meet the will of God.

Share your desires with the Lord for this day's retreat. __________________________________

Suggested Petitionary Prayer by St. Ignatius

Lord, grant me the grace of an "intimate knowledge of our Lord, who has become man for me, that I may love Him more and follow Him more closely." (SE 104)*


Reflection Questions for Consideration:

  • What do you sense were the experiences of Mary and Joseph that night; or the shepherds' and the Magi's visit?

  • The naming of Jesus - who was their Anne and Joachim Mary's parents, their reactions as grandparents?

  • At the presentation in the Temple imagine Anna's and Simeon's delights?

  • Sense the strength of Joseph as they traveled along the way and how they lived as refugees in Egypt.

  • What are your reactions of 'seeing' Mary and Joseph hearing the news of the slaughter of the innocences?

  • God spoke to Joseph, and he trusted in the words of the angel, and he took action. Where do you sense God is leading you to take action?

The Mysteries

The gospels were written as an account of time past so we may know the truth.

Day 1: The Light of the World in Peace

Day 2: I Proclaim to You Good News

Day 3: Bringing Our Gifts

Day 4: The Name Above All Names - God Saves

Day 5: Those Who Were Waiting

Day 6: Obedience

Day 7: In Today's World

Day 8: Trust

*(SE#) All quotes are taken from The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius: based on Studies in the Language of the Autograph by Louis, J. Puhl. SJ

Our Lady of the Way, Pray for us!

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