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Ignatian Retreat based on the Gospel of St. John

Ignatian Retreat based on the Gospel of St. John

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Seven-day retreat (spiritual exercise) expounded in daily meditation based on the Seven Signs of Jesus in the Gospel of John. The dynamic of the retreat follows the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The material was originally hand-outs of a retreat preached by Martin Suhartono, S.J. to a group of religious and lay-people involved in the Jesuit Social Service of Cambodia (1-8 August 2005).
Seven-day retreat (spiritual exercise) expounded in daily meditation based on the Seven Signs of Jesus in the Gospel of John. The dynamic of the retreat follows the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The material was originally hand-outs of a retreat preached by Martin Suhartono, S.J. to a group of religious and lay-people involved in the Jesuit Social Service of Cambodia (1-8 August 2005).

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Published by: Lie Chung Yen (aka. Martin Suhartono) on Feb 16, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/08/2013

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THE SEVENSIGNSOFJESUS
SEVEN-DAY RETREATBASED ONTHEGOSPEL OF ST.JOHN
(By Martin Suhartono, S.J.,Cambodia, 1-8 August 2005)
 
DAY ZEROIGNATIAN DYNAMIC: PRINCIPIUM ET FUNDAMENTUM (S.E.23)JOHANNINE DYNAMIC: DESCENT AND ASCENT
First of all, entering the Retreat, we should reflect on the Principle and Foundation(PF) of St. Ignatius in the Spiritual Exercises (No. 23) by using the Prologue of the Gospel of John (1:1-18)There is a circular descending and ascending movement of the Logos in the Prologue,later on expressed by Jesus in the narrative (16:28): coming down from the Father into theworld and going up again to the Father.An application of the PF would be the same movement of the Logos described in thePrologue: everything/one has been created in/through the Logos and is invited to make thesame circular movement, described as "empowered to become children of God" (1:12). In away, one is "logos" participating in the unique "Logos" of God (cf. Isaiah 55: not going back unless having done its purpose).Everyone is then called to lead a life like John the Baptist ("sent from God" 1:6)),giving testimony to the True Light, so that people may come to belief, come to Light, come toLife (1:4; 20:30-31); just as does Logos leading all to return to God (1:18; "the serpent statuelifted up in the desert" 3:14-15; 12:32 "Jesus lifted up and draw all to him").The name of Jesus is mentioned only after 1:17; in 1:1-5 the name is not yetmentioned, and rightly so because the individual Jesus came into existence only after the Logosis incarnated, taking real flesh and blood. Jesus, the Logos Incarnated is the way through whichevery logos returns to its Origins. In the story, the Logos Incarnated is again metaphorized intoSeven Metaphors (in the Johannine terminology: Seven Signs) used as basic points of anchorage for the life orientation of the readers.The seven-day retreat will follow the scheme of Seven Signs in the Gospel of John.We will follow each Sign as it appears chronologically in the story and reflect on it related toits achronological counterpart to the relative "EGO EIMI- I AM ...." sayings of Jesus.
 
DAY ONEVISION: WHO AM I?THE 1ST SIGN (2:1-11) - "I AM THE TRUE VINE" (15:1)
The first narrative part of John forms the "Beginning" of the reader's experience. John followsthe same pattern of the Genesis (seven-day creation), by giving hints of the process of becoming followers of the Logos Incarnated. Look at the structure of mediation: each onecomes to Jesus through another person, except perhaps "Philip".The marriage in Cana is the peak of the experience of following Jesus. The disciplesare invited to experience, recognize, and have faith in the manifestation of the Glory of God.The mystical union between God and the human soul is usually expressed through images of marriage (Canticle of Canticles, Hosea etc.).The theme of "union with God" related to this sign is the expression "I am the truevine". Each of the disciples is a branch of the vine. Again here we have the image of anintimate union between Jesus and his disciples. Each one is reminded that he/she is a branch; if he/she remains united to the true vine, than he/she can produce fruits, otherwise ......It is perhaps good to reflect deeply on this reality, we are only branches, we are notthe vine itself. St. Ignatius used the term
instrumentum conniunctum cum Deo 
, an instrumentdeeply united to God. However, in our life as apostles we may have the tendency to considerourselves as masters and not disciples, as vine and not as branches, as God and not as creatures.Hence, the anxieties, fear, anger, impatience and so on, which reign in our life.The retreatants may take each pericope in itself as points for prayers, from theBaptist's testimony, the first disciples and so on (Jn 1:19-51), leading each participant to thepericope of Wedding at Cana.

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