Through praying with the various Scriptures suggested for the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises, we come to understand that even though we are sinful people God still loves us and offers us forgiveness. We are invited to view sin as God sees sin. The lens we look through, though, is one of love, which is why we spend time before the First Week of the Exercises praying with the First Principle and Foundation and Scriptures that accompany it.
The First Week of my 19th annotation retreat was challenging at times, because my eyes were significantly opened to see my own sinfulness. The words, “Re-situate your life” were a repeated phrase that gently crossed my thoughts. These were words, spoken in love by God, that held the profound challenge to re-situate my life around Christ and not around the things in my life that appeared to be good: my hubby and kids, my ministry, my commitments.
When I reflect back on my First Week experience during the Exercises, I see a firm but gentle peeling back of the many layers that were keeping me from fully following Christ and from fully centering my life in Christ. The preparation time before I took a healthy look at what kept me from putting God first in my life was foundational for me. The preparation time before the First Week built an intimacy and trust in Jesus, and it strengthened my understanding of the depth of love he had for me. It was only after reminding me of his love that Jesus walked with me on the road to fully re-situating my life around him. It’s a journey that continues to bear fruit in ways beyond my imagination!