After six weeks, the Ladies of Charity Retreat Countdown has come to an end. Each weekly theme has focused on different images of the cup… the cup of life, the open cup, the chipped cup, the broken cup, the cup of compassion and the blessing cup. Each theme has in turn become a teacher in prayer. We have reflected, we have prayed, we have learned, and we have kept each theme close to our hearts every day over the past six weeks.
There is no better way to reflect upon and honor the spiritual journey we have been on together than with “The Cup of Life Prayer”:
“Generous God, you have poured so much into our blessing cups.
You have offered us many greatest moments filled with wonders of your goodness.
You have been bountiful in sharing your presence of unconditional love with us.
All –embracing God, you call us to share our cup of compassion with those who are searching, suffering, and sorely in need of our hospitality. You daily invite us to be in union with all those you have created and gather to your heart.
Healing God, you know how our lives each have their share of hard aches and brokenness.
You see the deepest recesses of our spirits where pain and confusion need the touch of your restoring power.
Remind us often that broken hearts can be healed.
Perceptive and insightful God, you see into the cup of our hearts.
You know where the clutter lies.
You invite us daily to pour out all that keeps us from being truly focused on communion with you.
Again and again, you whisper to us: “empty, pour out, let go of all that keeps you from being your true self.”
Ever–present and understanding God, you have created us as fully human persons.
Our cup of life bears chips, stains, and cracks as does our own personality and life–story.
You encourage us to see the stains as a way to our transformation.
You offer us wisdom and guidance to know when the cup needs to be washed and scrubbed, and when the stains need to be lovingly accepted.
Forgiving God, you know our weaknesses and failures.
There are times when we resist what you are desiring to pour into the cup of our life.
You know how we ignore or refuse to be open and receptive.
Yet, you continue to believe in us. You are always waiting, ready to fill our cup with your generous love.
Gifting God, the contents of the cup are meant to refresh, to nourish, and renew life.
You call us to bless others with our cup of life.
Stir up within us a desire to offer our gifts to those who need them.
Loving, life-giving God, you continuously pour your transforming love into the cup of our lives.
Like a spring rain falling into the open soil, so your love and ours is mixed and mingled into an energizing oneness.
Your presence is the power we need to grow and to change.
Your blessing of love enables us to commit ourselves to the unending process of spiritual transformation. How grateful we are!
How are ready we are to grow!”
Our spiritual growth will continue on Thursday with the Ladies of Charity 2017 Spiritual Day of Reflection. Bring yourself, your favorite cup, your open mind, and your loving Vincentian heart.