Mercy Associates Retreat – Session Four

Springtime – Dawn – Morning

Theme: Delivered to Life

1. Introduction: Spring – Morning

Please click the arrowhead in the center of the video to hear the Introduction

2. A Spring Time Story

Spend a little time now reflecting on,
or re-listening to the story.
Does it awaken any spiritual thought
or prayer in your heart?

3. Sister Kate on Springtime and Dawn

4. Praying with Scripture

For our scripture reading this session, we return to John 10 and the familiar story of the Woman at the Well. The story is fill with symbols of new life – the well and its cool water; the request for a refreshing drink; the sharing of life stories; the telling of truth, and the gift of forgiveness.

In this passage, we see the many moods of Jesus: he is at times in the story needy, a bit sarcastic, feisty, wise, and gentle. Engaging the woman through these many moods, he brings her to new life.

How is God bringing the spring time of new life to our spirits?

5. Reflection Nuggets: Dawn – Spring

6. Poetry:

Hope – Lisel Mueller
It hovers in dark corners
before the lights are turned on,
it shakes sleep from its eyes
and drops from mushroom gills,
it explodes in the starry heads
of dandelions turned sages,
it sticks to the wings of green angels
that sail from the tops of maples.
It sprouts in each occluded eye
of the many-eyed potato,
it lives in each earthworm segmentsurviving cruelty,
it is the motion that runs
from the eyes to the tail of a dog,
it is the mouth that inflates the lungs
of the child that has just been born.
It is the singular gift
we cannot destroy in ourselves,
the argument that refutes death,
the genius that invents the future,
all we know of God.
It is the serum which makes us swear
not to betray one another;
it is in this poem, trying to speak.

Spring – Mary Oliver

a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring

I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
her tongue

like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.

There is only one question:

how to love this world.
I think of her 
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against 
the silence
of the trees.
Whatever else

my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her –
her white teeth,
her wordlessness, 
her perfect love.

Closing Music: Thank God for the Promise of Spring

Can’t beat a little “country” to put the final ribbon on our retreat! 🙂

Thank God for the Promise of Spring
The sky seems gray above me
And I can’t see the light of day
There’s a ray breaking through the shadows
And the smile can’t be far away
Thank God for the promise of springtime
Once again my heart will sing
There’s a brand new day a-dawning
Thank God for the promise of spring
Though the earth looks bleak and barren
And the seeds lay brown and dead
But the promise of life grows within them
And I know spring is just ahead
Thank God for the promise of springtime
Once again my heart will sing
There’s a brand new day a-dawning
Thank God for the promise of spring
Thank God for the promise of spring

Virtue/Gift to pray for: Joy

Dear God,
We pray for the gift of joy
in the promise of ever-renewing grace.  
Refresh our spirits with your warm gifts
of peace, hope, enthusiasm, and delight.
Give us springtime hearts.
No matter the season,
may our souls be rooted in Easter,
blossoming with love for You
and for all Creation.
We ask this in Mercy. Amen.

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