Mercy Associates Retreat – Session One


Theme: Live in the fullness and freedom of your faith.

1. Introduction: Summer – Noontime

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

2. A Summertime 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 has a few thoughts on Noon and Summer:

4. Praying with Scripture

Picture Israel in the beautiful warm weather.  (Maybe some of you are fortunate enough to have been there.) It might have been a late May Saturday afternoon. Jesus and his young companions are on a little picnic but – typical guys – they forgot the food! 

But there in the colorful field, the heads of wheat are still green and not yet turned golden and dry. The wheat kernels are plump and soft, full of protein and sugar. This is the only time of year that they could be eaten raw.

The whole scene speaks to us of summer, and of the joy and freedom Jesus came to offer all of us within the New Law of Love.

And then the Pharisees appear – those whose power depends on using the law to control and oppress, requiring sacrifices and taxes of the poor only to benefit themselves.

Let’s listen to Matthew describe the scene.

Scripture : Matthew 12: 1-8 — Picking Grain on the Sabbath

Take some quiet time to reflect on this passage.
Allow yourself to be in the scene beside Jesus.

5. Reflection Nuggets: Summer – Noontime

6. Poetry

Please enjoy these beautiful poems evoking the sentiments of summer, noontime, fullness and energy. You may want listen to this lovely music as you read the poems.

Click the little arrowhead on the left of the dark grey bar to hear the music.
Eagle Poem - Joy Harjo
To pray, you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can't see, can't hear
Can't know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren't always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River.  Circles in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon, within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.

Now I Become Myself – May Sarton
Now I become myself. It’s taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
“Hurry, you will be dead before—”
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!

Closing Music: Michael Mangan – For Everything

Virtue/Gift to pray for: Generous Love

Dear God,
We pray for the gift of generous love.  
Let us live with summertime hearts.
Confident that, in You,
we already have everything we need,
may we allow your love to flow generously
from us to all Creation,
especially to those most in need
of your warmth, light, and confidence.
We ask this in Mercy. Amen.

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