A sample from Rea McDonnell’s From Glory to Glory All Rights Reserved © 2010 New City Press
Two Guided Prayer Passages and a Small Group Exercise from the chapter entitled, “Ourselves as Church: Sacrament of Love and Union” 1 John 4: 18 Perfect love casts out fear. God embodied in Jesus is the only one capable of perfect love. What are your fears involved in belonging, in knowing someone deeply, in risking to share your ideas, decisions, feelings, dreams, successes and failures with another, in laying down your life for your friends? What are your specific fears of intimacy? John 15: 9–17 “As the Father has loved me, I also have loved you.… I have spoken these things to you so that I may have joy in you and that your joy may be complete.… I have called you friends.” Jesus deeply and passionately desires that you be in union with him. Remember moments or events when you felt united with him and/or others. “…So that I may have joy in you and your joy may be complete.” Can you hear Jesus speak directly to you, telling you that you are the cause of his emotion, the cause of his joy? How do you feel? Speak with him about these feelings. You are the one whom Jesus calls “friend.” His whole life expresses his consuming desire to be with you. How do you feel about his desire to share your life? Tell Jesus what it means to you to have him be so intimately present to you. What do you want to share with him?
Small Group Exercise After pondering the gifts listed in Paul’s hymn to love (Rom 12: 9–13), mention the names of people your group might know (public or parish figures or members of the group) who love:
by shrinking from evil and clinging to good; warmly; preferring the other to self; zealously, burning in spirit; genuinely; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; enduring in affliction; steadfastly continuing in prayer; sharing the needs of the saints; practicing hospitality.