Spiritual Practice Guides
Throughout the years, we have been able to share a number of guided spiritual practices with The Practice community. Below you will find some of these resources. (We continue to mine our history for more guides, so please continue to check back as we add more resources.)
Practices related to cultivating a hesed-shaped community
In this practice, we bring to mind a time we experienced God’s hesed (loyal, generous love), and hold that memory as a way of deepening our attachment to God.
This practice of gratitude helps us to notice God’s delight and loyal love breaking into our everyday lives.
In this practice, we listen for God’s invitation to show hesed (loyal, generous love). Who are we being invited to show hesed, and how is God inviting us to show hesed?
We recognize the simple truth that we need to make space in our own lives if we are going to be able to listen and hold space for another. In this practice, we seek to make space in our lives by listening to ourselves and allowing God to listen to us, so that we might prepare ourselves to listen to others.
Practices helpful for making decisions
In this practice, Father Michael Sparough guides us through a practice of detachment. Walking through three hand postures, we listen and pray. We let go of whatever we are clinging to other than Jesus, and open ourselves for God’s grace.
Apprentices of Jesus have a long tradition of discernment. We make decisions every day, but discernment goes far deeper than simply making decisions. In this guided practice, we seek to listen to God with loving attention, using Ignatian concepts of consolation and desolation.
This Ignatian meditation is a consideration of where we will stand. Will we align ourselves with the way of Jesus or the way of the world?
The good news of Jesus is an invitation to live a life with him in the kingdom of God. How might we choose to live in God’s kingdom rather than the kingdoms of this world. In this practice, we review our day with God to notice when we aligned ourselves with God’s kingdom and when we did not.
The Practice of Welcoming Prayer is one in which we pause to feel the fullness of our emotions and welcome the presence of Jesus in them. It is one way for us to allow our emotions to lead us to abide more deeply in Jesus. Typically, this practice would be used with whatever emotion is stirring, but in this particular welcoming prayer, we will zero in on our fear. In a season that is so full of fear—from divisive political rhetoric to a global pandemic and economic turmoil—how might we live in love, as the Apostle John teaches, so that love will complete its work in us and drive out fear.
Remembering Those We Have Lost
Grieving is hard and and it can be very complicated. In this practice, we make space to remember those closest to us who haver passed away. We begin by remembering those we have lost by thanking God for what was good, recognizing what is hard, and allowing ourselves to feel whatever emotions arise in the presence of God..
Our Political Formation
This guided practice was a part of our gathering on 9.4.22. In it, we consider how we have been shaped by our culture of politics. We start with some reflective questions, then have a conversation with God about what we noticed, and finally we listen for how God might be inviting us to respond.
As you engage the practice, we encourage you to be honest. When it comes to political engagement, the stakes can feel big. It can be scary or shameful to consider how we have been shaped in ways that are not aligned with the kingdom of God. Be kind and gracious with yourself but to also be willing to be honest. Remember that God loves you more deeply than you can imagine. At the very core, your identity is that you are a beloved bearer of God’s image.
In a culture that is full of hurry and busyness, it can be difficult for us to recognize and walk with Jesus in our everyday lives. The practice of the daily office helps us ground ourselves more fully in God’s presence as we pause each morning, midday, and evening for silence, scripture, and prayer. At the link to the right, you will find a series of guided prayers (morning, midday, and evening) between 5 and 10 minutes to help soak our days in the presence of God.
Imaginative prayer is a way of entering a Gospel story and meet with Jesus. In 2020, The Practice community wrote and produced 10 original imaginative prayers. You can find them at the link to the right.
Join us most Sunday nights at 6pm in the Willow Creek Chapel, 67 E Algonquin Rd, South Barrington, IL 60010