This week was our last Weekly Manna gathering and the person giving the reflection was one of our students, Robyn Brown.
Before getting to her – let me begin by observing that I was blessed by having Robyn as my prayer partner this past semester. Following our vocation retreat, I randomly assign each participant another of the participants for whom they will keep especially in their prayers over the semester. Robyn was the most amazing prayer partner one could have. While I did remember to keep the person I was assigned in my prayers periodically, Robyn let me know time and time again by notes and e-mails that she had my back. I am enormously grateful for her kindness over these months, especially when she knew I was dealing with my aunt’ last days and death.
Robyn began by asking us to visualize something we believe we need to make us happy…either something we want but do not have or something we already have and don’t want to lose. Then she asked if we could visualize ourselves laying it on the altar and inviting God to do with it as God pleases – to take away or leave it with us. Given my daily recitation of St. Ignatius’ Suscipe prayer, I live the visualization that essentially asks – do you really mean the words you pray? Can you really see yourself doing this.
She then offered some suggestions for developing our ability to do that, for growing in our ability to rest contentedly in Christ – to know that if we have Christ we need nothing else. (The last line of the Suscipe: Your love grace is enough for me.) She made five suggestions, each of which are worthwhile practices: gratitude, generosity, graciousness (particularly in speech), identifying lies, and surrender. For each, she talked a little about her own experience and shared some scriptural references that might aid one’s individual prayer.
It was a great way to end the Weekly Manna year. Great that the reflection was offered by one of our students. Great to know that so many of our students are so reflective about their faith. And great to focus on our need to realize that truly, all we need is God’s love and grace.
I’m grateful to Robyn, to all of the participants in Weekly Manna and to my friend Chato, the driving force behind the original creation of the Weekly Manna gatherings.