Let Your Life Speak (Book Study): Week 2

Chapter 2: Now I Have Become Myself

  • Call stories: Luke:1:26-56, Exodus 3:1-15, 4:10-17
    • What is at stake for each of the characters called?
    • What challenges come with each calling?
    • How does God equip those whom God calls?
    • What might be at stake for you as you listen for and heed God’s call on your own life?
  • Personality Inventory
  • Keeping time

Becoming aware of how you spend your time and what invigorates you is a necessary part of discerning vocation at this phase of life. It’s also essential to know how your ordinary routines and pleasures bring life to others (or not).

    • How did you spend your free time during the past week?
    • What are the last three things you read (not assigned texts)?
    • What was the last thing to break your heart?
    • When were you last amazed with joy, overwhelmed with gratitude?
    • What do you dream about doing? Where do you dream about going?
    • What are you currently doing that you really care about?
    • Who is involved with you in this activity (partners)?
    • What is the difference between being drawn to an activity and being driven by it?
  • Spiritual Practice: Learning to Listen

An essential part of discernment is learning to listen to and for God. But listening takes discipline and practice. We are so often distracted by thoughts that run through our minds when we try to practice listening.

  • Practice responding to the Ignatian examen questions:
    • Find a quiet space and arrange your body in a comfortable but upright position. Sit in silence for a few minutes and invite the Holy Spirit to be present with you and to quiet your spirit.
    • Ask yourself, “For what moment today am I most grateful?” and “When did I feel most alive today?” Thank God for these blessings.
    • Ask yourself, “For what moment today am I least grateful?” and “When did I feel life draining out of me today?” Pray for forgiveness and healing.
    • Thank God for being present throughout your day, in good times and bad.
    • Reflect on your examen experience. What did you notice while praying? What feelings surfaced and to what parts of your day were these feelings connected? Note patterns that emerge as you practice this over time.
  • Quotes:
    • Now I have become myself. It’s taken time, many years and places. I have been dissolved and shaken worn other people’s faces …”
    • Vocation does not come from a voice ‘out there’ calling me to become something that I am not. It comes from a voice ‘in here’ calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth by God.”
    • Accepting it turns out to be even more demanding than attempting to become someone else!”
    • Rabbi Zusya, when he was an old man, said, “In the coming world, they will not ask me, ‘Why were you not Moses?’ They will ask me: ‘Why were you not Zusya?’”
    • When we lose track of the true self, how can we pick up the trail? One way is to seek clues in stories from our young years, years when we lived closer to our birthright gifts.”
    • It is more akin to the ancient tradition of pilgrimage – “a transformative journey to the sacred center.”
    • Before we come to the center, full of light, we must travel in the dark. Darkness is not the whole of the story … but it is the part of the story most often left untold.”
    • We are led to truth by our weaknesses as well as our strengths.”
    • I ran … perhaps this moment precipitated the descent into darkness.”
    • I fled because I was afraid.”
    • Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.”
    • People who plant the seeds of movements make a critical decision: they decide to live ‘divided no more.’ They decide no longer to act on the outside in a way that contradicts some truth about themselves that they hold deeply on the inside.’” – Rosa Parks story
    • Some journeys are direct and some are circuitous: some are heroic, and some are fearful and muddled. But every journey, honestly undertaken, stands a chance of taking us toward the place where our deep gladness meets the world great need.”
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