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Week 5 Day 2

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Week # 5 – The Cup of CompassionDay # 2 – Offering the Cup
Reflection:
Hold your cup in front of you.

Stand and face the East.

Unite with all beings of the East.

Let your heart extend compassion to them.

Turn and face the South.

Hold your cup out to all who dwell in the South.

Unite with these beings.

Let your heart extend compassion to them.

Continue this with the West and the North.
Prayer:
Dear God, help me to spread your love everywhere I go. 

Penetrate and possess my whole being fully that all my life will reflect your compassion.

Shine through me and be so in me that every person I meet will feel your presence in my spirit.
Today:
I will intentionally offer compassion to someone I know who is in need of my understanding, kindness and care.

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Week 5 Day 1

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Week # 5- The Cup of CompassionDay # 1 – Learning Compassion
Reflection:
Remember compassionate people you have known (personally or from history, scripture, literature, etc.).

Review their lives. 

Notice how they lived.

How did they respond compassionately?

Write down their names on a piece of paper.

Place this paper under your cup as a symbol of how their example is a base for your compassion.

Let it be a way of honoring these compassionate beings.
Prayer:
God of hurting ones, thank you for the loving people you have brought into my life, who gave me comfort and strength in my times of pain.

Thank you for my teachers of compassion and for what I have learned from them. 

I long to be a more compassionate person so that my life will truly reflect you.

Revive and renew the gift of compassion in my life.
Today:
I will live as a compassionate person.

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Week 4 Day 7

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Week # 4- The Broken CupDay # 7 – Review of the week
The Week of The Broken Cup has come to an end. 
How has your time of “reflection” with the cup been for you each day? You may be finding that you look forward to these daily reflections and have been inspired by the imagery. Perhaps using the images and visualization has been a painful process for you. If this is true for you, do not be concerned about “seeing” something. Just get a sense of what is being envisioned and suggested for the day’s reflection activity. This is the perfect time to let God lead you as your thoughts and feelings unfold.
As we have done on day 7 in previous weeks, take the time to review the past six days and make note of anything that particularly touched you with its truth and meaning for your life.

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Week 4 Day 6 

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Week # 4 – The Broken CupDay # 6 – The Mended Cup
Reflection:
Turn the cup sideways in your hands.

Picture your old wounds and hurts in it.

Mentally take them out, one by one.

Give them into the Divine Healer’s hands.

Now hold the cup upright in your hands.

Think about the broken pieces that have been mended.

Thank God for these mending times.

Ask for patience and hope.
Prayer:
God of healing, help me to mend the broken pieces of my life.

Direct my mind and heart to sources of hope and healing.

Let me not forget all that remains for me as I ponder what has gone from my life.

Be my vision and my strength. 

Anoint me with the oil of your love and take my hand as I move forward into ever greater healing.
Today:
I will wear a Band-Aid as a sign of my trust in God to heal whatever is broken in my life and a thank-you for what has already been healed.

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Week 4 Day 5

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Week # 4 – The Broken CupDay # 5 – Recognizing Resistances
Reflection:
Hold your cup in your hands.

Place one hand over the open space of the cup.

Reflect on your resistances and refusals.

How do these block your openness to growth?

Picture yourself in God’s hands.

Loosen your grip on your worries and insecurities.

Listen to God speak to you about trust.

Take your hand off your cup.

Notice how ready it is now to receive. 

Hold the cup to your heart.

Stand and make a deep bow as a sign of your surrender to God.
Prayer:
God of truth, help me to discover my resistances to my growth. 

Shine your light on my illusions. 

Uncover my fears. 

Reveal my strongholds. 

Soften my grip on my security.

Open my closedness.

Lead me to greater freedom and inner healing.
Today:
I will notice the excuses I make for avoiding things I dislike doing, and then I will do one of these things that I dislike.

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Week 4 Day 4

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Week # 4 – The Broken CupDay # 4- The Unmendable Cup
Reflection:
Ponder the cup as it lays on its side before you.

Is there anything in your life that seems unable to “rise up.”

Think about the possibility of it not being mendable.

Are you at peace with letting go of it?

Ask God for what you need in order to be healed.

Pick up the cup and hold it, upright, in your hands.

Ask God to give you wisdom and courage to let go of any old pain and difficulties that keep you in bondage.
Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

…..The Serenity Prayer
Today:
I will let go of one of the pieces of my past that cannot be mended.

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Week 4 Day 3

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Week # 4 – The Broken CupDay # 3 – My Cup of Tears
Reflection:
Hold the cup upright in your hands.

Look upon it as a cup that holds tears.

Let the cup represent your own pain and tears or the pain and tears of someone you know.

Envision God’s hands around your hands as you hold the cup of tears.

Allow this Compassionate Presence to give comfort to you or to another who is in pain.
Prayer (to be prayed for yourself or for another in pain):
Sheltering Presence, come with your comforting embrace and catch my tears with your compassionate love. 

Be near with your protecting refuge.

Heal the place within me that cries out to be freed from pain.

Hold my close to you and hear my yearning for peace.
Today:
When I use a cup or glass today, I will be aware of how God catches the tears of those who hurt and holds them with care.

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Week 4 Day 2

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Week # 4 – The Broken CupDay # 2 – The Cup of Suffering
Reflection:
Lift the cup turned sideways from the table.

Hold it in your hands, still turned on its side.

Think about your life choices and commmitments.

Which ones have brought, or are bringing, pain to you?

As you hold the cup, hold the pain which comes as a consequence of your choices and decisions.

Open your inner being to the Beloved.

Receive the power you need to accept the consequences of your choices.
Prayer:
Jesus, happiness and struggle were constantly woven through your life. 

Why is it that I want the joy, the glory, the good stuff, but I don’t want the sorrow, the pain, the struggle?

Strengthen me and guide me when crosses such as anxiety, struggle, heartache, loneliness, sadness, time-crunches, and frustrations pervade my days.

Deepen my desire to be your disciple.
Today:
Each time I take a drink of any liquid, I will say YES to the consequences of my life-choice and decisions.

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Week 4 Day 1

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Week # 4 – The Broken CupDay # 1 – Joy and Sorrow
Reflection:
Pick up your cup and look inside.

Visualize a deep joy of yours in the cup.

Now, visualize a deep pain of yours also in the cup.

Let these two be there, intermingled into oneness.

Hold the cup to your heart.

Let this gesture be a willingness of yours to accept and to learn from both joy and sorrow.
Prayer:
God of joy and sorrow, help me to do less judging of my life experiences as “good” or “bad” and to do more receiving of them as a part of the process of spiritual growth.

I trust that you will be my faithful companion and that you will strengthen me during my difficult times. Help me to grow through all of the seasons of my life.
Today:
I will look for and listen to what joy and sorrow are teaching me.

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Week 3 Day 7

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Week # 3 – The Chipped CupDay # 7 – Review of the past week
We have come to the end of Week # 3, which means we are halfway through our six-week Spiritual Retreat. 
The first week we explored the concept of “the cup of life.” As we reflected on the symbolism of the cup, we thought about our own uniqueness as one of God’s creations. As we used our cups the first week, we were reminded that just as our cup is a vessel, we are vessels of God’s tremendous loving energy. 
Week 2 made us think about “the open cup” which can be filled, but only when it is emptied of clutter. This presented us with the questions of how we may best make room in our lives for our relationship with God.
This past week, “the chipped cup” was a very good reminder that one need not be perfect in order to have a rewarding spiritual journey. We were asked to not criticize ourselves because of our flaws, but rather to look at them and see what they can tell us about our relationship with God and with others.
As you prepare for the second half of our journey, you may want to do the following:
1. Visit and review your past six days.

2. Highlight anything that stood out this past week.

3. Think back over the past three weeks and take note of how you are feeling today, especially if you feel differently than when we began this journey together.

4. Consider journaling about your retreat experience. Journaling is not about writing well or a lot, it is about connecting and integrating what we have prayed and recording it for memory’s sake as well as for greater clarification.
Tomorrow we will begin our examination of “the broken cup” and what we may do to begin the mending process.