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Week 6 Day 5

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Week # 6 – The Blessing CupDay # 5 – The Cup of Thanksgiving 
Reflection (using your five external senses to lead you to gratitude):
Take your cup and place a favorite beverage in it.

Listen to the sound of the liquid as you pour.

Take the cup and smell the beverage.

Look at the liquid, the color, fluidity, etc.

Feel the liquid in the cup.

Drink it very, very slowly.

Taste it fully.

Be aware of the blessing of your five senses.

Give thanks.
Prayer:
I thank you, God, with my whole heart.

I will tell of your wonderful deeds.

I will be glad and exult in you.

I will sing to you for you have dealt bountifully with me.

Your steadfast love endures forever.
Today:
I will live this day as if it was my last.

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Week 6 Day 4

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Week # 6 – The Blessing CupDay # 4 – Disguised Blessings
Reflection:
Take your cup in your hands.

Stand and face the East, the direction of awakening, of insight, of new life.

Hold out your cup to God, the Wisdom-Giver.

Receive the wisdom from your disguised blessings.

Then hold the cup to your heart.

Stand for several minutes in quiet union with God.
Prayer:
Holy Wisdom, come with your vast vision.

Help me to sift through the rubble of my trying times, to find the teachings that can guide my life.

You who see far beyond the devastation, lead me to believe that there might be gifts in what I want to toss away.

I offer you my gratitude for all the disguised blessings that are mine.
Today:

If an unwanted experience occurs today, I will not toss it out until I struggle to find a blessing in it.

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Week 6 Day 3

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Week # 6 – The Blessing CupDay # 3 – The Cup Brimming Over
Reflection:
Set your cup before you.

Pour water into it so that it fills to the very brim, ready to wash over the edge.

Sit and ponder how full the cup is.

Close your eyes and picture God’s love filling you.

Let your entire being receive this love.
Prayer:
Extravagant God,

Generosity beyond comprehension,

Bestower of all that I need,

Thank you for the immensity of your kindness.

Praise to you for the endless outpouring of your love.

My being proclaims your goodness.
Today:
As I pour liquids of any kind into a cup, a glass or a bowl, I will smile inside as I remember how generous God is in filling my life with blessings.

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Week 6 Day 2

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Week # 6 – The Blessing CupDay # 2 – The Memory Cup
Reflection:
Hold the blessing cup in your hands.

Let it be filled with memories.

Choose one memory of love and happiness.

Let this memory pervade your entire being.

Receive the renewed inner strength it offers you.

Write a word for this memory on a piece of paper.

Place the word in your memory cup today.

Thank God for this memory.
Prayer:
O Memory Giver, thank you for the storehouse of good memories that is mine.

May these blessed memories give me hope and inspiration for my spiritual journey.

I ask this day that the touch of your goodness, your blessings, be with…(name those you especially want to bless). 

Thank you for your blessings.
Today:
I will carry one blessed memory in my heart and let it sustain me with happiness and peace.

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Week 6 Day 1

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Week # 6 – The Blessing CupDay # 1 – The Blessing Cup
Reflection:
Hold the cup in your hands.

Wrap your hands around the cup.

Remember the God-ness dwelling within you.

Think about people who have blessed you.

How did they do this?

Think about how you have blessed others.

Give thanks for the God-ness in you.

Give thanks for the ability to bless and be blessed.
Prayer:
Blessed are you, God, Source of all goodness. 

The boundless beauty and unlimited love of your presence blesses me at every moment of my existence. 

May your goodness radiate from me and bring the blessing of your loving touch to each person with whom I share life.
Today:
I will intentionally bless each person I meet today with the gift of my loving presence.

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End of Week Five

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We have completed the 5th week of our Retreat Countdown. This past week we have focused on “the cup of compassion”. In Joyce Rupp’s book, compassion is referred to as “the quality of being able to get inside the skin of another in order to respond with loving care and concern.” Did this week’s reflections and prayers help you to ‘get inside the skin of another’? As we got to the end of the week, we were reminded that compassion is sometimes simply “being” with someone to experience with them their pain, suffering and powerlessness. Sometimes compassion means “doing” something, giving of our time and our resources to help another. An important part of our journey is to remember that sometimes compassion means “receiving graciously” from another who has need of our receptivity and our vulnerability. 
Now that we are approaching the date reserved on our calendars for our Spiritual Day of Reflection and have just one week left to “prepare”, are you wondering if you have prayed these past five weeks well enough? Are you doubting the value and worth of your daily practice? If you are, remember that prayer is not about progress and results or about feeling good. Prayer is about relating with God and having this relationship make a difference in the way we live our lives. Prayer is the intention of our hearts to commune with God. May you continue to renew that intention each day and look forward to the culmination of our retreat countdown when we spend the day together next Thursday.

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Week 5 Day 6

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Week # 5 – The Cup of CompassionDay # 6 – The Gift of Be-ing
Reflection:
Look at the cup before you.

Notice how simply it sits there but also how you are “with” the cup as you gaze upon it.

Intentionally recall the Divine Compassion within you.

Gather to your heart the pain of someone you know.

Be with this person and with the pain.

Do not try to “do” anything other than “be”.

Be deeply and intimately bonded with this person.
Prayer:
God of compassion, when I hesitate to be with another, strengthen me. When I question the quality of my presence, assure me. 

When I want to show my worth through action, humble me. 

When I miss the needs of the one who suffers, awaken me. 

When I forget the beauty of a loving presence, remind me. 

When I run away from the call to be there, bring me back.
Just to be is a blessing.
Today:
I will be present to another without charging into action.

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Week 5 Day 5

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Week # 5 – The Cup of CompassionDay # 5 – Pouring From The Cup
Reflection:
Hold the cup in your hands.

Look and see all the space it has for filling.

Visualize God pouring love into your heart.

Picture your heart filled with this love.

Bring to mind someone who is suffering.

Let the love within you go out to this person.

Picture your love poured out profusely, filling this person’s whole being.

Sit in silence and be at peace.
Prayer:
O God, you turn my meager offerings into golden treasures.

Let me not be hesitant when you ask for my love in the form of compassion.

You are so abundant in your compassion for me.

May I be as generous with others.

May the measure of compassion I give be the measure of compassion returned to me.
Today:
I will pour generously from my cup of love and kindness today.

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Week 5 Day 4

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Week # 5- The Cup of CompassionDay # 4 – The Cup of Sacrifice
Reflection:
Stand with the cup in your hands.

Visualize yourself with God’s compassion filling your soul with love.

Then picture someone (or a group) who hurts.

Imagine what the pain must be like.

Let your loving care and concern go to them.

Stand at the foot of their cross.

Send hope and courage to them.
Prayer:
Mary, woman of sorrows, your son’s life was filled with compassion. 

Your life teaches me to suffer with others even when it costs me to do so.

May I be there at the foot of the cross of the suffering ones of this world in the loving way that you were at the foot of the cross of Jesus.

May I learn from your love how to be a loving person.
Today:
I will offer thanks for someone who paid a price for offering compassion to me. 

I will place myself beneath the cross of another who needs my compassion.

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Week 5 Day 3

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Week # 5 – The Cup of CompassionDay # 3 – Giving the Cup Freely
Reflection:
Hold your cup in your hands.

Imagine the cup filled to the brim with God’s endless compassion for you.

Thank God for this gift.

Ask God to help you offer this compassion to others.

Rest in the presence of God’s love.
Prayer:
God of compassion, take me to the ones who hurt.

May I see you in every face.

May I hear you in every voice.

May I welcome you in each relationship.

May I give freely with true generosity.
Today:
I will choose an aspect of compassion that I need and give it to myself as well as to others.