1. Who were the people that helped form you in your faith?
2. What were the places that helped form you in your faith?
3. What were the events that helped form you in your faith?
In your silence let these faces, places and events surface. Then choose one or two to write about. Tell of ONE spiritual scene with a grateful heart. You may begin your sharing by saying, “I am grateful to God for/that...”
Questions to Ponder for the Transformative Stage of Faith
1. What thresholds have you been invited to cross on your contemplative spiritual journey?
2. Who were the people, places and events surrounding these invitations?
3. What did you discover when you entered this new spiritual place?
4. What struggles (inner and external) did you face as you deepened your contemplative spiritual journey?
5. How did these experiences lead you to a deeper experience of God, self, others and creation?
Questions to Ponder about the Dark Night of the Soul
1. As you have traveled your contemplative spiritual journey, how has God invited you to “let go” or “loosen your hold” on some of the people, places, and events of your Formative Stage of Faith?
2. How has this “letting go” or “loosening” deepened your contemplative experience of faith?
3. Who have your spiritual companions been in your dark night experiences?
4. What has been your challenge in walking through the Dark Night?
5. What gift has the Dark Night offered you?
Questions to Ponder about the Unitive Stage of Faith
1. When has God offered you a glimpse of complete union with God?
2. How do you feel God pulling you toward recovery (as Merton puts it) of your original union with God?
3. What do you feel you need to “give up” - “loosen your grip on” - “let go of” to move toward complete union with God?
4. Do you believe complete union with God is possible? If so, how do your personal spiritual experiences (as Thomas Keating puts it) give you confidence to believe it?
5. What is your heart’s deepest spiritual desire?