What is the point of doing this? Play. Exercises parts of our mind that we may not use - may not allow ourselves to use - Stream of consciousness generates thoughts we can see, reflect upon. Identifies areas that need addressing. Points to places where God wants to feed you.
Be honest. As you read the Reflection and thought about the Exercise, did you write what you wanted to write - or what you thought you should write, what you ought to write? Did you change an idea because it seemed silly, or unrealistic, or too good to be true? In other words, did you start editing yourself? Censoring yourself?
If so, why? Answer this last question. It will show you a place where God wants to meet with you.
Leave aside for a moment the fact that you may need to avoid certain foods because your body cannot tolerate them. Leave aside your worries about putting on weight. Leave aside your concerns about the ethics of food production. Leave aside your anxiety that other people might not have enough. Just focus on what you like, on what you enjoy.
In prayer, it is more important to be honest than to be good. Honesty, not goodness, is the way to truth. As your prayer becomes more honest, so you get closer to God who is truth. Who is good, even if you are not. And who is Love. God who is Love loves you, whether you are good or not. God who is Love, loves the truth of you, whether you are good, or not. Whatever the truth of you, God looks upon you only with love.
Honesty is the way to truth. When we are dealing with other people, we cannot always say exactly how we feel, but with God, it is essential that we are honest. That we tell it how it is. It is vital (literally, life-giving) that we are honest, because the more honest we can be, the more we get to the essence of who we are, and the essence of who God is. The more honest we can be, the more we get down to the source of God’s life within us. And the more God’s life can well up within us and around us.
Having developed a few ideas, make them a little more specific. Look out for postcards or pictures or anything else that reminds you of your ideal setting. Clip bits of material that fit the picture in your mind - colours, textures, cloth, paper - and pull them together in a scrapbook or collage.
Add to your list of invitees. Extend it as often and as far as you want. There are no limits. In doing so, are you reminded of someone you know - an old friend? A relative you have not seen for years? Phone them to say hallo. Or write them a postcard: thinking of you.
Write out a favourite recipe on some special paper or card. Make it and share it with a friend. Look out for books that “unpack” the image of feasting: Delia Smith - A Feast for Advent. A Feast for Lent. Bible Society - Feast. The novel Chocolat - Novel by Joanne Harris. Also a film of the same name. Babette’s Feast (film)
The vision of abundance gives us a sense of potential. It suggests the possibility of change, a new thing, a fresh encounter, an open door.
Jesus’ message: Abundant life for all.
On the one hand, our behaviour is always purposeful and in some sense positive. We feel a need and we act to meet that need. In that sense, we always intend to achieve something positive as a result of what we do. We are always “doing our best” - often in very difficult circumstances.
On the other hand, if we are deluded, desperate, corrupt and angry, our “best” can result in deceitful, cruel, violent and destructive behaviour.
 Genesis 1.28.
 Genesis 2.7.
 Romans 7.21-25.
 Mark 7.1-23.
 Proverbs 15.15b.
 Proverbs 15.17.
 John 4.31-34.
 Luke 23.34.
 Mark 1.40-45.