MARGARET O'CONNOR KIELKOPF, PH.D.,LCG

"I will put My Spirit within you And you will come to life." Ez:37
Spiritual Autobiography Exercise

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Take me to the fable of the cross

First step, first memory of God

The first step is to go back to your very first memory of God. This sets the tone of your personality with God. It may take a little while to come to this. Settle down and think about it. Your first memory will tell you something about yourself, about other people and about your relationship with God. Mull the memory over, then think about it again. Mine it for all it has to tell you.

Participate in an email exchange on beginning a spiritual autobiography

Instructions on our email exhange for outlining your spiritual autobiography

If you would like to share with me your notes for your spiritual autobiography, please click on the click on the "First Memory" link. This will call up an email form in which you are asked to give your first memory of God. I also ask you if you would like to use a "spiritual name" to protect your anonymity on the internet. This name can be something such as Sister Mary or Brother Mark, Pilgrim X, The seeker and so on. Also choosing a special name may help you look at yourself more objectively. Kierkegaard wrote some of his most important books under a pseudonym. Of course, use your proper name as your spiritual name if you wish. Put your name on all you emails. Your emails accumulate in your "sent" box. You can even revise them and send them again. It is hard to "get it right" about oneself the first time. Note that some browsers send up a blank page or say a page cannot be reach. But be patient an email form will soon appear.

Try to recall your first memory of God.

Email Response: First Memory

There is a fable about a man who complained so much over the weight of his cross that he was allowed to enter the eternal storeroom of crosses to choose his own. Once inside he went from one cross to another, trying each of them out on his shoulder, and rejecting each one as too heavy. Finally, as he came back to the door, he spied one last cross. He put it on his shoulder and discovered to his relief, that it was just right. He did not realize until he was outside that he had taken up his original cross, and that it was indeed, a perfect fit.

What is your cross? Is it right for you? Weigh your cross. Email Response: My Cross

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To continue Ė Let your life unfold like a photo album beginning with the early years. You may find it useful to keep a journal of your thoughts and reactions to these memories. Continue through your teenage and adult years in the same way until you come to the present. Pay special attention to the crossroads in your life. Can you see all of it as part of Godís plan, designed especially for you, with loving care?

Email Response: God's Plan?

Some other questions to ask yourself are adapted from the Jesuit 34 week online Retreat, which I made eight years ago. . See link on right.

What graces, insights, or special memories did I uncover in this process? Email Response: Special graces, insights, memories?

Where, in my life story, did I feel most totally known by God? Email Response: Most Known to God

Where in my story were there crossroads? It could have gone this way or that: how was God present in the way my story continued from there? Email Response: Crossroads

Am I accepting of who I am today? If not, can I hold those areas up to God? If yes, can I hold my whole self up to God, in gratitude? Email Response: Holding myself up to God

Are there areas I feel God is wanting to love in me? change in me? make use of for others? Email Response: What God expects of me

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