Getting Started

The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola are best suited for prayer during a silent retreat. However,  Ignatius knew that they could also be effective when employed in a less isolated environment. It is the hope of the authors of this blog that you, the reader, find the meditations that we offer here useful in your own search to encounter Christ in prayer in your daily life. The meditations are intended to be prayed in order, from as close to the beginning as possible, perhaps over the course of a dedicated time such as the season of Lent. (more…)

March 6th, 2014

April 15, 2014 |

Grace: To have a felt sense of Jesus’ desire to give me his whole self, in love.

Text for Prayer: Mt 26:20-35

Reflection: From the moment of the Agony in the Garden, it seems as if Jesus enters into the drama of his betrayal, passion, and death with unflinching determination. This determination is based on his confidence in his communion with the Father.

Early on in the Last Supper, Jesus reveals that one of his beloved will betray him. Still, the meal unfolds. This knowledge of the coming betrayal adds a dimension of dread to what is happening. The full knowledge He has of the ways in which He has been and will continue to be “handed over” is most perfectly signified in the way in which He is “handed over” to us in the Eucharist. Jesus being handed over to the authorities and before being hung upon the Cross is anticipated in this moment of the Passover meal that He celebrates with His disciples. Though this meal is marked by the dread of what is about to happen, it remains indeed a celebration of the love that does not back down in the face of suffering, betrayal, and death.

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April 15th, 2014 | |

March 26, 2013 |

Grace: To love God with all my heart and my neighbor as myself

Text for Prayer: Jn 13

Reflection: In Jn 13, Jesus washes his apostles’ feet at the Last Supper, giving them the “mandatum” or great commandment to go and do likewise. “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do,” Jesus tells them (Jn 13:15). Today in Rome, Pope Francis is scheduled to celebrate Holy Thursday at a juvenile prison, washing the feet of 12 inmates to symbolize this loving gesture of Christ.

Some might take offense at the pope’s choice of inmates for this rite, but we will do well to recall that Jesus himself washed the feet of Judas in John’s gospel, knowing full well Judas would betray him.

Jesus’ action causes strife among the apostles, with Peter at first refusing to allow it, and Judas the traitor leaving early after Jesus declares that someone will betray him.

Meanwhile, the youngest apostle John leans his head against Jesus’ chest, hoping in vain to learn the identity of this traitor.

Only after Judas leaves does Jesus reveal fully his true message. “I give you a new commandment: Love one another,” he tells the 11 apostles, adding: “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (Jn 13:34).

Jesus then proceeds to give us the Eucharist, the sacramental food of his body and blood, as an offering of thanksgiving for God’s love.

As we draw to the end of Lent during this Holy Week, we might ask ourselves whether we are truly prepared to receive Christ in the Eucharist this Easter. We may wish to ponder whether we have truly shared God’s love with others. And we can perhaps take stock of our desire to serve God by serving others, thereby helping to bring about God’s kingdom here on earth.

Questions: For what am I most grateful right now?  Do I love others the way Jesus loves me? Which apostle resonates most with me in this story of the Last Supper in the cenacle?

March 26th, 2013 | |

April 3, 2012 |

Grace: To possess a personal intimacy with Christ just as the disciples did in the Upper Room on the night of the Last Supper.

Reading: John 15: 1-17

Reflection:

Where you there when they crucified my Lord?
Where you there when they crucified my Lord?
O, sometimes, it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Where you there when they crucified my Lord?

It takes a lot to cause a grown man to tremble. A Man trembles in an earthquake. He trembles from a heart attack or a stroke. He trembles after a good blow to the jaw or stomach.

So how many people will be physically trembling on Friday afternoon when we remember Christ’s Crucifixion? (more…)

April 3rd, 2012 | |

April 19, 2011 |

Grace: To ask for a felt knowledge of Jesus’ desire to give Himself entirely to me, in love.

Text for Prayer: John 13:1-30

Reflection: The Last Supper – this is the last great moment of intimacy of Jesus with His Apostles, and at the same time the saddest, most convoluted time of Jesus’ betrayal.  It is a rich scene of thirteen friends gathered in an upper room for the Passover meal.  Yet the Last Supper bears a double seal, of the most near friendship and of the most immense sadness.  Imagine what might have been going through Our Lord’s mind as He prepared Himself and His Apostles for what awaited Him, knowing one of His own would betray Him.

Yet, in the midst of all this – Christ chooses to wash the feet of His Apostles.  Our King is the king who came to serve.  Moreover, this most humble gesture happens before Judas leaves to betray the Lord; Jesus washes the feet of Judas this very night.  Yes, Jesus washes the feet of Judas himself.

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April 19th, 2011 | |