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…)
Grace: A growing intense sorrow and, if God so wishes, even tears for my sins.
Text For Prayer: Matt 25: 31-46
Reflection: How do we treat our best friend? For most people, a best friend is somebody that they trust and with whom they share their joys and sorrows. The relationship, like all human relationships, requires work, though. We understand that we must listen to our friend’s joys and sorrows. We must call them from time to time and always on their birthday, We don’t backstab our friend or gossip about them behind their back. If we don’t abide by these tenets of friendship we will realize that we will soon have no friends at all.
Grace: To be free from the obstacles in our lives and in ourselves that prevent us from knowing God and to trust that God will meet us when we sincerely seek Him.
Text for prayer: Ps 91
Reflection: Many years of St. Ignatius’s life were poured into the development of the Spiritual Exercises. This work, though, was not the labor wrought of some saintly theologian academically prescribing a rigid method of prayer. Rather, Ignatius gives us his own journey to God. Before the Saint and before his education, he found a path to God. His years were first spent on the journey and then later refining it so that it could be shared. These exercises are recognized as such a great gift because they work for all of us, whether one is a pauper or papal. If we enter this time with sincerity and an open heart, then there is little reason to fear that we are not going to do it right, for these exercises are not written just for theologians or spiritual giants, but for humans who seek God.
As we enter this Lenten Season, we should seek to enter with freedom. Many think that Lent simply means that we need to pray harder, longer, or go to an extra Mass or two. In this way it might feel much like an obligation or a duty. However, this time is better thought of as an invitation. It is an invitation into the realization of God’s life and the knowledge that God is with us. We are free to simply accept God as an obligation, but our lives are much more enriched when we realize that God is also an unconditional gift who deserves more than just obligatory respect.