Litany of Gratitude for Ignatian Tools

by Becky Eldredge

There is that old adage that says, “When God closes one door, God opens another one.” When my husband and I were overwhelmed with the closing of a door two years ago, a friend of mine said to me, “No one tells you that the hallway between the two doors can feel like hell.” My husband and I walked that hard hallway of uncertainty for two years.

Thank you God signIt has not completely sunk in that the hallway is over—that the doors of our most recent journey are no longer closed, and that the uncertainty of which door to walk through no longer hangs over our heads.

I have no doubt that without the many Ignatian tools that people taught us over the years, we would have been flat on our faces with despair. The hallway of transition could have felt completely dark, but instead, there were always beacons of light coming in through the windows.

So, today, I offer my Litany of Gratitude for the Ignatian tools that guided me these past two years. Join me in prayers of thanksgiving for the great gifts of Ignatian spirituality. Thank you, God, for:

  • the Examen and its ability to help us name God in all things, even in moments that feel dark.
  • the Examen’s ability to help us name people who make up our circles of support and who show us God and help illuminate the way.
  • the knowledge of consolation and desolation and how the movements of the spirits can guide us in decision making.
  • the rules of discernment that allow us to understand where the Holy Spirit is present and when God is trusting us to make our own decisions.
  • the wisdom that discernment is ongoing.
  • the invitation to continue to “check the fruits” of our decisions.
  • imaginative prayer that enables Scripture to come alive and allows Christ to speak to us through his holy Word.

What are the gifts of Ignatian spirituality for which you are thankful?

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Becky Eldredge is a writer and spiritual director in Dallas, Texas. She holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education from Louisiana State University and a Masters in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University New Orleans. She has her Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Spring Hill College. Becky has been involved in ministry for 15 years, with the majority of her work in retreat ministry and adult faith formation. While ministry is one of her passions, her greatest joy is sharing life with her husband, Chris, and her children, Brady and Abby.

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January 25, 2013

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Viollie January 25, 2013 at 7:37 am

As I walked and prayed one summer day in June of 2012, desperately seeking and asking God to reveal more of Himself to me, I stumbled upon -to my surprise- the words Jesuit, St Ignatius. As these words were flickering through my mind, I was confident of the Holy Spirit’s guidance and inspiration. Shortly after I went home and google searched those words and I was lead to the website ignatianspirituality.com. I started reading the website everyday since then…

And so, I’m grateful for experiencing God , His consoling presence and thus has renewed and deepened my friendship with Him particularly through the Examen. I felt lead now to do more imaginative prayer using the Scripture…

I’m telling friends that God through the saints are active in our lives particularly St Ignatius in my present life. Thank you for your post, I appreciate it. God bless you.

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Lynda January 25, 2013 at 9:47 am

Becky, thank you for this litany of gratitude. I constantly thank God for these Ignatian tools and for Ignatian Spirituality where my soul has found its home. I would add one more – The 19th Annotation which has been incredibly transformational in my life. I thank God for Saint Ignatius and his faithfulness to our Lord.

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Tim Muldoon January 25, 2013 at 9:52 am

Becky, prayers of thanks for you and your husband!

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Deborah January 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Ignatian tools I’m thankful for: imaginative prayer, discernment of spirits, “generosity” toward God, and especially for the bit of community I experience here at dotMagis.

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Maria Ligaya Valencia,RVM January 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

Thank you for sharing your experience of the beauty and richness of

Ignatian Spirituality. Some of my experiences of Ignatian tools somehow resonate with mine. God bless!

I cannot thank God enough for the gift of St. Ignatius to the Church, to the world and to many Congregations that share some of the traditions of Ignatian Spirituality.

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Marg January 28, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I will start by being grateful for my parish, a Jesuit apostolate. It all came to me there and continues to bring me much enlightenment and comfort.

I am grateful for Loyola Press and the many opportunities it has afforded me. Starting with PFO and moving forward to this day. It gives me a little break at work and offers me so many resources to choose from.

I am grateful for the Examen, not good at it, but grateful just the same. It is a giant flashlight shining on my life. I pick it up and put it down. One day . . .

I too am grateful for the idea of using imaginative prayer with scripture.

My faith changed from the one of my childhood to a more adult version with new ways to look at everything.

m.

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Linda G January 28, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I don’t think there is such a thing as “not good at” the Examen. I usually fall asleep in the middle of it — sitting on the sofa yet. The Examen is a malleable tool and a great one (in fact they based the twelve steps on it).

I like your giant flashlight idea!

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Linda G January 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm

“We are always looking for extraordinary, mountain top experiences to lead us to sanctity, but God uses the ordinary, daily events in our lives to mold us as the potter molds his clay” (Fr. Rodney Kissinger, Jesuit Priest of the New Orleans Province, June 25, 2012).

And:

“Faith never knows where it’s being led, but it loves and knows the one who is leading” (Oswald Chambers as cited in Daily Reflections at Creighton University, July 2, 2012).

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Linda G January 28, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Oops I put this on the wrong blog but it’s okay.

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Nancy July 26, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I am grateful for all the Ignatian Tools but today I want to give special thanks to God for each member of my Christian Life Community. They are a great blessing in my life, the “company” that I need to persevere in my commitment to living the Ignatian Spirituality. It is through the life in community that I have seen many of the graces of the Spiritual Exercises unfold through the years. They also help me use all the other tools in the Ignatian Spirituality. AMDG

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