Waking Up to the Risen Jesus

This story is inspired by the first contemplation in the Fourth Week of the Spiritual Exercises, the apparition of Christ to Mary (#218). Do you know that semiconscious state as you begin to awaken, when it’s possible to believe you’re still dreaming? That’s how I awoke the morning of my son’s Resurrection. I felt my Jeshua gently stroking my hair. I smiled and looked into his sweet face. Such a loving son! He was sitting […]

John 15 and the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love

Michael Sparough, SJ, offers a homily on the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love in response to John 15:9–17, which includes Jesus’ command to his disciples: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Fr. Sparough says that the Contemplation to Obtain Divine Love might better be translated as “a meditation on how God is alluring us. God is luring us to fall in love with him.” He continues on to consider the four meditation points […]

Guiltless Pleasure

If there’s a contrast to Lent, it’s Easter. If Lent is a time for holy sacrifice, Easter is a time for holy indulgence. I once heard someone use the term, “guiltless pleasure,” to refer to a pleasure that brings us close to God. And why not? As Christians, we tend to focus more on sacrifice than on celebration. We talk about the Mass as a “holy sacrifice” but can easily forget that it’s also supposed […]

Waiting for Daybreak

This post is based on Week Eight of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. I wonder what the time between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning was like for the disciples of Jesus. They witnessed his death and buried his body, and they waited for the first daybreak after the Sabbath to visit the tomb. Were they speaking with each other, trying to make sense of what had happened, or did they sit in silence? Did they comfort […]

Contemplation to Attain the Love of God

The final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises is the Contemplation to Attain the Love of God. Today, let yourself be guided through this contemplation with this beautiful video. If you were to make a video of your experience with the contemplation, what images would you include?

Surrendering to God’s Love

This post is based on Week Eight of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Contemplating the love of the Creator opened my heart to a new world, one that I needed to explore and experience. After all, it was the way Jesus prayed. He surrendered to the Father, the one who creates and sustains all things. In my prayer, I began to contemplate the mystery of God’s creation—from the galaxies of the cosmos to the tiniest of […]

The Ignatian Workout for Lent Retreat: Easter Week

Our Ignatian Workout for Lent now turns our attention to the Resurrection. Where will we recognize Jesus this Easter season? Listen to Tim Muldoon’s reflection below. If you’d like, share some of your own reflections in the comments. Prayer Find an image or icon of Christ that allows you to see him with the eyes of your heart. Speak your heart to him. Listen to him. Action Express your love for someone who is a […]

God as Mystery, God as Neighbor

Yesterday was a normal day, just like any other, but for some reason I woke up and was jolted with some unexpected thoughts about life and death. I hopped in the shower and a series of unanswerable questions swept my head space. What actually happens to us when we die? What exactly does God do all day? What/who is God? The questions simply led to more and more questions. And I’ve to come to the unfortunate […]

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

In his book The Ignatian Adventure, Kevin O’Brien, SJ, mentions a poem by Richard Wilbur in his discussion of the Contemplation to Attain the Love of God at the end of the Spiritual Exercises.  Its title is “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World.”  It’s about dwelling in the spiritual heights, but then, finally, coming back to earth to get the job done. The eyes open to a cry of pulleys, And spirited […]

The Spiritual Exercises in Glass

The Chapel of St. Ignatius at Seattle University, a landmark of modern religious architecture, contains some striking religious art: Dora Bittau’s five paintings on wood depicting events from the life of St. Ignatius and four windows inspired by the four weeks of the Spiritual Exercises.  Mary Robin Craig, a minister and Ignatian spiritual director, visited the chapel last summer.  About the window for the Fourth Week, above, she writes: An opening tomb?  An opening world?  The opening of […]

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