Each week of Advent, we’ll provide an Ignatian prayer for you, inspired by a video from Arts & Faith: Advent.
The video and prayer for the Fourth Week of Advent, Cycle C, is based on Luke 1:39–45. The art is Henry Ossawa Tanner’s The Visitation.
Prepare for a period of meditation by sitting comfortably, closing your eyes, and breathing deeply for a moment or two. Allow any present concerns to move across your mind and wait off to the side for now.
The You of the Future
In your imagination, you are sitting in your favorite room in your home. It’s also your favorite time of day. Items of comfort are around you—food and drink, or books, pillows, photos, magazines, or projects you enjoy working on. This is a place where you can be busy in quiet ways while your mind and heart do their meditating. You think about the future, about your loved ones, about plans for you and your family, and about the matters that worry you day to day. In this space, all of these thoughts turn into prayer.
Today, though, your heart seems to beat a bit faster than usual. You expect something to happen, but you’re not sure what it is. You know only that it is good, something to anticipate with hope and happiness. As you dwell in your favorite space and do your work and your thinking and praying, you feel the anticipation grow.
Then you feel a breeze, the kind of shift in the air that happens when someone opens a door. You can hear footsteps lightly making their way to you. This is what you’re waiting for! Who will it be? What will be the news? What will happen when you meet?
A shadow falls across the open doorway, and you look up. Your heart beats faster, and when you recognize the face and form, your breath catches. This can’t be happening—is it possible?
The person you see is . . . you. You have entered the room, and your smile glows. You look at yourself and know that this is a holy moment, because you are given the ability to see something about your own future. The you who has entered comes over to the you who is seated, and your eyes meet. You feel a vibration of joy in the room. You behold your own face glowing with faith and contentment.
You realize then, that the you of the future has come with news about a wonderful gift you have for the world. It is a gift that God has been forming in your life for many years. And in the not-so-distant future you will be asked to give this gift to the world, to help God’s kingdom become real on earth.
As the two of you—the two yous—draw closer, you listen for news of this gift. What do you possess that God is preparing for others? How will you become part of the bigger plan for God’s love in the world?
Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.