Kevin O’Brien, SJ, on the Call of Christ the King

Kevin O'Brien, SJ and The Ignatian Adventure book coverOne of the central meditations of the Spiritual Exercises is the Call of Christ the King.

Imagine a call from an earthly leader who has inspired us, and then imagine Christ calling us to join him in helping him to realize God’s kingdom on earth. Does that excite us or scare us? Does it make us hopeful? What does God’s dream for the world mean for us?

The contemplation on the Call of Christ the King will begin next week’s Ignatian Prayer Adventure exercises.


  1. When I love and serve it feels the rightest, to coin a word. Deserving my pride always leaves me empty. Jesus help me!

  2. I visit the sick on a weekly basis. Some days I prefer to do something else. It is only on rare occasions however that I change my routine because I know that once I get there and settle in, I become deeply aware of God’s movement through me…truly a mystical experience that I end with a prayer of thanksgiving for grace received and grace given.

  3. Ah yes now what happens when the call sounds too hard. I was listening to a ‘legalistic’ (Danielle) sermon about the camel going through the eye of a needle (Marg) and came home rather discouraged. I’m not rich but to think that it was easier for the rich to go through the eye of a needle than to get into the Kingdom of Heaven was depressive and I was rather annoyed with God for saying it and told Him so.
    Then deep in my spirit I heard Him reply, “SHIRLEY! ” He said quite loudly and excitedly “you’re reading this the wrong way round!”
    “Think, just think! I can even get people to go through an eye of a needle. How marvellous is that!”
    It can be done and I can do it. I can do anything!!
    An excitement began to rise in my spirit and my mind-set changed from discouragement to wonder at what The Lord could do – even this and later that morning at work I needed a big miracle to happen and asked that He do it in confirmation of what He’d just told me.
    Not only did the miracle happen but it was more than expected.
    When the call gets hard I remember what He told me and I tell Him, “Lord you can push camels through the eye of a needle – even great, big fat ones -You can do anything and I need Your help right now.”
    And I wait.
    This is the first time ever I’ve written on a blog 🙂

  4. Thank you so much to all the people who put together this website. It has really impacted my life in huge ways. I needed interaction with God that wasn’t only narrowed down to legalistic scripture readings.

  5. I’m in a crowd at Cal Expo. For weeks You Tube’s gone viral with videos of a new world leader. I’d only come to see if I could catch a glimpse of this man that they’re all raving about, but once that I arrived, I found what is always a blessing to me. Free admission!! So, I wander through the gate with the rest of the people making their way inside. Soon, I’m mashed in with the rest and as I look around me, my heart sinks. I find myself in the midst of the most important people: scholars, artists, political powers, those from the most important families and other powerful people. I feel soooooooooooo small and try to blend in so as not to be noticed. Then, he starts to speak. He talks of love and peace. He talks of hope and this strange thing called “grace”. My heart sinks. I don’t believe it. But now, I’m trapped. The crowd has grown and there is no way for me to exit. I’m stuck here for the duration. As I stand, hot and more than a little claustrophobic, I hear my name being whispered. “It’s just my imagination,” I think. Then, I hear it again, just a little louder, and I look around. Maybe one of my friends has also been trapped here, but no. I don’t recognize one living soul. “What am I doing here?” I think aloud in frustration. “I don’t belong with any of these people,” and I try to hide myself from them. Then again I hear my name called, “Emma!” only loud and clear and coming from the stage area in the front. I look up and He’s motioning to me, smiling and laughing. Our eyes meet and I ask, “me? you don’t mean *me*?” He laughs and says, “Yes, you. Come up here with me.” The crowd thins and I make my way to the front. I can’t meet his eyes, I am so embarassed. Why me? He leans towards me as I approach and I whisper in His ear, “You’ve made a mistake. You’ve got me confused with someone else, you can’t mean *me*. Look at all the people here that you have to choose from. Why do you want *me*? There are so many people here that could be of so much more use to you than me. I’m clumsy. I’m not all that smart. I don’t have any great talents to share. What can I do for you?” That’s how I feel and think. Very, very small.

  6. As I look at my life in retrospect I now see the many times I have been called in different ways to walk my journey with Christ. Sometimes I have felt called to do something and then later called to leave that particular calling. In between times I have wondered “What next, God?” There have been times of anxiety with each new calling and what is expected of me. When I calm down and answer the call I know that I am not alone on the new path brought to me. Right now I am on pause… waiting for the new road before me. As I write this I see that these past two years have been spent learning how to live without my beloved spouse. However, I have not been alone on the journey of grief, but have seen that this an experience where I have been learning how to help others face the death of a loved one. And on it goes, God’s calling in so many different ways and Christ showing me how to keep growing at each call.

    • @Helen C.
      You said “I know that I am not alone on the new path brought to me. Right now I am on pause… learning how to live without my beloved spouse…I have not been alone…learning how to help others face the death of a loved one.” Helen, you answered Christ’s call to serve others. You are helping others and yourself turn desolation into consolation, darkness into light. I am doing something similar by facilitating a Seattle University Magis small group for older adult and retired alumni of Ignatian institutions and formation processes. This is a place where we share our journey, encourage one another and use Ignatian tools in the third chapter of our lives. I am grateful to have companions on this Camino Ignaciano.

  7. This brings out so many thoughts for me. Hard to imagine being called from our place in this modern world. Hard to know what is really asked. I always think of the idea of the camel passing through the eye of the needle! OK, sometimes I can say yes, but what happens when I can’t or won’t? Many thoughts!

  8. Thank you for the invitation to be attentive to my inner response to the Call of the King, which, when I do pay attention, arrives in many disguises daily. Once I pay attention I can see the times when I willingly cooperate and the times when I “take a pass” on responding to that call. The biggest obstacle to my making a positive response is the heretical notion that somehow the call is for me to respond to alone, as if Christ issues the call and that’s the last I’ll see of him. As if he won’t be working in me and through me and, most appealing of all, alongside me. In fact looking back on my life, it’s Christ who’s done most of the heavy lifting and it seems he just likes me along for the ride. Who knew!


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