Ignatian contemplation allows the Spirit to bring to light important aspects of the Gospel that inform us along our spiritual journeys. This year, my contemplation on the Nativity—which I shared here—highlighted the following:
- Amidst the hustle and bustle of the marketplace, no one saw Mary in labor with the Christ Child. Where have I missed the opportunity to respond to Christ among us?
- Mary did not become upset when there were no rooms at the inns. She just trusted that, with God, everything would be ok. When things are difficult, do I look to Mary to learn from her grace-filled ways and profound trust in God?
- Unlike the sanitized nativity scene we see on Christmas cards, the events of that night were far from perfect. Mary gave birth in a dusty, smelly stable. There was no bed, no clean linen, no birth plan, no anesthesia, no comforts at all. Yet, in this real and imperfect setting, God came to earth. Do I think that I need to be perfect or that my prayers need to be perfect or that my life needs to be perfect before I can concentrate on God and ask God to come into my life?
- How often do I allow myself to “just breathe” in Jesus’ presence like Mary did after Jesus was born? How often do I allow myself to feel the peace and love that Jesus showers upon me when I rest in him?
This Christmas season, I invite you to take some time to sit prayerfully in Ignatian contemplation on Luke 2:1–7. What does the Spirit bring to light for you?