Contemplation to Attain the Love of God

The Contemplation to Attain the Love of God is a kind of capstone of Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises. Sometimes it is phrased as “The Contemplation on Divine Love,” since God’s love is not something that we “attain” through our own actions. The aim of the meditation is to be aware of the gracious and abundant love of God and to respond in love, generosity, and freedom. Ignatius asks us to pray for the grace that we […]

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 […]

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 Only True Identity

My 84-year-old father, a former Air Force fighter pilot who traveled around the world, now spends his days mainly confined to his recliner. His liberty to get up and walk to the refrigerator, let alone travel or even run an errand, is gone. He has lived in the same room for three years now, yet every time he enters it he asks if that is the place he is staying tonight. The voice and memory […]

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 […]

The Contemplation on Divine Love

The final contemplation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius is the Contemplation on Divine Love, or the Contemplation on the Love of God. It captures all of the movements we’ve been praying through during our retreat in daily life. In the video below, Kevin O’Brien, SJ, explains the exercise as contemplating God’s love, which is given to us so freely and generously. We are first asked to contemplate how God creates out of love, […]

Gratitude Is the Key

Gratitude is the key to Ignatian spirituality and the topic for my final video for An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. The Spiritual Exercises end with a vision of generosity and gratitude called the Contemplation to Attain the Love of God. How can we respond? If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to watch the Week 8 video Gratitude.

Adopting Again

My new favorite description of love is the willingness to enter a mess. It’s a pretty decent description of the Incarnation (or kenosis for you theologians out there); it captures the spirit of that oft-quoted passage from Matthew 25 about feeding Jesus when you feed the hungry. It’s pretty close to the sentiment that Ignatius counsels in the Contemplation to Attain Love in the fourth week of the Spiritual Exercises. It’s certainly what was on […]

Best Ignatian Songs: Have I Told You Lately that I Love You

Van Morrison says that his song “Have I Told You Lately that I Love You” is a prayer to God. It’s an Ignatian song: its style is conversational, it’s full of gratitude, and the lyrics echo the Contemplation on the Love of God at the end of the Spiritual Exercises: There’s a love that’s divine And it’s yours and it’s mine And it shines like the sun At the end of the day We will […]