The Passion and Holy Week

This is Holy Week, which is the subject of what the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises call the Third Week. During this week we accompany Jesus through the Last Supper, the agony in the garden, the betrayal and arrest, the scourging and trial, the Way of the Cross, the crucifixion, death, and burial. That’s a lot to take in, and I don’t think it’s possible to take in all of it during any one day or week, […]

An Imagination Encounter with Jesus

In the previous post, I briefly described various aspects of Jesus’ personality and the different roles he plays in the Gospel accounts. I asked that you identify the role or roles you are most comfortable with or most attracted to. Also, identify the role(s) least attractive to you or that make you uncomfortable. Now, use your imagination to sit down and have a conversation with Jesus. Choose the Jesus you are most comfortable with—maybe it’s […]

Knowing Jesus of Nazareth

A major feature of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius is our focus on knowing Jesus and relating to him personally. Each person comes from a unique background, family, culture, and time, and so no two people will perceive Jesus in quite the same way. From the New Testament accounts of him we can relate to Jesus in various ways. Like each of us, Jesus’ personality was multifaceted, and he played many roles in one […]

What Is Worth Your Desire?

The Spiritual Exercises ask us to look at Christ and what he stands for. We’re instructed to imagine him as a good king who brings his forces against the evil king. In today’s world, especially here in the West, we don’t think much in terms of kings and kingdoms. So this imagery can be difficult to integrate with our prayer. But we can approach it this way. As we observe Jesus in the Gospel accounts, […]

Desire and Decision

Sometimes the Christian journey is framed in terms of making a decision, a commitment, to follow Jesus and his way. But we don’t live strictly by decisions, acts of the will. We don’t just make up our mind and do a certain thing. A deeper part of the self must be involved when it comes to true conversion. One of the more prevalent forms of evangelical teaching focuses upon giving intellectual assent to a set […]

Reflection Video: Jesus the Child

Today, think of Jesus as an infant, as a child learning, as a child with life’s window opening up before him. Watch the video below for the complete reflection on Jesus the child. This post is a part of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure, Week 4.

A Twelve-Year-Old, Where?

There’s so much to contemplate on during this part of the Spiritual Exercises. This week we consider Jesus’ birth and presentation in the temple (for naming and circumcision), also the small family’s exile in Egypt to protect the boy’s life, and then the twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple at Jerusalem. Monday’s post explored the birth of Jesus. Let’s skip ahead now to his little show in the temple. His parents have made the annual pilgrimage […]

If Jesus Were Born Today

It’s easy to distance ourselves from the birth of Jesus. After all, it happened more than 2,000 years ago, and it happened in a place quite different from where most of us—the blog-reading community—live. A few of us have seen the Holy Land and understand a bit more about the landscape and the people, but still, there’s so much we don’t know about what actually happened when the Incarnation announced itself in the cries of […]

Sin: The Individual Portrait

We have begun to consider what sin looks like in the big picture. But that’s not enough. Sooner or later, I must take that slow and thoughtful look at my own life and identify where, in that life, God’s love is disrupted, ignored, or pushed aside. Here are a few questions to help us with this difficult—and sometimes painful—task: Where is the pain in my life? What is causing it? At what point was love […]

Sin: The Big Picture

Lent is the season during which we consider what it means to be fallen creation, in need of divine help. In Week 3 of our Ignatian Prayer Adventure, we’re encouraged to think about sin at different levels. There’s the sin of Adam and Eve. There’s the sin of the individual. There’s also sin on a larger scale—sin that is entrenched in our social and political systems. For the moment, I’d rather not try to define […]

1 2 3