Contemplating the Passion with St. Ignatius

In the Third Week of the Spiritual Exercises, we contemplate the Passion of Jesus. St. Ignatius advises us to pray for the grace of compassion—the ability to suffer with Christ—as we encounter the Crucifixion. I ask for what I desire. Here is it what is proper for the Passion: sorrow with Christ in sorrow; a broken spirit with Christ so broken; tears; and interior suffering because of the great suffering which Christ endured for me. […]

Love to the End

This post is based on Week Seven of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. This is a painful week in the Spiritual Exercises as I accompany Jesus in his final hours. In entering the Gospel passages of the Passion, I place myself in the scenes as an onlooker and witness a man who is betrayed, arrested, and unjustly sentenced. He is spat on, jeered at, slapped, mocked, tortured, and condemned to a brutal, drawn-out death. The pain […]

Praying Through Suffering

In his book, The Ignatian Adventure, Kevin O’Brien, SJ, writes: In the third week of the Exercises, Ignatius invites us to consider how Jesus’ divinity ‘hides itself’ (SE 196). We must not easily explain away the suffering we encounter. Jesus is not merely playacting his way through a passion play. We must take Jesus’ humanity seriously enough to realize just how much he loves us. (227) In what moment is Jesus’ divinity more hidden than […]

Staying with the Cross

This post is based on Week Seven of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. In my work as a therapist, I suppose one could say it’s a central part of my job to tolerate discomfort. After all, many clients come to therapy in distress, pain, and grief, and the therapist’s role is to hold a space to welcome these understandably unwelcome emotions. In the therapy room, we might gently ask a client to delve deeper into a […]

A Eulogy for Jesus

This post is based on Week Seven of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. It was an assignment from my spiritual director, who suggested writing a eulogy for Jesus because of how close I became to him in my imaginative prayer. While some of this piece is not historically or scripturally accurate, the words express my experience with Christ in prayer. The setting of this particular reflection took place after laying Jesus in the tomb and before […]

The Ignatian Workout for Lent Retreat: Holy Week

During this Holy Week, our Ignatian Workout for Lent invites us to reflect on trial and suffering. Listen to Tim Muldoon’s reflection below. If you’d like, share some of your own reflections in the comments. Prayer What does a meditative reading of the story of the trial stir up in you? What trials have you faced, or are you facing? Can you find a place in your heart where you are willing to trust God […]

The Ignatian Workout for Lent Retreat: Fifth Week of Lent

Jesus faced his suffering with resolve. That’s the message this week in our Ignatian Workout for Lent. Listen to Tim Muldoon’s reflection below. If you’d like, share some of your own reflections in the comments. Prayer Lord, you know my fears and you yourself knew what it was to be afraid in the face of suffering. Send me the consolation of your Holy Spirit, so that I, too, can face my fears with resolve, knowing […]

Embrace Chaos

This is a guest post by Michelle Francl-Donnay for Week Seven of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. If I had a Latin motto posted over my office door it might be Conplecte abyssum—embrace chaos, or more literally, entwine yourself into the depths. At the start of each semester my students face what I imagine seems to them an enormous writhing mass of primordial information, which they must dive into, come to know, and ultimately recognize in […]

Accompanying Jesus in His Passion and Death

Kevin O’Brien, SJ, explains that the Third Week of the Spiritual Exercises is an extended meditation on the passion, suffering, and death of Jesus Christ. This week can be difficult, because we are accompanying our friend Jesus Christ whom we have gotten to know throughout the Exercises, through our days of prayer. We are accompanying our Lord in suffering and in death. But we are not to inflict amnesia on ourselves, because we know as […]

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, […]