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Welcome to TJC Journal 

Welcome to TJC Journal, which features members of TJC staff and Ignatian partners answering questions and offering reflections about Ignatian Spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius (see posts below).  Other online Ignatian prayer resources also are offered (see links to the right).  Additional prayer and educational resources appear in TJC's Ignatian Spirituality Resource Guide: http://jesuit-collaborative.org/welcome 

TJC Journal Links

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, Part 15

Dec. 30, 2015 - The retreatants are in the second “week“ of the Exercises. They are now praying with a key contemplation: The Call of Christ the King.

The kingdom, or reign, of God is a key symbol in biblical tradition, expressing God’s dream for the world. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone followed God’s law of love and life. Jesus revealed God’s dream for the world in the way he lived, taught, healed and served others.

In this prayer, we ask for the grace not to be deaf to Christ’s call in our life and to be willing to do what Christ asks of us.  We should be honest about any fears or hesitation we may experience, and trust that God’s will for us is found in our deepest, truest desires.

Prayerfully contemplate the Kingdom of Jesus Christ:

Begin by contemplating the call of a worldly leader, which then leads us to consider the call of Christ, our King. Note that Ignatius uses language and feudal imagery of his time and station in life. Feel free to substitute the inspiration of a person of our time who personifies virtue and integrity, fights against injustice or labors for the oppressed, in place of the earthly king image.

  • First, I will place before my mind a human king, chosen by God our Lord himself, whom all Christian princes and all Christian persons reverence and obey.
  • Second, I will observe how the king speaks to all his people, saying, “My will is to conquer the whole land of the infidels. Hence, whoever wishes to come with me has to be content with the same food I eat, and the drink, and the clothing I wear, and so forth.  So too each one must labor with me during the day, and keep watch in the night, and so on, so that later each may have a part with me in the victory, just as each has shared in the toil."
  • ​Third, I will consider how good subjects ought to respond to a king so generous and kind; and how, consequently if someone did not answer his call, he would be scorned and upbraided by everyone and accounted as an unworthy knight.

​What stirs in you as you pray with this contemplation?

Next, consider the call of Jesus Christ.  From the Spiritual Exercises:

  • If we give consideration to such a call from the temporal king, how much more worthy of our consideration it is to gaze upon Christ our Lord…. Therefore, whoever wishes to come with me must labor with me, so that through following me in the pain he or she may follow me also in the glory (emphasis added).

​What desires, dreams, concerns, fears or hopes does Christ’s invitation stir in me?  How am I moved to respond now?

- Adapted from “The Ignatian Adventure” by Kevin O’Brien, SJ (Loyola Press)

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, Part 14

Dec. 23, 2015 - The retreatants are now in the second “week” of the Exercises. Currently, they are contemplating the hidden life of Jesus.  Because so little is recorded about Jesus’ early life, we rely on our imaginative prayer to fill in the details.  Do not be concerned about the historical accuracy of the details you supply – we are not reconstructing history.  Rather, with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we are asking for the graces of knowing Jesus more intimately, loving him more dearly and following him more closely.

Prayerfully read Luke 2:41-50  http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=255730857

Accompany Jesus on his journey to the temple, where he experiences a deepening sense of his vocation.  Be present to Mary and Joseph in their concern for their son. Share with them the experiences of your own youth and how you feel about those experiences now.

- Adapted from “The Ignatian Adventure” by Kevin O’Brien, SJ (Loyola Press)

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, Part 13

Dec. 16, 2015 - Part 13: Praying along with the retreatants of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life.

The Jesuit Collaborative, in conjunction with the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College and the Office of Mission Integration at Loyola University Maryland, is offering the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life in Boston and Baltimore. Each Wednesday during this 8-month-long retreat, we are posting one of the prayers from the applicable "week" (phase) of the Exercises, and invite you to pray in union with the retreatants.

The retreatants are now in the second "week" of the Exercises, after a period of preparatory prayer. The Exercises are divided into 4 "weeks", which are not calendar weeks, but major phases. In the second week, we accompany Jesus in his earthly ministry, wanting to be with him, to know him and his values and his mission, and we want to be part of that mission. In this week the knowledge of Jesus that we seek is akin to knowing a friend in mystery and depth - a heartfelt knowledge. We pray for the graces of: 1) knowing Jesus more intimately; 2) to love him more intensely; and 3) to follow him more closely.

We rely on our imaginative prayer in this phase. We want to pay attention to concrete details, because God works for our redemption in the particular beauty and brokenness of our world.

As you contemplate the Gospel, place yourself in the scene as if you were there. Enter into a conversation with those present.

Prayerfully read Matthew 2:13-23, the flight into Egypt.

http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=160046064

Accompany Mary, Joseph and Jesus as they escape into exile. Spend time with them in Egypt, and join them on their return to Nazareth. Talk with them about their experiences.

As you reflect on the Gospel passage, do you find yourself feeling deeply for the plight of displaced persons in today's world? How can you be more attentive to the pressures that young families face today?

- Adapted from "The Ignatian Adventure" by Kevin O'Brien, SJ (Loyola Press).

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, Part 12

Dec. 9, 2015 - Part 12: Praying along with the retreatants of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life.

The Jesuit Collaborative, in conjunction with the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College and the Office of Mission Integration at Loyola University Maryland, is offering the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life in Boston and Baltimore. Each Wednesday during this 8-month-long retreat, we are posting one of the prayers from the applicable "week" (phase) of the Exercises, and invite you to pray in union with the retreatants.

The retreatants are now in the second "week" of the Exercises, after a period of preparatory prayer. The Exercises are divided into 4 "weeks", which are not calendar weeks, but major phases. In the second week, we accompany Jesus in his earthly ministry, wanting to be with him, to know him and his values and his mission, and we want to be part of that mission. In this week the knowledge of Jesus that we seek is akin to knowing a friend in mystery and depth - a heartfelt knowledge. We pray for the graces of: 1) knowing Jesus more intimately; 2) to love him more intensely; and 3) to follow him more closely.

We rely on our imaginative prayer in this phase. We want to pay attention to concrete details, because God works for our redemption in the particular beauty and brokenness of our world.

Contemplation on the Nativity:

Pray the familiar story of Luke 2:1-7

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/…

Ignatius suggests imagining the details of the scene:

Recall how Our Lady, pregnant almost nine months and, as we may piously meditate, seated on an ass, together with Joseph and a servant girl leading an ox, set forth from Nazareth to go to Bethlehem and pay the tribute which Caesar has imposed on all those lands.(Spir. Ex.111)

[Imagine] the place. Here it will be to see in imagination the road from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Consider its length and breadth, whether it is level or winds through valleys and hills. Similarly, look at the place or cave of the Nativity. How big is it, or small? How low or high? And how is it furnished? (Spir. Ex.112)

Behold and consider what they are doing; for example, journeying and toiling, in order that the Lord may be born in greatest poverty; and that after so many hardships of hunger, thirst, heat, cold, injuries, and insults, he may die on the cross! And all this for me! (Spir. Ex.116)

Imagine placing yourself directly in the scene:

See the persons, that is, to see Our Lady, Joseph, the maidservant, and the infant Jesus after his birth. I will make myself a poor, little and unworthy slave, gazing at them, contemplating them, and serving them in their needs, just as if I were there, with all possible respect and reverence.(Spir. Ex.114)

Conclude with a colloquy (prayerful conversation) with Mary or Joseph, or with God the Father, or even by speaking to the baby Jesus while holding him. Or perhaps you might want to just sit in the peaceful silence of the night.

- Adapted from "The Ignatian Adventure" by Kevin O'Brien, SJ (Loyola Press)

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, Part 11

Dec. 2, 2015 - Part 11: Praying along with the retreatants of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life.

The Jesuit Collaborative, in conjunction with the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College and the Office of Mission Integration at Loyola University Maryland, is offering the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life in Boston and Baltimore. Each Wednesday during this 8-month long retreat, we are posting one of the prayers from the applicable "week" (phase) of the Exercises, and invite you to pray in union with the retreatants.

The retreatants are now in the second "week" of the Exercises, after a period of preparatory prayer. The Exercises are divided into 4 "weeks", which are not calendar weeks, but major phases. In the second week, we accompany Jesus in his earthly ministry, wanting to be with him, to know him and his values and his mission, and we want to be part of that mission. In this week the knowledge of Jesus that we seek is akin to knowing a friend in mystery and depth - a heartfelt knowledge.

Before we pray with the story of Jesus' life, Ignatius invites us to gaze on the world with the Trinity, to get lost in the mystery of the Incarnation. We pray for the graces of a deeply felt knowledge of God's dream for the world; awe and wonder at the mystery of the Incarnation.

Contemplation on the Incarnation:

In the Exercises, a contemplation refers to imaginative prayer. Ignatius was convinced, through his own experiences, that God speaks to us in our imaginings. Begin the contemplation by imagining the three Divine Persons gazing on "the whole surface or circuit of the world, full of people".

With this perspective, consider what the Divine Persons (and you) see and hear: men and women of different sizes, shapes, and colors; rich and poor, young and old. People speaking different languages. Some being born, others dying; some running and playing, others sick and suffering. Some laughing, others crying. Some screaming and shouting, others praying and singing.

With the gaze of the Trinity, consider how people are treating one another: some loving, others hating; some hugging, others hitting; some helping, others ignoring, hurting, and killing. What do you see and hear?

How do you feel as you imagine the world this way? How do the three Divine Persons respond to the joys and sufferings of the world? How does the God who is Love respond to us, God's children, who are lost, aimless, suffering, sinning, confused and hurting?

Hear the Divine Persons saying, "Let us work the redemption of the human race".

What words to you want to speak to God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

- Adapted from "The Ignatian Adventure" by Kevin O'Brien, SJ (Loyola Press)

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, Part 10

Nov. 25, 2015 - Part 10: Praying along with the retreatants of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life.

The Jesuit Collaborative, in conjunction with the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College and the Office of Mission Integration at Loyola University Maryland, is offering the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life in Boston and Baltimore. Each Wednesday during this 8-month long retreat, we are posting one of the prayers from the applicable "week" (phase) of the Exercises, and invite you to pray in union with the retreatants.

The retreatants are now in the first "week" of the Exercises, after a period of preparatory prayer. The Exercises are divided into 4 "weeks", which are not calendar weeks, but major phases. This first week is "Encountering the Boundless Mercy of God". The retreatants will reflect on sin - cosmic, personal and social - and its effects, as well as God's mercy and love.

The retreatants are now praying that they might abandon any pretense before the God who loves them, to truly accept that they are created, that is, that they are limited beings. They are asking for the graces of an ever-deepening, heartfelt appreciation of God's merciful love for them.

Along with the retreatants, prayerfully read Luke 15:1-7:

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them."

3 So he told them this parable: 4 “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance".

Do you know what it's like to be lost and then found? Have you acted as a "good shepherd" to another person? As with the parable of the prodigal son and his brother, note how much the Father rejoices when we come home or let ourselves be found Is there such festivity in your life?

-Adapted from "The Ignatian Adventure" by Kevin O'Brien, SJ (Loyola Press)

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, Part 9

Nov. 18, 2015 - Part 9: Praying along with the retreatants of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life.

The Jesuit Collaborative, in conjunction with the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College and the Office of Mission Integration at Loyola University Maryland, is offering the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life in Boston and Baltimore. Each Wednesday during this 8-month long retreat, we are posting one of the prayers from the applicable "week" (phase) of the Exercises, and invite you to pray in union with the retreatants.

The retreatants are now in the first "week" of the Exercises, after a period of preparatory prayer. The Exercises are divided into 4 "weeks", which are not calendar weeks, but major phases. This first week is "Encountering the Boundless Mercy of God". The retreatants will reflect on sin - cosmic, personal and social - and its effects, as well as God's mercy and love.

Currently, the retreatants are praying about the causes and consequences of sin. They are asking for the graces of growing awareness of the hidden, sinful tendencies that influence their decisions and actions, heartfelt sorrow for their sins and sincere gratitude for God's mercy and faithfulness.

With the retreatants, prayerfully read Matthew 25:31-46:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[a] you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

What did you learn about sin and judgment in this parable? Consider how Jesus portrays sin as a failure to notice and act. Ask: "Whom do I not notice? Am I missing opportunities to love and serve in my life"? Place yourself before Jesus on the cross and ask:

-What have I done for Christ?
-What am I doing for Christ?
-What will I do for Christ?

- Adapted from "The Ignatian Adventure" by Kevin O'Brien, SJ (Loyola Press)

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, Part 8

Nov. 1, 2015 - Part 8: Praying along with the retreatants of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life.

The Jesuit Collaborative, in conjunction with the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College and the Office of Mission Integration at Loyola University Maryland, is offering the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life in Boston and Baltimore. Each Wednesday during this 8-month long retreat, we are posting one of the prayers from the applicable "week" (phase) of the Exercises, and invite you to pray in union with the retreatants.

The retreatants are now in the first "week" of the Exercises, after a period of preparatory prayer. The Exercises are divided into 4 "weeks", which are not calendar weeks, but major phases. This first week is "Encountering the Boundless Mercy of God". The retreatants will reflect on sin - cosmic, personal and social - and its effects, as well as God's mercy and love.

The retreatants are now praying for the graces of a deepening sorrow for their sins and a heartfelt experience of God's merciful love for them.

Prayerfully read 2 Samuel 11:1-12.25:

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.

2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”

6 So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. 8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. 9 But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.

10 David was told, “Uriah did not go home.” So he asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?”

11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents,[a] and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”

12 Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home.

14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”

16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.

18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle. 19 He instructed the messenger: “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, 20 the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelek son of Jerub-Besheth[b]? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’”

22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king’s men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.”

25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.’ Say this to encourage Joab.”

26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.

Nathan Rebukes David
12 The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.

4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”

5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”

7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”

13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for[c] the Lord, the son born to you will die.”

15 After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth[d] on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.

18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”

19 David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”

20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.

21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”

22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him;

25 and because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.[e]

What do you learn from this passage about sin and its effects? The Jews considered David their great king, and Jesus was born into the family line of David. What does this tell us about God's abundant mercy? Are there particular parts of this story that you especially relate to?

- Adapted from "The Ignatian Adventure", by Kevin O'Brien, SJ (Loyola Press)

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, Part 7

Nov. 5, 2015 - Part 7: Praying along with the retreatants of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life.

The Jesuit Collaborative, in conjunction with the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College and the Office of Mission Integration at Loyola University Maryland, is offering the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life in Boston and Baltimore. Each Wednesday during this 8-month long retreat, we are posting one of the prayers from the applicable "week" (phase) of the Exercises, and invite you to pray in union with the retreatants.

The retreatants are now entering the first "week" of the Exercises, after a period of preparatory prayer. The Exercises are divided into 4 "weeks", which are not calendar weeks, but major phases. This first week is "Encountering the Boundless Mercy of God". The retreatants will reflect on sin - cosmic, personal and social - and its effects, as well as God's mercy and love.

With the retreatants, prayerfully read the parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk.15:11-32).

11 Then Jesus[a] said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16 He would gladly have filled himself with[b] the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ 20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’[c] 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27 He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ 28 Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ 31 Then the father[d] said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

Consider: How does Jesus' parable help me understand my own estrangement from God and others? How does it help me appreciate God's welcome to me, a sinner?

In this parable, Jesus tels us who the Father is. Notice that the father in the parable is also prodigal - that is, extravagant - with his love. God is always trying to overcome separation. Notice the festivity of the parable. Realize how much joy it brings God when we return home.

- Adapted from "The Ignatian Adventure" by Kevin O'Brien, SJ (Loyola Press)

Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, Part 6

Oct. 28, 2015 - Part 6: Praying along with the retreatants of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life.

The Jesuit Collaborative, in conjunction with the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Boston College and the Office of Mission Integration at Loyola University Maryland, is offering the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life in Boston and Baltimore. Each Wednesday during this 8-month long retreat, we are posting one of the prayers from the applicable "week" (phase) of the Exercises, and invite you to pray in union with the retreatants.

This week, the retreatants are praying for the grace of grateful awareness of the many ways in which God calls each of us individually.

With the retreatants, pray with Luke 5:1-11

Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, 2he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 8But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; 10and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” 11When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

Reflect on the scripture passage. Ask "where do I experience God calling me in the midst of my daily life"?

- Adapted from "The Ignatian Adventure" by Kevin O'Brien SJ (Loyola Press)
 

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