Browsing Ignatian Threads

Through an Ignatian lens


Ignatian Threads - Gesu bulletin 11-17-19:St. Ignatius became convinced that God wants a personal relationship with each individual. He cultivated his personal relationship with God through spiritual conversation, sharing his own insights and eliciting others’ experiences of God.  Ignatius believed and taught that God is always active in our lives as creator, sustainer, savior, and Spirit dwelling in our hearts.  Can we fathom that, at every moment of our existence, God is communicating with us and urging us toward a deeper relationship with Him?  The objective is not to think more deeply, or to learn, or even to understand. The goal is a response of the heart.  The ‘way’ of praying is more important than the ‘words’ of our prayer.  It takes practice to just be with God in prayer and not be focusing on how we are phrasing what we want to say to him.  It also takes practice to listen. This is prayer, too!  It’s all about relationship: God and you!

Reflection: Do you have a bff? Try thinking of God in that way - especially the ‘forever’ part! What does it mean that someone is a best friend?  It likely means someone who knows you very well, accepts you as you are, is always there to listen, loves you unconditionally, and will gently guide you as you navigate your journey of life.  For your consideration: Live each day as its own gift and be aware of God’s presence. (Fr. Hyde – homily 11/14/19)

Ignatian Threads - Gesu bulletin 11-10-19:  For Ignatius, the spiritual life is a ‘way of proceeding’ that moves us toward a set destination where God is always found.  Ignatian spirituality teaches that God is an active God: ever present in our lives, inviting, guiding, directing, and constantly pursuing, never giving up even if we do at times. ’Finding God in all things’ is a hallmark of Ignatian spirituality. We are invited and inspired to discover God in all of life’s circumstances, not just in explicitly religious practices or activities.  Each person’s experience can reveal something about God in a very personal way: in times of thankfulness, praise and wonder, and also in times of pain and suffering.  God is always with us because there is no place he cannot be. He will never abandon us.  God is there - hidden but present - waiting for us to be aware of him and respond to his love.

Reflection: So what does this look like for you?  Do you sometimes feel that God is close? Do you talk to him as if he were standing beside you?  Do you ever say ‘thank you God!’ for some small favor or unexpected outcome? Do you pray for others, asking God to be with them? (which, of course, we know he is already!)  In prayer, when I think of my family – which is large and diversely connected – I pray for their safety, health, well-being and eternal life. I don’t pray expressly for their happiness, but for them to be what God wants them to be and for them to find a kind of interior happiness that brings peace and hope.  Allow me to share this personal reflection:  Moments with God     Joyful Moments ~ Praise God     Quiet Moments ~ Worship God

       Difficult Moments ~ Seek God               Painful Moments ~ Trust God       Every Moment ~ Thank God!

Ignatian Threads - Gesu bulletin 11-03-19:  Imagine Jesus saying to you, as he did to Zacchaeus, “Come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” We could not resist such a request! You can be certain that Jesus is saying exactly these words to you, and he indeed means, NOW and TODAY! As Jesus responds to Zacchaeus, who was perched in a tree for a better view of Jesus passing by, he adds a layer of urgency to the situation. Can we sense the underlying joy with which Zacchaeus receives Jesus into his house, announcing that he will make restitution for his past mistakes, not denying that he is a sinner? As St. Ignatius believed and preached, God seeks out everyone of us, constantly issuing an invitation to be with him in relationship. Do we welcome God to meet us where we are, claiming our past mistakes while being thankful that our God continues to pursue us? God invites; we respond!

Reflection: Let’s continue looking at everyday living ‘through an Ignatian lens!’ Just imagine Jesus saying to you, “Today I must stay at your house,” as he said to Zacchaeus. Be assured that Jesus IS indeed saying this to you -- and that he is already staying at your house -- with you -- beside you -- all around you! Even better -- he has always been there! I remember, many years back, struggling through a challenging period of time, that at some point I realized a kind of peace. Something, someone, had reached in and salved the rough edges with a much-needed balm. God had been there all the time! Somehow I knew this was true, but it was somewhat later that I actually gave God the credit he deserved! Think of Jesus holding you up or holding your hand, or nudging you forward even when you resisted, or just being beside you so you could lean your weary head on his shoulder. Take advantage of his presence; he will be there!

Ignatian Threads - Gesu bulletin 10-27-19: On November 1st we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints.  It is our understanding that St. Ignatius, while recovering from battle injury that left him with a lifelong limp, found inspiration and example in reading about the lives of the saints.  The stories of Jesus and the heroes of the faith created in Ignatius a new image of God as a God of love.  His faith was transformed in ways of the heart, not so much of the mind and intellect at first.  This was a man of battle, of soldiering for a cause.  In the pious reading he was given, he found himself attracted to ways of the saints and began to imagine himself serving God as they did. What an unexpected beginning to a life of discerning God’s will, of following the path of service, and of always striving to grow closer to God in prayer.  Pick a chapter in My Life with the Saints, and discover how these distant role models might infuse a dosage of down-to-earth inspiration into your own faith.

Welcome to a new blog on the new Gesu website! Life takes on new meaning when viewed through an Ignatian lens … well, mine does!  I wonder if sometimes we navigate through our days and weeks with more ‘doing’ than ‘being.’   A blessing to have a full and active life, but even more meaningful to realize that every day, every moment, is a gift from God!  This blog is the outgrowth of two - we’ll call them happenings:  this blogger’s ‘official’ introduction to Ignatian spirituality in September, 2015 when Gesu offered the retreat “Praying with St. Ignatius,” and the subsequent initiative of a weekly bulletin feature, originally entitled "In the Jesuit Tradition," aligning with the parish theme for that year.  Four years later, we are still publishing the bulletin feature, renamed "Ignatian Threads" and are now introducing a blog where you will find each weekly bulletin article as well as chosen morsels that expand and elaborate.  Personally, it is a privilege to share aspects of Ignatian spirituality that can impact our lives, as they have done for mine. Stay tuned! 



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