St Ignatius

Today, in both forms of the Roman Rite, is the feast of St Ignatius of Loyola.

The Spirituality Year I recently completed is based upon Ignatian spirituality, and was capped off with a 30 day retreat making the Exercises.

In his honour I will post about the first day of his Spiritual Exercises (as given to the Spirituality Year).

The purpose of retreating and making the Spiritual Exercises are to be free to hear and do God's will for you; to let God draw closer to you; and to regain the heart of a child. You want to make yourself as available to God as possible, by withdrawing from the world and its distractions. You want to be able to make decisions with freedom. Live in the loving gaze of the Father.

Prayer is a patient listening to the voice of God, a making ourselves open to receive the Word of God, asking for the spirit to free us to hear His will for us and to respond generously. Prayer is the courage to "abide in God" and to let Him abide in us (Jn 15:4, 5, 10)

There is a prayer of thanksgiving, repentance, petition, adoration. It is a way of being before God, in God, an attitude which is called "contemplation".

Christian prayer is above all dialogue: God initiates the dialogue, the human creature listens for God's Word and then is invited to respond, to give a living answer to God. Prayer is talking gently to God.

On retreat, let yourself be surprised by God: watch a robin, or follow ducks. God may want to speak to you through a flower, a bird, a memory, or an event in the kitchen. Whatever your experience, ask if he's trying to talk to you through it. Get back in touch with a child's heart, and be docile to the Holy Spirit.

The encounter with God takes place in the heart. Prayer is wasting time with God. The month of the Spiritual Exercises are a good time to come to know the Psalms.

Texts to pray with:
Pss 1, 23

The grace to be asked for the first day: to make a good retreat, place yourself entirely in His care for these days, trusting Him to give you the grace you need to pray as you should; thanksgiving.

Praying with Ps 1 made me think that I need to be ever mindful of how can I serve/love God in whatever situation I'm in. Verse 3 seemed to me parallel to Jn 4:14. And verse 6 is speaking of covenant knowing; the way of the righteous is His way.

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