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Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,

my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

—Suscipe prayer of St. Ignatius Loyola

 

 

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Surrender to God

I like this reading as an option for the Feast of St. Ignatius, because it calls to mind how our souls wrestle with discernment of spirits as a result of being touched by God’s love and called to respond to the Lord. For St. Ignatius, there is a cosmic battle going on between good and evil spirits which affects each and every one of us. The victory has been won by Christ, but the “clean-up campaign” is going on throughout human history, and each day we need to sign up for the side of Christ, the side of light and love.

Jeremiah is a young prophet who is reluctant to respond at first, but in the end he cannot not respond to God’s call. He said “it is like a fire is burning in my heart… I grow weary holding back, I cannot.” All of us who take seriously prayer and discerning God’s will can identify with Jeremiah. Certainly, St. Ignatius had a similar experience as he was convalescing at his family castle after being injured at the battle of Pamplona, and later in the cave at Manresa. St. Ignatius finally surrendered his sword in front of the statue of the Black Virgin Mary of Montserrat, symbolically showing the surrender of his will to the Lord before he went into the cave at Manresa.

As we celebrate this feast today, let us commit ourselves to examen our lives in prayer and acknowledge where God might be calling us to let go of something which prevents us from embracing God’s unconditional love, mercy and forgiveness. Perhaps it is a grudge or a resentment because of past hurt. Perhaps it is the disappointment or even anger as a result of an unrealized dream or desire? Might the fire of God’s love in our hearts lead us to surrender at least some of our “swords” today and in the days ahead?

—Fr. Brian Paulson, SJ, is the Provincial for the Midwest Jesuits.

 

 

 

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St. Ignatius of Loyola

Jeremiah 20: 7-10, 11a, 12

O Lord, you have enticed me, and I was enticed; you have overpowered me, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; everyone mocks me. For whenever I speak, I must cry out, I must shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the Lord has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.

For I hear many whispering: “Terror is all around! Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” All my close friends are watching for me to stumble. “Perhaps he can be enticed, and we can prevail against him, and take our revenge on him.” But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, and they will not prevail. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten. O Lord of hosts, you test the righteous, you see the heart and the mind; let me see your retribution upon them, for to you I have committed my cause.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

 

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July 31, 2017

St. Ignatius of Loyola
Jeremiah 20: 7-10, 11a, 12

O Lord, you have enticed me, and I was enticed; you have overpowered me, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; everyone mocks me. For whenever I speak, I must cry out, I must shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the Lord has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.

For I hear many whispering: “Terror is all around! Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” All my close friends are watching for me to stumble. “Perhaps he can be enticed, and we can prevail against him, and take our revenge on him.” But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, and they will not prevail. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten. O Lord of hosts, you test the righteous, you see the heart and the mind; let me see your retribution upon them, for to you I have committed my cause.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Surrender to God

I like this reading as an option for the Feast of St. Ignatius, because it calls to mind how our souls wrestle with discernment of spirits as a result of being touched by God’s love and called to respond to the Lord. For St. Ignatius, there is a cosmic battle going on between good and evil spirits which affects each and every one of us. The victory has been won by Christ, but the “clean-up campaign” is going on throughout human history, and each day we need to sign up for the side of Christ, the side of light and love.

Jeremiah is a young prophet who is reluctant to respond at first, but in the end he cannot not respond to God’s call. He said “it is like a fire is burning in my heart… I grow weary holding back, I cannot.” All of us who take seriously prayer and discerning God’s will can identify with Jeremiah. Certainly, St. Ignatius had a similar experience as he was convalescing at his family castle after being injured at the battle of Pamplona, and later in the cave at Manresa. St. Ignatius finally surrendered his sword in front of the statue of the Black Virgin Mary of Montserrat, symbolically showing the surrender of his will to the Lord before he went into the cave at Manresa.

As we celebrate this feast today, let us commit ourselves to examen our lives in prayer and acknowledge where God might be calling us to let go of something which prevents us from embracing God’s unconditional love, mercy and forgiveness. Perhaps it is a grudge or a resentment because of past hurt. Perhaps it is the disappointment or even anger as a result of an unrealized dream or desire? Might the fire of God’s love in our hearts lead us to surrender at least some of our “swords” today and in the days ahead?

—Fr. Brian Paulson, SJ, is the Provincial for the Midwest Jesuits.

Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

—Suscipe prayer of St. Ignatius Loyola

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better leads
to God’s deepening his life in me.

—First Principle and Foundation, St. Ignatius Loyola as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, SJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Our deepest desires

A key step in Ignatian prayer is the identification of our deepest desires and naming of a specific grace that we seek from God. Naming our deepest desires requires discernment, honesty, and boldness in prayer. In the first reading from the First Book of Kings, God commended King Solomon for asking for the grace of discerning right from wrong and the wisdom to govern Israel wisely. Solomon did not ask for a long life, riches, or revenge over his enemies. No wonder we call him wise.

If you were to ask God for one and only one thing right now, what would it be? Be honest. Improved health? A long life? More money? An updated smartphone? The return of a prodigal son or daughter to the Church? Or the destruction of an enemy?

The Our Father contains something greater than the Wisdom of Solomon. There we pray first and foremost that God’s kingdom come, God’s will be done. Seek first the kingdom of God and all good things will be given to us at the proper time.

Lord, we beg you for the grace to ask wisely.

—Fr. Ed Witt, SJ, is a member of the Midwest Province and pastor of St. Isaac Jogues Church in Rapid City, SD. Last year the Lord granted his deepest desire that the Chicago Cubs win the World Series!

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


1 Kgs 3: 5. 7-12

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I should give you.” And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?”

It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


July 30, 2017

1 Kgs 3: 5. 7-12

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I should give you.” And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?”

It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Our deepest desires

A key step in Ignatian prayer is the identification of our deepest desires and naming of a specific grace that we seek from God. Naming our deepest desires requires discernment, honesty, and boldness in prayer. In the first reading from the First Book of Kings, God commended King Solomon for asking for the grace of discerning right from wrong and the wisdom to govern Israel wisely. Solomon did not ask for a long life, riches, or revenge over his enemies. No wonder we call him wise.

If you were to ask God for one and only one thing right now, what would it be? Be honest. Improved health? A long life? More money? An updated smartphone? The return of a prodigal son or daughter to the Church? Or the destruction of an enemy?

The Our Father contains something greater than the Wisdom of Solomon. There we pray first and foremost that God’s kingdom come, God’s will be done. Seek first the kingdom of God and all good things will be given to us at the proper time.

Lord, we beg you for the grace to ask wisely.

—Fr. Ed Witt, SJ, is a member of the Midwest Province and pastor of St. Isaac Jogues Church in Rapid City, SD. Last year the Lord granted his deepest desire that the Chicago Cubs win the World Series!

Prayer

Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better leads
to God’s deepening his life in me.

—First Principle and Foundation, St. Ignatius Loyola as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, SJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

—Thomas Merton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Unconditional trust

We have two main Gospel stories that focus on Martha and, in both, she is a woman of action.  In today’s Scripture, she and her sister Mary are both distraught over their brother Lazarus’s death, but Martha is the one who goes out to meet Jesus when he arrives.  In an Ignatian contemplation with this Scripture passage, I imagine that there is a tone of frustration in her voice when she tells Jesus “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  But in the midst of her despair, or possible anger, she still places her trust in completely in Jesus: “even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”

Do we have the same kind of faith that Martha shows?  Are we able and willing to place our trust, wholly and completely, in Jesus, no matter what we are going through at the time?  

—The Jesuit Prayer team

 

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St. Ignatius’s First Principle and Foundation says “The goal of our life is to live with God forever. God, who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows God's life to flow into us without limit.” One of the ways in which we respond to the love God has given us is through prayer, not only personal prayer but community prayer as well. The Pastoral Ministry Center invites members of our Strake Jesuit Community to share their prayers with us: their concerns, joys, thanksgivings, so that we may walk with them in all these times of their lives.





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Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,

my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

—Suscipe prayer of St. Ignatius Loyola

 

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Surrender to God

I like this reading as an option for the Feast of St. Ignatius, because it calls to mind how our souls wrestle with discernment of spirits as a result of being touched by God’s love and called to respond to the Lord. For St. Ignatius, there is a cosmic battle going on between good and evil spirits which affects each and every one of us. The victory has been won by Christ, but the “clean-up campaign” is going on throughout human history, and each day we need to sign up for the side of Christ, the side of light and love.

Jeremiah is a young prophet who is reluctant to respond at first, but in the end he cannot not respond to God’s call. He said “it is like a fire is burning in my heart… I grow weary holding back, I cannot.” All of us who take seriously prayer and discerning God’s will can identify with Jeremiah. Certainly, St. Ignatius had a similar experience as he was convalescing at his family castle after being injured at the battle of Pamplona, and later in the cave at Manresa. St. Ignatius finally surrendered his sword in front of the statue of the Black Virgin Mary of Montserrat, symbolically showing the surrender of his will to the Lord before he went into the cave at Manresa.

As we celebrate this feast today, let us commit ourselves to examen our lives in prayer and acknowledge where God might be calling us to let go of something which prevents us from embracing God’s unconditional love, mercy and forgiveness. Perhaps it is a grudge or a resentment because of past hurt. Perhaps it is the disappointment or even anger as a result of an unrealized dream or desire? Might the fire of God’s love in our hearts lead us to surrender at least some of our “swords” today and in the days ahead?

—Fr. Brian Paulson, SJ, is the Provincial for the Midwest Jesuits.

 

 

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


St. Ignatius of Loyola

Jeremiah 20: 7-10, 11a, 12

O Lord, you have enticed me, and I was enticed; you have overpowered me, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; everyone mocks me. For whenever I speak, I must cry out, I must shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the Lord has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.

For I hear many whispering: “Terror is all around! Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” All my close friends are watching for me to stumble. “Perhaps he can be enticed, and we can prevail against him, and take our revenge on him.” But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, and they will not prevail. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten. O Lord of hosts, you test the righteous, you see the heart and the mind; let me see your retribution upon them, for to you I have committed my cause.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


July 31, 2017

St. Ignatius of Loyola
Jeremiah 20: 7-10, 11a, 12

O Lord, you have enticed me, and I was enticed; you have overpowered me, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; everyone mocks me. For whenever I speak, I must cry out, I must shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the Lord has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.

For I hear many whispering: “Terror is all around! Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” All my close friends are watching for me to stumble. “Perhaps he can be enticed, and we can prevail against him, and take our revenge on him.” But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, and they will not prevail. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten. O Lord of hosts, you test the righteous, you see the heart and the mind; let me see your retribution upon them, for to you I have committed my cause.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Surrender to God

I like this reading as an option for the Feast of St. Ignatius, because it calls to mind how our souls wrestle with discernment of spirits as a result of being touched by God’s love and called to respond to the Lord. For St. Ignatius, there is a cosmic battle going on between good and evil spirits which affects each and every one of us. The victory has been won by Christ, but the “clean-up campaign” is going on throughout human history, and each day we need to sign up for the side of Christ, the side of light and love.

Jeremiah is a young prophet who is reluctant to respond at first, but in the end he cannot not respond to God’s call. He said “it is like a fire is burning in my heart… I grow weary holding back, I cannot.” All of us who take seriously prayer and discerning God’s will can identify with Jeremiah. Certainly, St. Ignatius had a similar experience as he was convalescing at his family castle after being injured at the battle of Pamplona, and later in the cave at Manresa. St. Ignatius finally surrendered his sword in front of the statue of the Black Virgin Mary of Montserrat, symbolically showing the surrender of his will to the Lord before he went into the cave at Manresa.

As we celebrate this feast today, let us commit ourselves to examen our lives in prayer and acknowledge where God might be calling us to let go of something which prevents us from embracing God’s unconditional love, mercy and forgiveness. Perhaps it is a grudge or a resentment because of past hurt. Perhaps it is the disappointment or even anger as a result of an unrealized dream or desire? Might the fire of God’s love in our hearts lead us to surrender at least some of our “swords” today and in the days ahead?

—Fr. Brian Paulson, SJ, is the Provincial for the Midwest Jesuits.

Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

—Suscipe prayer of St. Ignatius Loyola

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better leads
to God’s deepening his life in me.

—First Principle and Foundation, St. Ignatius Loyola as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, SJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Our deepest desires

A key step in Ignatian prayer is the identification of our deepest desires and naming of a specific grace that we seek from God. Naming our deepest desires requires discernment, honesty, and boldness in prayer. In the first reading from the First Book of Kings, God commended King Solomon for asking for the grace of discerning right from wrong and the wisdom to govern Israel wisely. Solomon did not ask for a long life, riches, or revenge over his enemies. No wonder we call him wise.

If you were to ask God for one and only one thing right now, what would it be? Be honest. Improved health? A long life? More money? An updated smartphone? The return of a prodigal son or daughter to the Church? Or the destruction of an enemy?

The Our Father contains something greater than the Wisdom of Solomon. There we pray first and foremost that God’s kingdom come, God’s will be done. Seek first the kingdom of God and all good things will be given to us at the proper time.

Lord, we beg you for the grace to ask wisely.

—Fr. Ed Witt, SJ, is a member of the Midwest Province and pastor of St. Isaac Jogues Church in Rapid City, SD. Last year the Lord granted his deepest desire that the Chicago Cubs win the World Series!

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


1 Kgs 3: 5. 7-12

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I should give you.” And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?”

It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


July 30, 2017

1 Kgs 3: 5. 7-12

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I should give you.” And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?”

It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Our deepest desires

A key step in Ignatian prayer is the identification of our deepest desires and naming of a specific grace that we seek from God. Naming our deepest desires requires discernment, honesty, and boldness in prayer. In the first reading from the First Book of Kings, God commended King Solomon for asking for the grace of discerning right from wrong and the wisdom to govern Israel wisely. Solomon did not ask for a long life, riches, or revenge over his enemies. No wonder we call him wise.

If you were to ask God for one and only one thing right now, what would it be? Be honest. Improved health? A long life? More money? An updated smartphone? The return of a prodigal son or daughter to the Church? Or the destruction of an enemy?

The Our Father contains something greater than the Wisdom of Solomon. There we pray first and foremost that God’s kingdom come, God’s will be done. Seek first the kingdom of God and all good things will be given to us at the proper time.

Lord, we beg you for the grace to ask wisely.

—Fr. Ed Witt, SJ, is a member of the Midwest Province and pastor of St. Isaac Jogues Church in Rapid City, SD. Last year the Lord granted his deepest desire that the Chicago Cubs win the World Series!

Prayer

Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better leads
to God’s deepening his life in me.

—First Principle and Foundation, St. Ignatius Loyola as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, SJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

—Thomas Merton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Unconditional trust

We have two main Gospel stories that focus on Martha and, in both, she is a woman of action.  In today’s Scripture, she and her sister Mary are both distraught over their brother Lazarus’s death, but Martha is the one who goes out to meet Jesus when he arrives.  In an Ignatian contemplation with this Scripture passage, I imagine that there is a tone of frustration in her voice when she tells Jesus “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  But in the midst of her despair, or possible anger, she still places her trust in completely in Jesus: “even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”

Do we have the same kind of faith that Martha shows?  Are we able and willing to place our trust, wholly and completely, in Jesus, no matter what we are going through at the time?  

—The Jesuit Prayer team

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!