“Mission Monday” 1: Ignatian Meditation

Welcome to my first post for “Mission Monday”- I will be linking up with my friend, Meghan on periodic Mondays to share more about our mission with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students.

As missionaries, we have been trained  in different forms of prayer so that we may teach our students. Our hope and prayer is that these students then go and teach their peers in small group Bible studies and discipleship.

Daily prayer is crucial when we desire to have an intimate relationship with God. To put it plainly, we can’t have a relationship with someone we don’t talk to. At times I find myself praying more fervently when something in my life is stressful. I know God is grateful when I come to Him with anything but if you think about it- how sad would you be if a friend only came to you when something in their life was wrong and they never shared life with you in any other regard?

You probably wouldn’t consider that person an intimate acquaintance. God wants you to come to Him in all times. He wants to share life with you; to weep with you, to comfort you, to rejoice with you- He wants all of you.

ignatius

How beautiful is that truth! I’d like to share with you a simple form of prayer: Ignatian Meditation. This form of prayer derives from St. Ignatius Loyola. He had his leg blown off by a canon ball in battle and during his recovery he came to know Christ through reading about His life and the saints.

St. Ignatius Loyola went on to write the Spiritual Exercises. One of them being, Ignatian Meditation- in the simplest form it is prayer with Holy Scripture that invokes our imaginations.

The Bible, particularly the Gospels, offer us real encounters with Christ. Ignatian Meditation offers us a chance to place ourselves directly in the text. We can become the woman at the well or witness Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. By meditating on Scripture and imagining a scene we are giving Christ a chance to speak to us profoundly.

Are you interested in trying an Ignatian Meditation? I highly recommend Timothy M. Gallagher’s book, An Ignatian Introduction to Prayer, (I haven’t quite figured this all out so pretend the title is underlined) you can find it here. This book walks you through many meditations and does a great job at explaining the how to’s.

Do you have 10, 15, or 30 minutes today? Let’s start one together. Here are some steps to use to begin your meditation.

  1. Ask God to quiet your mind and distractions. (You can help this by praying in front of the tabernacle or in quiet place.)
  2. Ask God to bring His Word alive in your heart.
  3. Pick a Bible passage and read it three times (or whenever you feel that you know the story well.)
  4. Start that imagination. You can start with the scenery. What do you imagine the weather to be? How would the ground feel? Who is there? Are you a person in the story, or are you standing on the outside?
  5. Imagine the story and let Jesus speak to you.
  6. After your meditation you can thank God for anything you have received in prayer. Don’t worry- If you “feel” like nothing is different. That is okay! God is very pleased that you have spent time with Him and He is always working within us even when we don’t “feel” like He is. You can even journal about your experience.

Ignatian Meditation

Let’s use the Gospel from this weekend’s Sunday Mass: Mark 10: 46-52

Jesus heals the blind man. If you decide to do this meditation, I’d love to hear about your prayer in the comments. I’ll have you know that I did this meditation this weekend and while I was reading about the blind man calling out again and again my baby was screaming in his crib…trying to “self soothe.” God has a sense of humor.

I will now attempt to start a meditation in hopes that you finish it. Thanks for sharing life with me!

The air is dry. Dust pushes through the wind and when you swallow, your throat burns. You are sitting on the ground. You can feel the heat on your back…You are the blind man.

You hear rustling coming from the road. You hear shouts of excitement. “Jesus of Nazareth.” Your heart quickens. “Jesus of Nazareth.” He heals, He is the Son of God.

You hear the footsteps and shouts getting closer and fumble to stand up. You want to see. For too long you have been in darkness. You feebly gasp, “Jesus, son of David. Have mercy on me.” Softly at first, but more and more- from the depths of your body.

Jesus turns to you….

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