Tag Archives: lectionary

Beginnings of Prayer. And Ignatian Spirituality.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, May 1, 2015

PRAY teach us to pray

Beginnings of Prayer. And Ignatian Spirituality.

The month of May is a month of growth and new life here in the Midwest. I wanted to choose a book on prayer that would assist me in growing and experiencing that new life in Christ. In this Easter season, it seemed right to me that I ought to turn to Ignatian spirituality. A beginning look at the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

It was a wrench for me to turn away from the liturgical lectionary book of daily readings which we used for almost the whole of the month of April, but I wanted to stick with my original program: to look at many different ways, means, and approaches of prayer, in these twelve months of 2015.

I’ve chosen a book called “Inner Compass,” written by Margaret Silf (published by Loyola Press). But, I worked it backwards. Sort of. I worked through the Spiritual Exercises first, in summer of 2005. Then, the following year, I turned to Silf’s book. This introductory book was helpful to me when I read it some nine years ago, as an afterword. Or, an addition.

When I pray, I greatly prefer Ignatian prayer and meditation to certain other kinds of prayer. But, I realize I need to go back to the very beginning. I will have to take a look at the beginnings of the saint’s notebook of prayer, his guidebook where he recorded his experiences in prayer after his conversion and pilgrimage. I hope I can show—through my poor example and experience—how certain people might go about this procedure.

I’m excited to revisit this wonderful, helpful method of prayer. As Silf tells us, we can use this way of prayer “to become increasingly sensitive to God’s action in our lives . . . to discover and live true to the very deepest desires within us . . . to make decisions that reflect God’s indwelling presence . . . and to joint our lives consciously with the life of Jesus, God-made-man, through the living spirit of the Gospel.” [1]

Praying and hoping I can assist some people with St. Ignatius’ ideas and method of prayer, I am embarking on a journey of prayer.

Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for this time-tested way of prayer, this manner of coming into Your presence with such a deep and meaningful approach. Help me to follow the landmarks set out for me. I will try to observe each one. Help me, God. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers. Amen.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

[1] Silf, Margaret, Inner Compass: Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1999), xxiii-xxiv.

Knowing the Shepherd’s Voice?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Jesus the Good Shepherd mosaic John 10

Knowing the Shepherd’s Voice?

Babies are darling, and adorable, and sometimes fretful and even fussy. Babies are often perceptive, and often know exactly who they can be safe with. I met a baby—about six or seven months old—just a few hours ago. Adorable baby! And, quite comfortable with his mom. The baby knew very well who was important!

The liturgical lectionary scripture reading for today communicated this very thing. In this passage about sheep from John 10, Jesus tells His disciples how the sheep follow the Shepherd because they know His voice. The sheep know very well who is important!

Not hired help, not thieves and robbers, but shepherds. The shepherd is important. (To the sheep, anyway!) Our Lord Jesus expressly says this; I suspect the possibility of thieves and robbers coming to steal and destroy was a real threat.

In terms of today, the concept of sheep transfers to the local congregation, or group of believers. The hired help or even the thieves and robbers can be seen as church leaders or ministers. Not very effective leaders, or loving leaders, or engaged leaders.

These specific church leaders or ministers are out for their own aggrandizement and financial gain. Or, control and manipulation. Regardless, these grasping, self-involved thieves and robbers often remain in their positions for a long time.

Let’s thank our Lord for bringing this negative feature of false ministers to our attention. Also, thanks for the generous word-picture of the sheep following the One they know best.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for the good and gracious promises that keep us centered in You. Forgive us for taking You for granted, and even forgetting all about You. As we come to You on a regular basis, please encourage our hearts to care for You and our minds to welcome Your words. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .