NIGHT PRAYER: Monday 7/31

July 31 is the Feast of Saint Ignatius,  founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). Ignatius' influence on prayer and spirituality cannot be underestimated. Personally, I've had a Jesuit priest as a spiritual director for the past 29 years and for the same period of time I've always made my annual retreat at Jesuit retreat houses.  Our prayer tonight begins with a selection from Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises (paraphrased by David L. Fleming, S.J.).  I encourage you to take your time with these words - and the prayer that follows...
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.

All the things in this world are gifts from God,
    presented to us so that we can know God more easily
        and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God
    insofar as they help us to develop as loving persons.
But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
    they displace God
        and so hinder our growth toward our goal.

In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance
    before all of these created gifts 
insofar as we have a choice
    and are not bound by some obligation.
We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,
    wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or a short one.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
    a deeper response to our life in God.

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.

Night Prayer

Help me accept everything in my life, Lord,
    as your gift to me...
(And here, Lord, is the one thing
    I have the most trouble accepting...) 
Grant me the wisdom
    to hold all things in balance, in perspective...
(And here, Lord, is the one thing
    that often upsets my balance...) 

Let none of your gifts overshadow
    the gift of your grace in my life...
(And here, Lord, is the one thing
    that often distracts me from you...) 

Help me see how everything in my life
    has potential for drawing me closer to you:
        everything, Lord!
(And here, Lord, is the one thing,
    I find hardest to walk as a path to you...)

Let this be my one desire, Lord:
    to choose, always, what leads me to you
        and deepens your life within me...
(And help me desire, Lord,
    that this be my one desire...) 
Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
    and watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
    and asleep, rest in your peace...

Take, Lord, Receive by John Foley, S.J.

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Take, Lord, receive, all my liberty.
My memory, understanding, my entire will!

Give me only your love and your grace,
that's enough for me!
Your love and your grace are enough for me!

Take Lord, receive, all I have and possess.
You have given all to me, now I return it.

Take Lord receive, all is yours now.
Dispose of it, wholly according to your will.

In Meljohn Tatel's icon above, Ignatius holds a book inscribed with the letters AMDG, the initial letters of the Latin motto of the Jesuits: Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (All for God's greater glory!).

Prayer for Generosity
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.  
- Saint Ignatius of Loyola




1 comment:

  1. So to the heart and soul. Openness even to the darkness knowing who and whose we really are. Blessed and listening as your words draw me in. Thank you!


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