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Mt 1,1-16.18-23

Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.

Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: see your family, a photo of someone from your past

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for the courage to live with Christ and for the complete acceptance of what is my history (if it is difficult ask for the desire to accept what is your history) 

 

1.     My history

Perhaps the meditated passage makes no sense to you at first sight. However, it is worth looking deeper to see that the family of Jesus is not sacred in the human sense. It is still a history of salvation. God is everywhere and works through everyone. The story of Jesus’ family is marked by the sin and deceitfulness of their ancestors (remember the story of Judah and his daughter-in-law Tamar, with whom he had children or story of the prostitutes Rahab). Jesus’ ancestors were also people who were not perfectly alive and today we can say they had difficulty obeying God’s 10 commandments. Jesus was not born in the palace, but in a manger. This story gives us a lot of hope that our families are also marked by sin, difficulties, that we have our fears, fears for our children and the future. All this does not bother God, His Presence in our lives.Look at your family history – remember the names, events, and see that everything that was, even if it seems difficult, has affected you today and you can be alive today.

2.      Salvation, reconciliation

The family history from the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew shows that everything that happened led to Jesus, to salvation. Christ came to reconcile the world to save, not to throw away somethingLook inside yourself: what is going to God in you and what is not going to God. How can you reconcile and save everything that is within you so that it can serve together for the greater glory of God?

3.     Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace …

Joseph found himself in a difficult situation, unenviable. He could feel betrayed, cheated by Mary. Still, he does not want to expose her to public disgrace. So, he is looking for a way out of this situation, to provide Mary with respect, save her as a human being. Joseph gives us a beautiful example of realizing the commandment of love.In different life situations we also have the right to feel anger, regret, feel betrayed, but we should let us keep our dignity to the other person. How do you deal with such situations? How do you accept another person? What does Joseph teach you today?On the other hand, let us note that despite Joseph’s first assumption of betrayal of Mary, it turns out that the situation is different. The thought that arises in us doesn’t always good.  What is your ability to explain misunderstandings to others and yourself? How do you verify the truth of your thoughts?

4.     For reflection…

… phrase of Ignatius Loyola: He who makes a mistake, let him not be spirited, because mistakes help for the health of the soul. (St. Ignatius encourages reflection, drawing conclusions and constant openness to God’s action.)

 

Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.

The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar, such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)

 

Mt 23,23-26

Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.

Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: Imagine the mug. It is clean outside and dirty inside.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: return to the ask for the Grace, stay with it for a moment 

 

1. … have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith

Think about what justice, being righteous, mercy, being merciful, faith and being a believer mean to you. How can you recognize that someone is just, merciful and believer? Think about what is most important to you, what values (list 3-4 values) do you follow in your life?

2.   For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

Jesus speaks hard words to the Pharisees, shows them their hypocrisy, dishonesty, superficiality and excessive care for the external image. This is not Jesus’ attitude. The most important things happen inside the man, there are his motivations for action. If I help someone, I need to know why: whether to get praise, to be appreciated or because I want someone to be better, easier, I want to contribute to the creation of a greater good. The first action, i.e. taking care of your image (although this is important) is often based on anxiety, fear that I will fall out badly, what others will think about me. The second is on a purer desire to save the good of another human being. Both motivations can occur together, but notice which is the main driver of your action.Similarly, with religious practices – they are to flow from our relationship with God, they are an external sign of this relationship, it should bring me closer to God, that I have a feeling of growing bond with Him. How often we pray because we are afraid that we will commit a sin if we do not take care of prayer, or even worse – we will be punished for it. But can such motivation deepen our relationship with God?See what is behind your actions: fear or desire for greater good?

3.   Look at yourself with God’s eyes, that is, with love and gentleness.

The experience of love, being loved changes us, changes our motivations, changes our attitude towards ourselves and other people. Stay in this experience the way you can.

 

Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.

The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar, such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)

Mt 19,23-30

Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.

Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: Imagine a camel who wants to go through the ear in the needle and a rich man, hung with various riches, who wants to go through the gate leading to a beautiful garden – a symbol of the Kingdom of God. See if they can get through, what they can do to fit in this gate. Maybe you are with them?

Ask for the fruit of meditation: that I would like to be able to free myself from dependencies that prevent me from experiencing God’s love more 

 

1.     Attachment.

In the periscope there are two important sentences for me : …it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God, and everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields because for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life.I wonder why it is easier for a camel with 1 or 2 humps to pass through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God? At first glance, it may seem absurd, but if we allow ourselves a light analysis, we can see that the humps, that a camel has, are something natural, they are part of its structure. They contain fat that camels burn to provide the energy and metabolic water they need to live in a killer equatorial climate. Simply, the camel would not survive without them. And the rich man? How a rich man can Jesus talk about? It seems especially when we look at the second-quoted sentence that it is about a man who is attached to his riches: broadly understood material, intangible goods (e.g. knowledge) and people. Often, this accumulation takes the form of addiction, i.e. I have to earn and therefore work more and more so that I do not accidentally lower my standard of living, I must always drink coffee in the morning, otherwise my head will hurt, I must know what my husband or wife will do to feel safe. These are examples. Each of us has our own different attachments, which somehow desire us. So, we become their slaves. Christ encourages us to let go of these attachments because they prevent us from experiencing God’s freedom and love fully. You don’t have to deserve God’s love, you are valuable to Him just by giving you life. The point is not to give up all knowledge and material goods, but to be able to use them as much as they help us draw close to God. That is why St. Ignatius in point 1 of The Spiritual Exercises , writes: … every way of preparing and disposing the soul to rid itself of all the disordered tendencies, and, after it is rid, to seek and find the Divine Will as to the management of one’s life for the salvation of the soul, is called a Spiritual Exercise. Take a look today at your various dependencies. See how you feel about them, which ones lead you to life, and which block you from it, take your life force away. What will you do to enter the process of freeing yourself from blocking, disordered attachments?

 

2.     Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?

These are Piotr’s words. He left everything and is afraid that he will have nothing for it. It is a kind of fear that my work, my dedication, my commitment will not be noticed, appreciated. What are your motivations, expectations in your actions and relationships?

 

3.     For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.

Those are hopeful words. Sometimes, from a human point of view, something may seem unattainable, pointless, incomprehensible, but God may see it differently, and good can arise from any situation. What do these words mean to you? How do you experience them?

 

Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.

The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar, such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)

Mt 18,1-5.10.12-14

Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.

Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: See the mountain landscape: peaks, valleys, meadows. There is a shepherd with his sheep in the mountains. The shepherd notices that one of the sheep is missing. He is going and looking for it and finding it. Feel his joy at finding the sheep.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: let me accept with love myself as I am now, just as God accepts and loves me 

1. Search and find.

The shepherd loses one of his 100 sheep, so he leaves everything to find it. The whole flock consists of 100 sheep. Maybe the lost sheep was, if it was unruly, disobedient. But it is still needed, because the shepherd goes to look for her.I think that each of us has such experience in our lives that we really longed for a part of us to be lost, a part which it doesn’t like, which creates difficulties. It is worth finding this lost part. God comes to us through this part, for some reason it is important, it says something to us. It also creates us. Without it, we become scrapped like a flock of 99 sheep. St. Ignatius of Loyola says: If you find you have fallen, do not despair; even falls are in to well-being. What part of you have you lost that you do not accept? Find it, save it and unite it. 

2. …unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

What does it mean to become like a child? What’s the child like? The child is usually active, creative, assertive (knows how to say, shows what he wants and say no), spontaneous, trusting, sensitive, can show emotions (child is happy, can cry, feels sad, angry), can be in the here and now ( young children rather don’t think about the past or about the future), a child is also curious about the world.What kind of child are you? What features are covered with a mask and what do you need it for?Look for a child who is spontaneous, who can cry and laugh, who trusts and thanks for everything he gets. This child has his needs, it is easy to hurt, he has his desires and dreams, he experiences frustration. In everything, however, he is honest, without masks. Allow yourself to experience what is happening inside you now, to feel the tastes that life brings. If you feel sadness, feel it, if you feel anger, feel it, if you feel joy, feel it. Be in here and now – when you drink tea, feel its smell and taste, when you eat, feel the taste of this dish. 

3. Meeting.

Maybe now Jesus comes to you, looking for you like this lost sheep, because he needs you and love you. Meet Jesus as you can.

 

Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.

The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar, such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)

Mt 15,1-2.10-14

Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.

Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty.

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: see the man (you can see yourself), notice his eyes, mouth, ears, hands … different parts of the body

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for the grace of being mindful in life

  1. Hear and understand.

These are the words of Jesus. Hear and understand does not always seem the same. You can listen and interpret the words you hear by yourself, or not hear what the other person is saying at all. We hear through our filters, our beliefs, our previous experiences, through the emotions we feel at the moment. Understanding requires us to take a distance from ourselves, to go out to the other, to look at reality through his eyes.

How do I listen to and understand God, other people, myself?

  1. what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one

In the next part of the pericope, Jesus draws our attention to our speech, language, gestures, facial expressions, the whole-body posture, i.e. non-verbal speech. We do not have to show our anger with a raised tone, sometimes a sharp look is enough. Likewise, we can show sympathy with a gentle look and cannot say a word. How do I say, what comes out of my mouth? It is also important to ask yourself the question: why am I saying something, what do I want to get?

  1. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.

It can be said that Jesus refers to another of our sense – sight. This sentence is not about a disease of blindness, but rather about a blindness that prevents you from seeing reality as it is. Our thoughts can go to the future, to the past, our imagination can give us thousands of images, dialogues that have nothing to do with what the present moment brings. We often see how we want to see, perhaps we have been taught to see. Jesus says that the blind falls into the pit, and he may fall, because he simply does not notice it, because of his thought patterns, old and perhaps now unnecessary beliefs. Verify what influences your perception of reality, the other person, yourself. What makes you blind?

4. Exercise

I invite you to look around you, in the place where you are: what you see (try not to interpret, i.e. not to give value to the things you notice in the style of: nice, ugly ..), what you hear now, what you are touching (e.g. the armchair on which you are sitting). Or you can go for a walk and notice everything you meet. Be careful as you can.

 

Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.

The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar,such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)

 

Mt 13,36-43

Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.

Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: See the whole world. This world is a soil ready to receive seeds. Therefore, Jesus spreads the seeds all over the soil. Then you can see how he cares for them: watering, giving the sun, fertilizing when needed. The seeds begin to germinate, green stems and leaves grow, until the plants start to bear fruit. See this scene through your eyes of the imagination, smell plants, taste of fruit.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: that I would seek and find God in everything

In this passage of the gospel, Jesus explains to his disciples the parable of the weed. Good seed is sown in the world by God – means the sons of the kingdom and the weed sown by the Devil. Each of us can grow wheat – something that is life-giving, brings good fruit or a weed that does not seem good. The weed grows among cereals and is poisonous, although it is deceptively similar to the stalks of wheat. You have to be extremely careful not to confuse good grains with bad ones. Therefore, the process of discernment is very important: what I choose, why and what fruit has my choice brings. Note that God allows both good grain and bad to grow, there is room for everyone. This, among others, manifests God’s logic of salvation. God is not guided by the logic of condemnation, which is so often close to us. God gives everyone the chance to choose a good grain that gives freedom and brings them closer to God. What is your choice? What does your discernment process look like?

Saint from the Basque country, knight and pilgrim, apostle and mystic who sought God in his experiences with all his heart (1), he had an adventure in his way, which he talks about in order to better understand how our Lord dealt with this blind soul yet although animated by the great desires of serving God in a way that is already known and considered good by braces. So, he decided to practice great mortifications (…). And so, when he recalled some penance which the saints did, he decided to do it too, and even more. (…) He did not pay attention to any internal things, nor did he understand what humility or love or patience or prudence is, which guides these virtues and keeps them to the proper extent. (2)

The aforementioned knight is Saint Ignacy Loyola (his feast is 31th July). A very real man who has various internal difficulties, including his emotions, but also a man with a great desire to seek and find God. He was not perfect, without flaws, but many times, we could say, in a foolish way, he sought the will of God. For example, during a trip to Montserrat he met Maur, with whom he talked about the virginity of Mary. He did not agree with him, he even wanted to stab him. The mule, on which he traveled, saved the case. Ignatius then said to himself: If the mule goes to the village, he will search for Maua and blow him with a dagger; if it sticks to the main road, it will leave him alone (Autobiography, p.16). Mulica stayed on the main road, so Maur survived. It was the beginnings of Ignacy’s discernment. Later, he knew that when making choices, one should not look for magical signs, or throw in more and more penance practices to win God’s friendship, but ask himself the most important questions: what more is the greater glory of God (AMDG – for greater glory of God) why I am doing something or not doing what I am using and for how much, and from what I should not use, to be closer to God (tantum quantum – as much as I can). Do not we sometimes often live in a world of our own illusions and delusions that do not bring us closer to God, but bring us nervousness and fear? These delusions, illusions may be: the more I pray, the more graces I will ask, the ones that I think are good, or the more I make mortifications, the better I will be a man, if I escaped the bus, I certainly would not go … What do you bring to your decisions and actions: greater peace or fear? Peace gives what comes from God and it is worth following. What are your illusions and delusions? Verify them, what can you change? What gives you inner peace and allows you to breathe freely?

See also – what fruits you bring? What are your desires? How does the principle ad maiorem dei gloriam work in your life: for the greater glory of God? Look today at your life, your loved ones, the world in which you live, guided by the logic of saving and reconciliation.

Remember that you are the seed God cares for each day. Every day he gives you a new chance to live more for his greater glory.

  1. Kotlewski SJ, with a generous heart and a fiery Love. On the Ignatian mysticism, Rhetos, Warsaw 2005, pp. 11-12
  2. Ignacy Loyola, The Tale of the Pilgrim. Autobiography., WAM, Kraków 2002, pp. 39-40

Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.

The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar,such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)

 

Mt 11,20-24

Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.

Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty.

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: See cities: Chorazin – located in the mountains of the northern Galilee, about 3 km from Capernaum and Bethsaida – a small fishing village located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. In these cities, Jesus dwells, walks, teaches, and does miracles. Although Jesus spends a lot of time there, people behave as if he did not exist, as if they did not know him.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for my experience of Jesus’ presence 

1.  Woe to you …For it the mighty deeds done

Jesus performed the most miracles in Chorazin and Bethsaida, but the inhabitants of these cities did not convert. Maybe it is worth considering: why? This is interesting because people expect miracles, Jesus does them miracles but they do not affect the lives of these people. Maybe people’s expectations are not the same as they receive from Jesus? Maybe your fixing on expectations does not let you see Jesus’ miracles? Hence, these cities hear quite strong words of Jesus: woe to you … It is also interesting that more sinful cities could be easier to see miracles and convert. Isn’t it similar with us? Is it sometimes the case that when we go to church almost every day, we pray five times a day, we think about ourselves in an idealized way, deviating us from the truth? Your change can occur only when you can stand in the truth and see your real self – our good and difficult sides and accept them. Perhaps sometimes we think that if Jesus did something special in our lives then our faith would look completely different. So how? Maybe ask yourself whether you still need new miracles or maybe more mindfulness to see Jesus’ presence in your life and the miracles he does for you.

2.      Change.

Think about the change you need to live more fully in God, to experience his love more and share it with others. Change can mean doing something more or less, doing something else, or stopping.

3.     For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained have until this day.

A miracle is an event that cannot be rationally explained. Nevertheless, it is probably a miracle that everything that helps us live: our own strength, work, loved ones, etc. See what helps you to survive the day, which gives you strength and motivation in your everyday life.

Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.

The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar, such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)

Mt 9,32-38

Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.

Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty.

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: Jesus and his disciples walk around the cities and villages and he teaches in synagogues. He also heals people. One day, people bring a mute person from whom Jesus throws out a demon. This man begins to speak, to hear.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for the experience of God’s love 

1. … the mute man spoke …

Maybe you should think about your speech, your language. What you say and how you speak, as well as how you are silent, can hurt others, can mean your anger, it can also be an expression of love, compassion, joy. What is your speech, what is your silence? What do you give to others with your words and your silence? 

2.Relation with Jesus.

In the meditated passage of the gospel, Jesus is presented as a miracle worker whose activities include healing people. In those historical realities in Palestine it was thought that all illnesses are the result of satanic possession. Hence, the healing often involved throwing out an evil spirit.

a.  Jesus’ healing made various reactions to people. The Pharisees saw it as the result of Jesus ‘collusion with Satan, others admired Jesus’ deeds without any prejudice. Let’s see that the same action causes a different reception depending on the attitude of the recipients. Therefore, it seems important thing to distance yourself from your beliefs, thought patterns, and prejudices in your relationships with others. How is your relationship with yourself and others?

b. Probably people living at that time needed very real miracles, signs to believe in God. But did God give us his son just to heal us from various diseases, save us from difficult situations that we often enter into ourselves? What relationship does God want? What relationship do you seek with God, and what do you expect from it?

3. A plentiful harvest.There is very little time in Palestine for the harvest because of the weather conditions. Hence there was a need for many workers to be able to collect all the fruits and yields. Refer it to your life. Let this field be your day, from which you need to collect fruit. Think about what is your harvest?  

4. Jesus had compassion for people.Jesus compassions for the lost, wounded people, shows his love, does not tell them that they are losers. Today, look at yourself: what spaces in you are wounded, lost, abandoned, forgotten, what spaces need help and support? Look at them like Jesus: with love, embrace them and give them what they need. Talk to Jesus about this.

Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.

The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar, such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)

Mt 8,23-27

Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.

Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty. (The Spiritual Exercises No. 46)

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: See the Galilean lake surrounded on two sides by mountains. There is the boat in which Jesus is with his disciples. Suddenly, it starts storm. Disciples panic, but Jesus calmly gets up and calms down the storm, there is silence.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for trust in Jesus

  1. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves, but he was asleep.

A great storm breaks out, water falls into the boat, the wind tilts the boat from one side to the other. The disciples panic, Jesus is sleeping. Is it really possible to sleep in such conditions? Or maybe this storm is not so violent? Maybe there is no real threat? Maybe only disciples perceive the current situation as threatening their lives?

What are your storms? How do you perceive them, how do you experience them? What help do you need during a windstorm?

God also comes to you in a storm, what do you see the meaning of your life storms?

  1. Then he got up and rebuked the winds and sea; and there was a dead calm.

It seems that Jesus’ intervention and action lead to deep silence. There are rather no fireworks, Jesus’ activity may not seem spectacular and miracles may occur in our human sense. Jesus doesn’t need to create a spectacle, to be applauded. He comes in silence and rather restores normality, helps in undertaking daily hardships, responsibilities, helps accept reality as it is. How do you see Jesus’ actions in your life? Maybe his coming to the rescue is different than you expect? What intervention do you expect from Jesus? Note these situations when Jesus acts publicly in your life. See also what silence relationship with Jesus introduces into your life, how you experience this silence.

  1. Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?

Jesus’ presence with his disciples did not deprive them of fear. It is unlikely that you can live completely without fear, anxiety. However, it is important to look for what gives me a sense of security, which teaches me trust. What events teach you to trust Jesus? What / who gives you a sense of security, being cared for?

  1. Meet Jesus as much as you can.

Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.

The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar,such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)

 

Mt 7,6.12-14

Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.

Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty.

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: See the wide and narrow gate. What do the gates look like, what are they made of? Look what’s behind the gates.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for the desire to find my value in God

 1.  Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.
We can treat these words as a warning to carefully consider what and to whom I can say. Not everyone is able to accept and respect what I want to say or do to him. This applies to various spaces: both matters related to my life, advice on the life of another person, or what I would proselytize others. Maybe it is worth reflecting, for what purpose I want to say something, what the other person can gain thanks to it (and not me – e.g. expanding my ego, raising my value, showing on what heights of spirituality I am already)? Look also at yourself, how do you accept what others give you, what they say to you?

2. In everything do to others as you would have them do to you

It seems as a simple rule: let’s give others what we would like to get. I suggest that you start with yourself, that you see: how you treat yourself, what you are to yourself, what your expectations are, what kindness, gentleness you have to yourself. It’s very likely that just as you approach yourself, you do the same to others (you may feel disagreement with these words now, but I know from experience that it is the truth).

3.  narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life

How is it possible for God to create a gate too narrow to pass it for us? Is it possible that God wants only a few people to come to him? Rather unbelievable! God wants to meet each of us. So, what can happen if the gate is too narrow to pass? Perhaps we are making this gate too narrow, not because of its size, but because of the luggage we carry and we want to carry. It may also be needed to hand luggage, look after, but if we focus all our attention on it, it may obscure other things, important relationships, and the luggage can become more important than them. What is your luggage: what beliefs, obligations, care for financial and material security are in it? What does the carrying the luggage give you? How do you feel this luggage in you? Think you leave it, how do you feel then? What can you lose and gain? 

4.  Fortunately, there is good news: Jesus is waiting for you and he can help you pass this gate.

Meet with Jesus, maybe just near the narrow gate. Perhaps now he will help you unpack your baggage and guide you through this gate …

 

Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.

The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar, such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)