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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)

 

Mt 5,43-48

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: remember the person you like and one you dislike.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: that I would love more

1.Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Think about what these words evoke in you? What is your consent? What do you experience in relations with those you like and what with those you perceive as your enemies? What makes you think of one person as your friend and another as an enemy?

2.You shall love you neighbor…
a) Take these words to yourself: you are your neighbor. How do you treat yourself, what do you think about yourself? Are you your enemy or friend? Look even deeper: each of us has some parts, spaces that we like, which we are proud of, happy and those we would like to get rid of. Today maybe it is worth looking at these unwanted parts in us and thinking about what they say about us, what they teach about ourselves, what they tell us about us? God accepts you as you are now. He looks at you as his most beautiful and beloved child. Look at yourself with God’s eyes as you can.

b) The word love in today’s pericope means agape love. This means that feelings that we identify with love are important, but much more our actions are important. To love the enemy means to wish him well, want good for him, not revenge. So, you don’t have to feel sublime feelings for the person you have suffered from, it’s very difficult. However, if you allow yourself experience a time of forgiveness, you can come to the point where you can say with full inner consent that you wish this person good. Search your understanding of words to love your neighbor.

3.God makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.

In the world is a place for everyone, because God creates everyone. Look at the reality that surrounds you as a unit in which there is a place for every man, where there is a place for difficult and pleasant feelings, where there is a place for good and unpleasant events. Maybe it is worth merging, uniting what seems difficult to accept …

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 5,13-16

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 your home, the room. There is a lamp. It’s evening. You can light the lamp and notice what you can see thanks to the light. Feel the warmth of light, its glow.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: that I would like to be the salt of the earth and light for others

1.  You are the salt of the earth.

Jesus addresses these words to us, calls us the salt of the earth. What does it mean for you? Note that salt cleanses, gives flavor, preserves, enhances the qualities of dishes. What would a soup without salt taste like? It might seem bland, unpalatable. So, it is a very important ingredient, giving and extracting taste from it. Jesus calls you salt, so, he tells you how important you are. What does this mean to you, what do these words cause to you? What taste do you give your life? What taste do you give to others?

2. …if salt loses its taste…

Salt may lose its taste if it is not properly cared for and stored. We are salt and we should take care of our taste. How do you take care of your taste? What makes your taste more attractive? Where are you looking for what shapes your taste? How does your relationship with Jesus affect your taste?

3. … a lamp… is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.
Jesus tells us that we are the light of the world and that we give light to others. The lamp illuminates the darkness, allows you to see what you cannot see in the dark, illuminates the path you follow, allows you to be on the right path, avoids getting lost. It seems, however, that it cannot dazzle. The light must be appropriate for the person who uses it. It should help to go the way, to go through life. What light do you shine for others? What is the light that you give to your loved ones in their and your everyday life?

4. Light.

In our lives, we are alternately touched by consolation and distress, if they relate to our faith, relationship with God, we talks about consolation and spiritual distress. Both states are normal and natural. Consolation can be called a state in which we see light, in which we feel safe, we feel loved. During distress, it is difficult for us to see the light, we can feel lonely and lost. Think about what could be the reason for this condition, what can you learn about yourself from this difficulty? See also what is light for you, what helps you go through the time of distress, what gives you strength and encouragement? Everything you discover can be an important tool for a time that is hard for you.

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 18,21-35

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 someone asking for something, e.g. a favor, debt relief, forgiveness …

Ask for the fruit of meditation: that I would like to take small steps towards Jesus 

1.Then Peter came and to him, Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times? (Mt18,21). Very often we would like to clearly specify << how much? >> for our internal or external certainty. Peter asks Jesus << how much?>>, I wonder what could motivate him, what was happening inside him; saying seven times already he was generous?Jesus’ reply: <<Not seven times, but I tell you, seventy-seven times.>> (cf. Mt 18:22) introduces an infinite amount of forgiveness – always. God is not tired of forgiveness. What moves me in this attitude of Jesus?

2. In those social conditions, incurring debts was commonplace. One servant had a small debt owed to his fellow servant: one hundred denarii, which is the equivalent of one hundred working days in Israel. Such debt contrasts strongly with the debt of the servant of the Lord – ten thousand talents are a huge sum, impossible to pay back; the talent was six thousand denarii. So, we have a great numerical contrast. In the face of such a great debt, the servant could only count on his generosity. And here lies the main meaning line of this parable. (For the living word of God is effective … Biblical comments for readings for year A, S. Ormanty TChr, Hlondianum, Poznań 2007, 313). What does this parable encourage you in your life situation, where you are? Which debtor are you more aware of? Why did your fellow servants tell you about everything that happened? How could you feel being the master of the parable?

3. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart (Mt 18, 35).

Pope Francis in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium in point 44 wrote: … A small step, in the midst of great human limitations, can be more pleasing to God than a life which appears outwardly in order but moves through the day without confronting great difficulties. Everyone needs to be touched by the comfort and attraction of God’s saving love, which is mysteriously at work in each person, above and beyond their faults and failings.

Forgiveness is a process that needs time and continuous re-starting by taking small steps. The gradual forgiveness adds hope that you can do it. What moves or touches you in 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 23,1-12

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: chair (cathedral)

Ask for the fruit of meditation: to be true (humble) with Jesus

 1.  Jesus draws attention to the two-pronged function of the scribes and Pharisees: but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to beat, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them (Mt 23.3b-4) and encourages them do whatever they teach you and follow it (cf. Mt 23.3). In what sphere of life do you experience personal dualities, and what can you do to make Jesus more consistent? You can ask Jesus during this prayer.

2. They do all their deeds to be seen by others (Mt 23,5a). It is good to experience acceptance, affirmation, and being wanted from the beginning of your existence. Each of us desire this condition consciously or unconsciously. Unfortunately, the participation of each creature is marked by a crack, which we call the Original Sin and its consequences. The desire to be important, noticed, appreciated can arouse in us a certain “theatricality” of being, fascination, adulteration in various living spaces. What tendencies do you notice in yourself? Let yourself be with this before Jesus, who took it and changed it.

3. The greatest among you will be your servant (Mt 23.11) – answer the question – and what does it mean to serve? – is in Jesus’ life – in his way of experiencing all reality. We learn this attitude by being selfless (motivated – intending) being with Jesus. Prayer is a time “lost” to being with Jesus. It transforms.

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 6,7-15

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 teaches disciples how to pray. Maybe they are in a room, maybe they are sitting around Jesus. See how disciples listen to, how they receive the words that Jesus says. Maybe you are with them …

Ask for the fruit of meditation: let me trust God more and more

  1. Our Father …

These are the first and most important words of prayer. It can be said that they determine the kind of relationship between the praying and God – the Father.

See how your relationship with God looks like, how it has developed. Many factors influence on it, but most importantly your relationship with your mother and father: whether there was more anxiety, parental control, punishment and reward system or more tenderness, warmth. It depends on what image of God you carry in you today: is it God – a loving Father, is it a judge God, is it a God – a good uncle from America (giving gifts and also living far away from us), is it God – a policeman constantly watching order.

2. Trust.

Our prayer, spoken very consciously, can arouse various emotions in us, not necessarily those which we would call pleasant. They can be difficult to accept completely, among others words: Thy will be done (we want to, but we are nervous if our plans do not go out), give us our daily bread today (does it sometimes seem to us that we get a different bread than we need?). Only by learning more and more trust can we feel greater and greater consent to the prayers contained in our Father’s prayer. Take a look at yourself as you say the words of this prayer: what do they give birth to you, what does it say about your trust in him?

3. Prayer.

Many times, the Gospel shows us a scene where disciples are witnessing Jesus praying. This means that the relationship with the Father is very important to him. This may be one of the reasons why disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. Maybe they say: we want it too.How is your prayer? Maybe now during Lent it is worth verifying your prayer, your motivations – why do I pray, your perseverance and regularity …

4. If you want to meet Jesus and ask him to teach you how to pray … do it now.

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 4,12-17.23-25

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 scene from the Gospel: people coming to Jesus Ask for the fruit of meditation: for the courage to change my thinking

1.Repent…

a) To repent – from Greek means metanoia, that is further means to change, change your thinking, mind, feelings, renew yourself spiritually. A week ago, I encouraged you to sum up the year – did you also notice changes in your thinking, perception of yourself, others, God, the reality in which you live? What direction of changes did you see – did they bring you closer to God, directed you to life or blocked you from life, separated you from God?

b) Perhaps the first association you have when you hear these words concerns subsequent sacrifices, resolutions, fasting, loss. So maybe just understanding the word already requires your change of mind? Maybe the change leads to the discovery of new resources, new potential – which, what?

2. The word has the power to change. By reading the Word of God, today’s Gospel, listening to the Word of God, meditating it you change. You may not see it right away, sometimes it takes time to feel and see the changes, but they happen all the time. Read and taste the Word of God, there where you are now.

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)

Meditation Mt 1,1-17

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 complete acceptance of what is my history (if it is difficult ask for the desire to accept what is your history)

 1. 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. 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. Stay in God’s Presence.

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)

Meditation Mt 18,12-14

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 scene from the Gospel – a shepherd and his sheep.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for clinging to Jesus – my Shepherd

1. The shepherd has 100 sheep. One is lost. So, he leaves 99 sheep to look for the one missing. He seems to be doing something irrational. After all, these 99 sheep can get lost while looking for one who has left the herd. The shepherd must therefore have great confidence in his sheep, since he leaves them while looking for one sheep. Jesus trusts you – think about it for a moment. What does this mean to you?

2. The shepherd is more pleased to find one lost sheep than 99 sheep who are not lost. Does this also not seem irrational? Many of us may feel the injustice of this shepherd’s attitude. But let’s look from a different way: maybe each of these 99 sheep was also a lost and found sheep by its shepherd before? How does this affect your perception of this situation?

3. Look inside yourself: what is your space lost and needs to be found by its shepherd?

4. For reflection from A Pilgrim’s Journey of Ignatius of Loyola: Our Lord, nevertheless, came to his aid…  (p. 47)

Read about example of Ignatius, maybe you find something for you.

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)