St. Ignatius had his own way of inviting his followers to pray with the gospel stories. During his convalescence from a broken leg, he had a lot of time on his hands and only a couple of books.
He spent a lot of his time day dreaming about himself in various important roles. When he did this with the gospel stories, he gave his imagination free rein and entered right into the scene in the story with Jesus and his apostles using all five of his senses.
Later, he would instruct his followers to do the same thing as a way to come to know Jesus better and enter into a deeper personal relationship with him. He believed in the power of story to enlighten and heal. He saw this way of prayer as a gift from the Spirit.
Father Jean-Pierre Médaille brought the Sisters of St. Joseph together. In the advice that he left for the Sisters and all those associated with them, he assumed that they would come to know Jesus intimately and follow his example in their daily tasks.
In Maxim 8:8, he tells them:
“Whatever you have to do in the service of your neighbor, do it in the same spirit of devotion and love as if you were offering these services to the person of Jesus Christ or his holy Mother.”
One way of knowing what caring for others as you would care for Jesus would be like: in your imagination, comfort Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Another way would be to use your imagination while praying with this past Sunday’s gospel story. Jesus, on a long, hot dusty walk with a crowd of people, healed two different women. One was older and suffering from a long illness. The other was a 12 year old girl. Jesus healed both of them individually with compassion and gentleness. Remember: St. Ignatius would have us take part in these stories with our imagination, entering right into the scene and taking on a role.
Who might you be in these stories? Would you want to be a caregiver? A worried parent? Or would you want to experience Jesus healing you?
What better way to enter into a deep relationship with Jesus than intimately spending time with him in this way in prayer as he lived his daily human life?
Sister Rosemary Fry
Previous Wisdom Wednesdays
- June 23, 2021: Walking the Path of Life
- June 16, 2021: A Saint for Strong Willed People
- June 9, 2021: God's Flowing Love
- June 2, 2021: I Will Not Leave You Comfortless
- May 26, 2021: Celebrating Our Beginnings
- May 19, 2021: Before the Cannon Struck
- May 12, 2021: The Fruit of Jesus
- May 5, 2021: A Branch of Jesus
- April 28, 2021: Living One Day at a Time
- April 21, 2021: The Blessing of Pope Francis