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Is 55: 6-9

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

 

 

 


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The true Jesus

We should not let the words of Scripture remain mere words, but, as we would do with a letter from someone who loves us very much, we should let these words penetrate into our imagination to the point that we can “see,” “hear,” and “touch” the word of life (cf. 1 John 1:1-3). We must do so in obedience to the word which surpasses us, “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways” (Is 55:8).

Psalm 135:15-18 should warn us that, through our imagination, we can craft false gods—even ones that we might call “Jesus”—that can lead us astray. Let us let the Jesus of the Bible scandalize us when we realize that he is not the “god” that we would have imagined on our own. And let us let that Jesus, who reveals to us the one true God, be the Lord of our imagination rather than any other “Jesus” we would fashion for ourselves.

—Fr. Sylvester Tan, SJ, is a newly ordained priest of the USA Central and Southern Province, currently serving as the associate pastor of Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church in New Orleans.

 

 


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Prayer

Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God and that you make known to us everything that you have heard from the Father, things that we would never have known if you had not revealed them to us. Please help me in my unbelief, because so often what you reveal about God through your life is a scandal to me.

Please help me to know that “your ways are not my ways,” and help me to hold onto your grace most especially in those places where the divine life that you offer is most incomprehensible to me. Then, perhaps, with your help, I will no longer just say, “Lord, Lord,” but might finally begin to “do the will of our Father in heaven,” and so live the life that you offer, abiding in you as you abide in the Father.

—Fr. Sylvester Tan, SJ

 


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Pray with the Pope

The Holy Father’s Monthly Prayer Intentions
Brought to you by Apostleship of Prayer the first Friday of each month.

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Ignatian spirituality reminds us that God pursues us in the routines of our home and work life, and in the hopes and fears of life's challenges. The founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, created the Spiritual Exercises to deepen our relationship with Christ and to move our contemplation into service. May this prayer site anchor your day and strengthen your resolve to remember what truly matters.

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DAILY INSPIRATION

September 24, 2017

Scripture

Is 55: 6-9

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

 

 

 


Ignatian Reflection

The true Jesus

We should not let the words of Scripture remain mere words, but, as we would do with a letter from someone who loves us very much, we should let these words penetrate into our imagination to the point that we can “see,” “hear,” and “touch” the word of life (cf. 1 John 1:1-3). We must do so in obedience to the word which surpasses us, “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways” (Is 55:8).

Psalm 135:15-18 should warn us that, through our imagination, we can craft false gods—even ones that we might call “Jesus”—that can lead us astray. Let us let the Jesus of the Bible scandalize us when we realize that he is not the “god” that we would have imagined on our own. And let us let that Jesus, who reveals to us the one true God, be the Lord of our imagination rather than any other “Jesus” we would fashion for ourselves.

—Fr. Sylvester Tan, SJ, is a newly ordained priest of the USA Central and Southern Province, currently serving as the associate pastor of Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church in New Orleans.

 

 


Prayer

Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God and that you make known to us everything that you have heard from the Father, things that we would never have known if you had not revealed them to us. Please help me in my unbelief, because so often what you reveal about God through your life is a scandal to me.

Please help me to know that “your ways are not my ways,” and help me to hold onto your grace most especially in those places where the divine life that you offer is most incomprehensible to me. Then, perhaps, with your help, I will no longer just say, “Lord, Lord,” but might finally begin to “do the will of our Father in heaven,” and so live the life that you offer, abiding in you as you abide in the Father.

—Fr. Sylvester Tan, SJ

 

THE POPE'S PRAYERS

Pray with the Pope

The Holy Father’s Monthly Prayer Intentions Brought to you by Apostleship of Prayer the first Friday of each month.

PRAYER REQUESTS

DAILY EXAMEN

The Daily Examen is a prayer technique developed by St. Ignatius to help us reflect on the events of the day to discern God’s presence and direction. When Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus, he required the Jesuits to practice the Examen twice daily—at noon and at the end of the day. It’s a habit that Jesuits, and many other Christians, practice to this day.

The Examen structure presented below is adapted from a technique described by Ignatius Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises. Click here for more information from our partners in ministry at Loyola Press.

Daily Examen

1. Become aware of God’s presence

God, I believe that at this moment I am in your presence and you are loving me.

2. Review the day with gratitude

God, you know my needs better than I know them. Give me your light and your help to see how you have been with me, both yesterday and today.

3. Pay attention to your emotions

God, help me to be grateful for the moments when people have affirmed me and challenged me. Help me to see how I have responded, and whether I have been kind to others and open to growth.

4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it

God, forgive me for when I have not done my best or have failed to treat others well. Encourage me, guide me, and continue to bless me.

5. Look toward tomorrow

As I look to the remainder of this day, make me aware that you are with me. Show me how to be the person you want me to be.

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