Get our FREE JesuitPrayer App.
Apple  Android 

September 30, 2018

Mk 9: 38-43, 45, 47-48

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.

And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

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.

Eradicating sin and evil

No one really likes the idea of cutting off their own limbs … in fact, I do not doubt that Christ was hoping his words in today’s Gospel would be shocking! The focus here, instead, should be on the lengths Christ is willing to ask us to go to eradicate sin from our lives. Unfortunately, we are fallen creatures, but even in the midst of that, we remain beloved children of God. God wants to spend eternity with us in Heaven. To that end, God needs us to realize how sin really does harm our relationship with God and that we must be fervent in our desire and attempts to work against any inclination toward sin. The Evil Spirit is always on the prowl; St. Ignatius warns us of that fact regularly. We must constantly seek the grace of God to work against the very real and seductive grip that evil has on us so that we can ultimately fulfill God’s desire for us to spend eternity in heaven with God.  

—Marcus Fryer, SJ, is a member of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province and is the Pastoral Director at Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver.

Prayer

Jesus, I feel within me a great desire to please you but, at the same time, I feel totally incapable of doing this without your special light and help, which I can only expect from you.  Accomplish your will within me-even in spite of me.

—St. Claude de Colombiere, SJ

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 29, 2018

John 1:47-51

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

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.

Faith based on the little things

Nathanael recognizes Jesus as the Son of God based on a seemingly minor thing that Jesus notices.  There are numerous miracles and long poetic discourses in the Gospels through which disciples come to believe, but this wasn’t the case for Nathanael.  It was a simple interaction with the divine that cemented his faith in Jesus.

This is the way that most of us encounter God, through the small, simple interactions of our day.  The practice of the Examen opens us up to increasing our awareness of how God is present in our lives, in moments both big and small.  God may be speaking to us through a brief conversation with a friend, or through a peaceful moment in nature, or through a sentence that stands out in a book we’re reading.  Like Nathanael, let us use these as opportunities of praise and thanksgiving for God’s movement in our lives.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

Prayer

Lord, help me to notice you in the big and small events of my life, so that I may always remember to orient my life toward you. Amen.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 28, 2018

Eccl 3:1-11

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;

A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with.

He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

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.

Invitation to be present to this season of life

I am incredibly grateful for the chance to spend Mondays at home with my 20-month old daughter. In between excursions to the library and playground, however, I’m usually trying to get the grocery shopping, laundry and other household chores done before the start of my workweek. This past Monday, I was cleaning up the kitchen while my daughter finished lunch when I heard the sweetest invitation: “Sit down, mama! Sit down!” I looked over at her high chair and she was pointing to the seat next to her. Her sweet bidding reminded me that this season will only last so long. Be present to it.

God invites us in a variety of ways all day long, which is why having a practice like the Examen prayer is so important in order to recognize them. Whatever today has in store for you: pain and sadness or celebration and joy, trust that God is in this particular season of your life. What’s the invitation for you today?

—Sarah Otto is a Retreat and Program Director at Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center in Atlanta, GA.

Prayer

God of surprises, open my eyes to the many and varied ways you are inviting me to grow closer to you today. Help me to recognize the gifts and graces present during this season of my life.

—Sarah Otto

 

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 24, 2018

Lk 8:16-18

“No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away.”

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.

Lucky

On the night I lied to my father about having brushed my teeth, he taught me a pretty clear lesson by making me turn over my best friend, Little Bunny—a love-tattered stuffed animal. At bedtime, I asked for Little Bunny. My father’s response: “He’s been torn to shreds. He’s in the trash.” My father was lying to me. I was devastated. Clever dad.

I always tried to tell the truth after that, until I was in the fourth grade, and my mother and I saw a crate of puppies at a feed store. She told me we could get one, but we’d have to tell my father the puppy had been abandoned. My mother told me I’d have to take this secret to my grave. I reluctantly agreed. No joke, we even named the dog “Lucky.”

My mother passed away when I was 22, and Lucky a year later. My father was so upset when Lucky died, seemingly reliving the grief from the loss of my mother. So, I told him the secret I had kept for so many years. I told him how Mom had orchestrated the entire story because her heart broke for this puppy. And my dad doubled over in laughter.

What is essentially good about our lives looks best in the light of truth. It’s important for us to remember that though we’re all capable of sin, all will be revealed in the sunlight of the morning.

—Austin Freeman is an English teacher and the Test Prep Coordinator forJesuit High School in Tampa, FL.

Prayer

Prayer for the Light of Truth

O my God, I confess that You can enlighten my darkness. I confess that You alone can. I wish my darkness to be enlightened. I do not know whether You will: but that You can and that I wish, are sufficient reasons for me to ask, what You at least have not forbidden my asking. I hereby promise that by Your grace which I am asking, I will embrace whatever I at length feel certain is the truth, if ever I come to be certain. And by Your grace I will guard against self-deceit which may lead me to take what nature would have, rather than what reason approves.

—Blessed John Henry Newman

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 23, 2018

Mk 9:30-37

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest.He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”

Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

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.

Avoiding the trap of pride

In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius invites us to meditate on the “Two Standards” – the banner of Christ and the banner of Satan. In this meditation, the Evil Spirit leaves traps for us, traps of riches, honors and pride. These traps are placed to ensnare us in our lives and to keep us from growing in our loving relationship with Christ. Jesus, on the other hand, helps us to combat these traps by having us ask for poverty (spiritual and perhaps even material), insults and humility. The disciples in today’s Gospel reading sure sound like they’ve been ensnared by pride. How often do we find ourselves similarly ensnared? How are we drawn away from Christ by the lure of riches and honors?

—Marcus Fryer, SJ, is a member of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province and is the Pastoral Director at Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver.

Prayer

Prayer for Humility

Let me have too deep a sense of humor ever to be proud.
Let me know my absurdity before I act absurdly.
Let me realize that when I am humble I am most human,
          most truthful,
          and most worthy of your serious consideration.

—Daniel A. Lord, SJ

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 22, 2018

Lk 8:4-15

When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.”

As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that ‘looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand.’ “

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away.

As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.

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.

Creating good soil in our hearts

When I was a child, I remember hearing this parable and saying “well, I’ll just be the good soil because that’s the kind Jesus wants.”  I thought it was quite simple! But in reality, I move back and forth between the different types of soil on a regular basis. There are days when I find it easy to be open and attentive to the movements of the spirit.  There are other days when I get so wrapped up in my head that very little of God’s message gets through to me.

One gift of the Ignatian Examen can be to begin to recognize the times in our day, or the people who we encounter, who make it more difficult for us to be that fertile soil that is ready to receive God’s word in its entirety.  That awareness offers an opportunity to pray for the grace of openness when we find ourselves in certain situations.

Just like a gardener works to amend the soil and create the best possible environment for a plant to thrive, we need to continually check in with ourselves to make our hearts receptive to the word of God.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

Prayer

Gracious and holy Father,
grant us the intellect to understand you,
reason to discern you, diligence to seek you,
wisdom to find you, a spirit to know you,
a heart to meditate upon you.
May our ears hear you, may our eyes behold you,
and may our tongues proclaim you.

Give us grace that our way of life may be pleasing to you,
that we may have the patience to wait for you
and the perseverance to look for you.
Grant us a perfect end–your holy presence,
a blessed resurrection and life everlasting.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

—Prayer of St. Benedict

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 21, 2018

St. Matthew

Eph 4:1-7, 11-13

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.

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.

Startled by Jesus’ call

Caravaggio’s famous painting of the Calling of St. Matthew depicts a man bewildered by Jesus’ attention. “Who, me??” the man seems to say. “Yes, you,” Jesus replies to Matthew and to each one of us. Today’s first reading invites us to respond to this invitation by leading a life worthy of that incredible call. It’s easy to separate our faith from our work and hobbies and friendships. But as St. Paul reminds us and St. Ignatius echoes, the one God and Father of all can be found in all things. That makes our work, our homes, our extracurricular activities and relationships a locus for God’s presence in the world. Do you live with an awareness and reverence of that presence?

Spend some time basking in God’s gaze today. Allow yourself to feel startled, amazed, and honored by Jesus’ call. And allow that call to transform the rest of your day.

—Sarah Otto is a Retreat and Program Director at Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center in Atlanta, GA.

Prayer

O God, give me the courage and strength to be worthy of being called a Christian.

—Karl Rahner, SJ

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 20, 2018

Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gon, SJ, Paul Chong Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs

Luke 7:36-50

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment.

Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.” Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “Speak.”

“A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.

Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

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.

Entrusting Jesus with what matters most

I learned from a Catholic archaeologist that women from Mary Magdalene’s time would collect their tears in tiny vials. He said that when women married, they would give this vial to their husbands—that is to say, they handed over to his care everything that was most precious to them, in sorrow and in joy. In tradition, we know Magdalene as the woman who anointed Jesus with oil and her tears and then dried him with her hair, she who, having been forgiven much loved much.

When Magdalene washed Christ’s feet, some believe it may have been with the tears from this little vial, tears that marked the most precious moments of her life. That in this gesture, she was giving to Jesus everything most precious to her, entrusting to him everything that mattered to her  heart.

This is the Magdalene I treasure most and so long to be.

—Liz Kelly is the author of the award-winning Jesus Approaches published by Loyola Press and trained as a director in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

Prayer

Good and gracious God, we know that we can come to you in times of joy and times of sorrow.  We offer you those things that are most precious to us, trusting that you will remain with us throughout our lives.  We pray this in the name of Jesus, our brother and friend. Amen.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 19, 2018

1 Cor 12: 31- 13:13

But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

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.

Open to growth

September is the month of parent meetings at school. Hundreds of parents flock into our assembly room eagerly excited, and perhaps a little anxious, for the start of a new school year and a new chapter in their son’s life. At each meeting, they get to reflect on what tremendous growth their son will experience the coming year in high school – both vertically, for most, as well as internally. The essence of what we as Ignatian educators and they as parents are hoping for, however, is that they grow mostly in love for one another and for God – for the greatest of these is love.

As a new academic year begins, how are you open to growth and change in yourself and those around you this year? What are the great examples of love in your life, and how can you seek to emulate them?

—Gretchen Crowder is the Director of Campus Ministry at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Dallas.

Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

—Suscipe of St. Ignatius of Loyola

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 18, 2018

1 Cor 12: 12-14, 27-31A

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

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.

The Body of Christ

I’m blessed to live with a Bishop Emeritus Carlos A. Sevilla, SJ. I told him this week that I would soon meet with benefactors in Southern California who support the works of our Jesuits West Province. I admitted my confusion about how to defend or explain the state of our Church. What mending words could I offer others out of my own upset and shame?

He said: “The Church is in one of the most challenging storms in its history. Assure those with whom you visit that Jesus is with us in the storm. I’m certain that the changes that must be made will make us a better Church and seen more clearly to be The Body of Christ.”

How this gentle man’s reassurance— along with that image— comforted me when I prayed with today’s readings. The Church has weathered storms from its start. St. Paul encountered them throughout his ministry: in Rome, Galatia, Philippi, Colossae, Thessalonica, Ephesus, and in Corinth, where today he gives the Corinthians the precise image that Bishop Sevilla shared with me: the Body of Christ. If any part of it suffers, the entire body feels it.

The Body of our Church suffers today. Pray with me that Jesus walks with us in the storm!

—Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the Jesuits West Province currently starting his second year of Regency in the Advancement Office in Los Gatos, California.

Prayer

O thou, who at thy Eucharist didst pray
That all thy church might be for ever one,
Grant us at every Eucharist to say
With longing heart and soul, ‘Thy will be done’:
O may we all one bread, one body be,
Through this blest sacrament of unity.

For all thy church, O Lord, we intercede;
Make thou our sad divisions soon to cease;
Draw us the nearer each to each, we plead,
By drawing all to thee, O Prince of Peace:
Thus may we all one bread, one body be,
Through this blest sacrament of unity.

—Excerpt from, “Thou, Who at Thy First Eucharist Didst Pray,” by W.H. Turton (1881)

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

My Candles

candle

Jesuit Prayer is pleased to offer candles for special occasions such as “Remembrance, joys, sorrows, anniversaries, and special intentions.” Proceeds help keep Jesuit Prayer free for all users.

REGISTER your free account to get started, and you'll get a free 30 days candle just for signing up.

LOGIN to access your candles

CLICK HERE for help with candles

Light up the World

(Click map to see more)

Welcome to JesuitPrayer.org

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.

(more about this site)



    Visit our
Social Media
   

Submit a Prayer Request

Archives

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  12345
20212223242526
2728293031  
       
     12
       
      1
23242526272829
30      
   1234
       
    123
25262728   
       
   1234
262728    
       
       
       
      1
       
     12
       
     12
3456789
10111213141516
       

September 30, 2018

Mk 9: 38-43, 45, 47-48

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.

And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

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.

Eradicating sin and evil

No one really likes the idea of cutting off their own limbs … in fact, I do not doubt that Christ was hoping his words in today’s Gospel would be shocking! The focus here, instead, should be on the lengths Christ is willing to ask us to go to eradicate sin from our lives. Unfortunately, we are fallen creatures, but even in the midst of that, we remain beloved children of God. God wants to spend eternity with us in Heaven. To that end, God needs us to realize how sin really does harm our relationship with God and that we must be fervent in our desire and attempts to work against any inclination toward sin. The Evil Spirit is always on the prowl; St. Ignatius warns us of that fact regularly. We must constantly seek the grace of God to work against the very real and seductive grip that evil has on us so that we can ultimately fulfill God’s desire for us to spend eternity in heaven with God.  

—Marcus Fryer, SJ, is a member of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province and is the Pastoral Director at Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver.

Prayer

Jesus, I feel within me a great desire to please you but, at the same time, I feel totally incapable of doing this without your special light and help, which I can only expect from you.  Accomplish your will within me-even in spite of me.

—St. Claude de Colombiere, SJ

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 29, 2018

John 1:47-51

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

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.

Faith based on the little things

Nathanael recognizes Jesus as the Son of God based on a seemingly minor thing that Jesus notices.  There are numerous miracles and long poetic discourses in the Gospels through which disciples come to believe, but this wasn’t the case for Nathanael.  It was a simple interaction with the divine that cemented his faith in Jesus.

This is the way that most of us encounter God, through the small, simple interactions of our day.  The practice of the Examen opens us up to increasing our awareness of how God is present in our lives, in moments both big and small.  God may be speaking to us through a brief conversation with a friend, or through a peaceful moment in nature, or through a sentence that stands out in a book we’re reading.  Like Nathanael, let us use these as opportunities of praise and thanksgiving for God’s movement in our lives.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

Prayer

Lord, help me to notice you in the big and small events of my life, so that I may always remember to orient my life toward you. Amen.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 28, 2018

Eccl 3:1-11

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;

A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with.

He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

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.

Invitation to be present to this season of life

I am incredibly grateful for the chance to spend Mondays at home with my 20-month old daughter. In between excursions to the library and playground, however, I’m usually trying to get the grocery shopping, laundry and other household chores done before the start of my workweek. This past Monday, I was cleaning up the kitchen while my daughter finished lunch when I heard the sweetest invitation: “Sit down, mama! Sit down!” I looked over at her high chair and she was pointing to the seat next to her. Her sweet bidding reminded me that this season will only last so long. Be present to it.

God invites us in a variety of ways all day long, which is why having a practice like the Examen prayer is so important in order to recognize them. Whatever today has in store for you: pain and sadness or celebration and joy, trust that God is in this particular season of your life. What’s the invitation for you today?

—Sarah Otto is a Retreat and Program Director at Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center in Atlanta, GA.

Prayer

God of surprises, open my eyes to the many and varied ways you are inviting me to grow closer to you today. Help me to recognize the gifts and graces present during this season of my life.

—Sarah Otto

 

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 24, 2018

Lk 8:16-18

“No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away.”

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.

Lucky

On the night I lied to my father about having brushed my teeth, he taught me a pretty clear lesson by making me turn over my best friend, Little Bunny—a love-tattered stuffed animal. At bedtime, I asked for Little Bunny. My father’s response: “He’s been torn to shreds. He’s in the trash.” My father was lying to me. I was devastated. Clever dad.

I always tried to tell the truth after that, until I was in the fourth grade, and my mother and I saw a crate of puppies at a feed store. She told me we could get one, but we’d have to tell my father the puppy had been abandoned. My mother told me I’d have to take this secret to my grave. I reluctantly agreed. No joke, we even named the dog “Lucky.”

My mother passed away when I was 22, and Lucky a year later. My father was so upset when Lucky died, seemingly reliving the grief from the loss of my mother. So, I told him the secret I had kept for so many years. I told him how Mom had orchestrated the entire story because her heart broke for this puppy. And my dad doubled over in laughter.

What is essentially good about our lives looks best in the light of truth. It’s important for us to remember that though we’re all capable of sin, all will be revealed in the sunlight of the morning.

—Austin Freeman is an English teacher and the Test Prep Coordinator forJesuit High School in Tampa, FL.

Prayer

Prayer for the Light of Truth

O my God, I confess that You can enlighten my darkness. I confess that You alone can. I wish my darkness to be enlightened. I do not know whether You will: but that You can and that I wish, are sufficient reasons for me to ask, what You at least have not forbidden my asking. I hereby promise that by Your grace which I am asking, I will embrace whatever I at length feel certain is the truth, if ever I come to be certain. And by Your grace I will guard against self-deceit which may lead me to take what nature would have, rather than what reason approves.

—Blessed John Henry Newman

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 23, 2018

Mk 9:30-37

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest.He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”

Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

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.

Avoiding the trap of pride

In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius invites us to meditate on the “Two Standards” – the banner of Christ and the banner of Satan. In this meditation, the Evil Spirit leaves traps for us, traps of riches, honors and pride. These traps are placed to ensnare us in our lives and to keep us from growing in our loving relationship with Christ. Jesus, on the other hand, helps us to combat these traps by having us ask for poverty (spiritual and perhaps even material), insults and humility. The disciples in today’s Gospel reading sure sound like they’ve been ensnared by pride. How often do we find ourselves similarly ensnared? How are we drawn away from Christ by the lure of riches and honors?

—Marcus Fryer, SJ, is a member of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province and is the Pastoral Director at Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver.

Prayer

Prayer for Humility

Let me have too deep a sense of humor ever to be proud.
Let me know my absurdity before I act absurdly.
Let me realize that when I am humble I am most human,
          most truthful,
          and most worthy of your serious consideration.

—Daniel A. Lord, SJ

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 22, 2018

Lk 8:4-15

When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.”

As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that ‘looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand.’ “

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away.

As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.

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.

Creating good soil in our hearts

When I was a child, I remember hearing this parable and saying “well, I’ll just be the good soil because that’s the kind Jesus wants.”  I thought it was quite simple! But in reality, I move back and forth between the different types of soil on a regular basis. There are days when I find it easy to be open and attentive to the movements of the spirit.  There are other days when I get so wrapped up in my head that very little of God’s message gets through to me.

One gift of the Ignatian Examen can be to begin to recognize the times in our day, or the people who we encounter, who make it more difficult for us to be that fertile soil that is ready to receive God’s word in its entirety.  That awareness offers an opportunity to pray for the grace of openness when we find ourselves in certain situations.

Just like a gardener works to amend the soil and create the best possible environment for a plant to thrive, we need to continually check in with ourselves to make our hearts receptive to the word of God.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

Prayer

Gracious and holy Father,
grant us the intellect to understand you,
reason to discern you, diligence to seek you,
wisdom to find you, a spirit to know you,
a heart to meditate upon you.
May our ears hear you, may our eyes behold you,
and may our tongues proclaim you.

Give us grace that our way of life may be pleasing to you,
that we may have the patience to wait for you
and the perseverance to look for you.
Grant us a perfect end–your holy presence,
a blessed resurrection and life everlasting.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

—Prayer of St. Benedict

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 21, 2018

St. Matthew

Eph 4:1-7, 11-13

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.

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.

Startled by Jesus’ call

Caravaggio’s famous painting of the Calling of St. Matthew depicts a man bewildered by Jesus’ attention. “Who, me??” the man seems to say. “Yes, you,” Jesus replies to Matthew and to each one of us. Today’s first reading invites us to respond to this invitation by leading a life worthy of that incredible call. It’s easy to separate our faith from our work and hobbies and friendships. But as St. Paul reminds us and St. Ignatius echoes, the one God and Father of all can be found in all things. That makes our work, our homes, our extracurricular activities and relationships a locus for God’s presence in the world. Do you live with an awareness and reverence of that presence?

Spend some time basking in God’s gaze today. Allow yourself to feel startled, amazed, and honored by Jesus’ call. And allow that call to transform the rest of your day.

—Sarah Otto is a Retreat and Program Director at Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center in Atlanta, GA.

Prayer

O God, give me the courage and strength to be worthy of being called a Christian.

—Karl Rahner, SJ

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 20, 2018

Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gon, SJ, Paul Chong Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs

Luke 7:36-50

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment.

Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.” Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “Speak.”

“A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.

Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

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.

Entrusting Jesus with what matters most

I learned from a Catholic archaeologist that women from Mary Magdalene’s time would collect their tears in tiny vials. He said that when women married, they would give this vial to their husbands—that is to say, they handed over to his care everything that was most precious to them, in sorrow and in joy. In tradition, we know Magdalene as the woman who anointed Jesus with oil and her tears and then dried him with her hair, she who, having been forgiven much loved much.

When Magdalene washed Christ’s feet, some believe it may have been with the tears from this little vial, tears that marked the most precious moments of her life. That in this gesture, she was giving to Jesus everything most precious to her, entrusting to him everything that mattered to her  heart.

This is the Magdalene I treasure most and so long to be.

—Liz Kelly is the author of the award-winning Jesus Approaches published by Loyola Press and trained as a director in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

Prayer

Good and gracious God, we know that we can come to you in times of joy and times of sorrow.  We offer you those things that are most precious to us, trusting that you will remain with us throughout our lives.  We pray this in the name of Jesus, our brother and friend. Amen.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 19, 2018

1 Cor 12: 31- 13:13

But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

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.

Open to growth

September is the month of parent meetings at school. Hundreds of parents flock into our assembly room eagerly excited, and perhaps a little anxious, for the start of a new school year and a new chapter in their son’s life. At each meeting, they get to reflect on what tremendous growth their son will experience the coming year in high school – both vertically, for most, as well as internally. The essence of what we as Ignatian educators and they as parents are hoping for, however, is that they grow mostly in love for one another and for God – for the greatest of these is love.

As a new academic year begins, how are you open to growth and change in yourself and those around you this year? What are the great examples of love in your life, and how can you seek to emulate them?

—Gretchen Crowder is the Director of Campus Ministry at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Dallas.

Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

—Suscipe of St. Ignatius of Loyola

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 18, 2018

1 Cor 12: 12-14, 27-31A

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

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.

The Body of Christ

I’m blessed to live with a Bishop Emeritus Carlos A. Sevilla, SJ. I told him this week that I would soon meet with benefactors in Southern California who support the works of our Jesuits West Province. I admitted my confusion about how to defend or explain the state of our Church. What mending words could I offer others out of my own upset and shame?

He said: “The Church is in one of the most challenging storms in its history. Assure those with whom you visit that Jesus is with us in the storm. I’m certain that the changes that must be made will make us a better Church and seen more clearly to be The Body of Christ.”

How this gentle man’s reassurance— along with that image— comforted me when I prayed with today’s readings. The Church has weathered storms from its start. St. Paul encountered them throughout his ministry: in Rome, Galatia, Philippi, Colossae, Thessalonica, Ephesus, and in Corinth, where today he gives the Corinthians the precise image that Bishop Sevilla shared with me: the Body of Christ. If any part of it suffers, the entire body feels it.

The Body of our Church suffers today. Pray with me that Jesus walks with us in the storm!

—Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the Jesuits West Province currently starting his second year of Regency in the Advancement Office in Los Gatos, California.

Prayer

O thou, who at thy Eucharist didst pray
That all thy church might be for ever one,
Grant us at every Eucharist to say
With longing heart and soul, ‘Thy will be done’:
O may we all one bread, one body be,
Through this blest sacrament of unity.

For all thy church, O Lord, we intercede;
Make thou our sad divisions soon to cease;
Draw us the nearer each to each, we plead,
By drawing all to thee, O Prince of Peace:
Thus may we all one bread, one body be,
Through this blest sacrament of unity.

—Excerpt from, “Thou, Who at Thy First Eucharist Didst Pray,” by W.H. Turton (1881)

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Use this feature to hide the Candles that you dont wish to make public.

You can only view these candles when the "Show Hidden Candles" option is set to YES.

Sorry, there are no refunds on hidden candles.

Hide this Candle
Cancel

7 Day Candle – Blue
$0.99

30 Day Candle – Blue
$2.99

6 Month Candle – Blue
$9.99

First Candle FREE
$2.99

7 Day Candle – Red
$.99

7 Day Candle – Green
$.99

7 Day Candle – Violet
$0.99

7 Day Candle – Yellow
$0.99

30 Day Candle – Red
$2.99

30 Day Candle – Green
$2.99

30 Day Candle – Violet
$2.99

30 Day Candle – Yellow
$2.99

6 Month Candle – Red
$9.99

6 Month Candle Green
$9.99

6 Month Candle – Violet
$9.99

6 Month Candle – Yellow
$9.99

(help)

You are reporting this Candle?

Yes
Cancel