Our Eight-Month Journey with Jesus using St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises.
The “Fourth Week.” An Overview. Week 27 through Week 32.
Theme: Experiencing the Joy and Sharing the Consolation of the Risen Lord.
In the Fourth Week of the Spiritual Exercises, we encounter the risen Lord as He consoles His friends and disciples, who were once scared, confused, and despairing. Accompanying the One we have walked with all along, we savor the distinctive grace of this final movement of the Exercises: joy. This Easter joy eludes simple description, just as love has eluded description by countless poets, songwriters, and lovers. From our experience, we know that joy is more than just happiness, which can come and go and sometimes be induced. Joy is something deeper than mere emotion. A sure sign of God’s presence, joy is a gift from God, freely given and often unexpected. We can experience joy in the company of others or in the beauty of nature. We can also experience joy in our work when ‘who we are’ and ‘what we do’ are in synch. Kevin O’Brien. The Ignatian Adventure-page 235.
We now begin what Ignatius calls the “Fourth Week” of our Ignatian Prayer Adventure. It’s in these final 19 blog sessions (click on the links below), we celebrate the risen Christ, reflecting on all Jesus of Nazareth has done for us, and conclude our Ignatian Adventure by allowing the Holy Spirit to direct us on ‘what’s next?’ for our lives, now that we’re near the completion of our 8-month trek with St. Ignatius and his Spiritual Exercises.
As we blog along the way, we suggest that you bookmark both our master page and these unit pages, as they will help you keep an index of our readings and be a place to bring all of it together for easy referencing.
Each one of our blog studies can serve you well as a support piece in your devotional life with Jesus. As you’ll see when you open up one of our pages, each blog begins with a short scripture or reading, some thoughts to consider, and then concludes with a prayer and a question or two for you to ponder. Go slow. Walk at your own pace, inviting the Holy Spirit to join with you as you read and reflect.
Our “Week IV” Studies. (click on the links below to review each blog entry)
27. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
28. The Risen Life.
29. The Contemplation of the Love of God.
29.3 Consider & Reflect.
30. Life in the Spirit.
30.2 My Invisible Friend.
31. Gathering The Graces.
32. Looking Ahead With Hope.
A Fitting Conclusion: The World Is Our Stage. Our concluding blog in our eight-month series.
During Your Devotional Time.
I ask for what I desire. Here it will be to ask for the grace to be glad and to rejoice intensely because of the great glory and joy of Christ our Lord. (St. Ignatius SE 221)
We are now entering the final sessions of Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises. If you recall, way back at the beginning of our Ignatian Adventure, we were encouraged to take a long, loving look at the Creator/King of this universe, pondering on His amazing love that permeates His entire creation. In the “First Week” Ignatius also asked us to re-evaluate our human existence, seeing ourselves not just as sinners but as beloved sons and daughters of a loving God, knowing that His love will never diminished by our selfishness, or sin, or through our human weaknesses. During the “Second Week,” we followed Jesus of Nazareth throughout His three-year ministry of love, mercy, and compassion. We watched Him suffer and die during our “Third Week” and were encouraged to take in the height, breadth, and depth of God’s love as we surveyed His wondrous cross. And now, here we are in the “Fourth Week” and Ignatius once again is asking us to slow down to contemplate the love of God as it was, and still is, expressed through the life and ministry of His only-begotten Son.
A Prayer for this Fourth Week.
Let Your love play upon my voice and rest on my silence. Let it pass through my heart into all my movements. Let Your love, like stars, shines in the darkness of my sleep and dawn in my awakening. Let it burn in the flame of my desires and flow in all currents of my own love. Let me carry Your love in my life as a harp does its music, and give it back to You at last with my life. Rabindranath Tagore
Our suggestion…don’t journey through the Spiritual Exercises alone! One of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of the Ignatian Exercises is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with the Exercises and knows how to make the journey part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Sustainable Faith-Heartland network are trained in helping others walk through the Exercises and are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.