Our Eight-Month Journey with Jesus using St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises.
The “Third Week.” An Overview. Week 23 through Week 26.
Theme: Being with Jesus in His Suffering and Savoring the Grace of Compassion.
In the Third Week of the Exercises, we journey with Jesus through His passion. In this part of the Exercises, we carry with us our own “passions,” our personal experiences of suffering and death. The grace we pray for is simply to be with the Lord as He enters His suffering and death. During the Second Week, we were, seemingly, much more active. We were with the Lord in the midst of His very active ministry of healing, preaching, teaching, meeting, and comforting all sorts of people. We joined Him on mission with growing zeal and fervor as God stirred within us noble desires for service.
In this phase of the Exercises, we accompany Jesus into the mystery of human suffering. Our prayer may become more still and quiet as a result. We don’t need to make any big promises or figure out answers to timeless existential questions about the meaning of suffering. We just need to be present to Jesus and continue to have our hearts schooled about what compassion is all about. In this school of the heart, the cross becomes an extension of Jesus’ ministry of loving presence, a love that is with us to the very end. Kevin O’Brien. The Ignatian Adventure-page 213.
We are now entering what Ignatius calls the “Third Week” of our Ignatian Prayer Adventure. In the following 12 blog sessions (click on the links below), we walk with Jesus of Nazareth during His Passion. Allow plenty of time in your devotional sessions to soak in the full depth of this part of our Master’s story.
As we blog along the way, we suggest that you bookmark both our master page and this unit page, as they will help you keep an index of our readings and be a place to bring all of it together for easy referencing.
We strongly suggest that you review pages 209-232 in Kevin O’Brien’s book as you read along with our blogs below.
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 III” Studies. (click on the links below to review each blog entry)
23. The Road to Calvary.
24. The Arrest of Jesus.
24.2 Trust Broken.
25. The Suffering and Death of Jesus.
26. The Paschal Mystery.
26.1 The Paschal Mystery.
26.2 The Carmen Christi.
Continuing with O’Brien’s commentary on the “Third Week”…
Here it will be to ask for sorrow, regret, and confusion, because the Lord is going to His Passion for my sins. (St. Ignatius SE 193)
“If we take the Gospel to heart – as we do during the Exercises – then we must stand with the poor and marginalized, not because God loves them more than the rich and well connected but simply because Jesus, a friend of rich and poor alike, always responded with compassion to those most in need. So as we walk through this Third Week, we consider not only those whose suffering we know very personally but also those people in our community and world who live on the margins – the stepped on and stepped over, the left out and left behind. We choose to make our stand with them and do what we can to help them down from their crosses.” Kevin O’Brien. The Ignatian Adventure-page 214.
A Prayer for this Third Week.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
The Prayer of St. Francis
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.