Sunday, September 21, 2014
Ignatian Reflection

Ignatian Reflection
An Example Based on Luke 6:12-19, 27-31


Ignatian Reflection on Scripture is a second type of meditative, intuitive way to read the Bible. This process is based on an approach to spiritual formation and reflection based on The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola, the founder of The Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). The following example uses a passage from Luke 6 (The Feeding of the 5000) to demonstrate the reflective process.


  1. Read the story slowly, either silently or aloud.


  1. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, slowly, until you are relaxed and calm.


  1. Picture the scene.  Begin with the details in the text.  Let your imagination fill in the blanks.  (We are outside…daylight.  Jesus prayed on the mountain all night.  He and his disciples come to a level place…far from town…an open field…dry, prickly grass…one tree…soft, warm air).


  1. Let the scene come alive.  Who is there?  What’s happening?  What are the sounds? smells? actions? (Excitement…many people…young, old…many skin colors…noisy, many languages…lots of children…some very sick…Jesus sits beneath the tree.  He speaks, “Come.  Sit Down.”)


  1. Place yourself in the scene.  Where are you?  Why?  What are you doing? feeling? (I am in the crowd but alone.  I am not sick…curious…I sit on the prickly grass near a child who speaks Spanish.  He smiles at me…sweet.  I am happy, hopeful, and a little nervous.)


  1. Focus on Jesus.  Watch him carefully.  What is he doing? saying? How is he feeling?  (Jesus is calm…he looks at the crowd…but not directly at me…he blesses us with his eyes.  I feel welcomed…children crawl up on his lap…a soft breeze…he speaks, “Blessed are you.”)


  1. Choose a sentence to dwell on—something Jesus says or does.  See him turn toward you.  (“Love your enemies.  Pray for those who abuse you.”  Jesus comes to the little boy next to me…he is from El Salvador.  “Bless her,” Jesus says to the boy.  “Pray for her.”  He means me!  I am this child’s enemy!  My nation has abused his people, harmed his family.  I feel sick, sad.  “I’m so sorry,” I say, but I can’t speak Spanish.  The boy takes my hand.  I am crying. Jesus holds me, rocks me.)


  1. Rest in the company of Jesus.  Breathe slowly, deeply.  Let this be your prayer.




  1. If you are with others, you may share your reflections with one another.[1]



[1] Bass, Dorothy C. and Don C. Richter, editors.  Way To Live:  Christian Practices for Teens.  (Nashville:  Upper Room Books, 2002), pp. 26-28.








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