The Good News

Welcome to The Good News Blogspot! The Good News is real and alive in my own life. Jesus has fulfilled in my life His promise of fuller and more abundant life (John 15), a quality of life I could not have created for myself. I invite you to share experiences with me so we can all grow into the life He offers us all.

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Catholic by call, Jesuit by nature, a preacher/spiritual conversation partner by choice. Learning about getting older, learning to live in the present moment, one day at a time. Learning to let go and laugh.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dry Prayer? Ask! Ask for Him Alone!

People frequently ask me what they can do to give their prayer lives more richness or to feel a deeper sense of faith or to experience God more fully in their lives. They complain of prayer that is dry or of a daily routine that doesn’t seem to help them live out their faith. My own experience has taught me that to jumpstart my prayer or enliven my sense of God in the events of my life I need to make a new and yet more explicit commitment to the Lord and to ask him with new ardor and love to be in my life.

St. Ignatius of Loyola begins the Spiritual Exercises with a statement that summarizes our lives in Christ. Ignatius based this statement – the First Principle and Foundation - on his experience of discovering Christ in his own life. David Fleming, SJ has translated Ignatius’ 16th Century prose into modern English. I’ve rewritten Flemings’ text as a prayer to Jesus. You might find praying it helpful in inviting the Lord more deeply into your own life.

The First Principle and Foundation as I speak it to Jesus

The goal of my life is to live with you, Jesus, forever.

You, Jesus, who love me, gave me life.

My own response of love to you

allows your life to flow into me without limit.

All the things in this world are your gifts to me,

presented to me so that I can know you more easily

and make a return of love to you more readily.

As a result you ask me to appreciate and use all your gifts to me

insofar as they help me develop as a loving person.

But if any of these gifts become the center of my life,

they displace you and so hinder my growth toward my goal,

namely, to live with you forever.

In everyday life, then, I choose to hold myself in balance

before all these created gifts,

insofar as I have a choice and am not bound by some obligation.

I choose not to fix my desires on health or sickness,

wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or a short one.

For everything has the potential of calling forth in me

a deeper response to your life in me.

My only desire and my one choice should be this:

to want and choose what better leads

to your deepening your life in me.

Original text by St Ignatius of Loyola

Original paraphrase of Ignatius’s text by David L. Fleming, SJ

Additional paraphrase by Ben Hawley, SJ


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