An Ignatian Prayer Adventure Begins

by Paul on February 20, 2012

We begin An Ignatian Prayer Adventure this week. Watch the video below for my introduction to the retreat. In order to respond to God’s love, we need to be spiritually free. May we grow in that freedom as together we experience this journey over the upcoming weeks.

The rest of the week here will be our normal PFO programming, but visit the Ignatian Prayer Adventure page for links to the first week’s full set of materials.

If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to watch the video The Importance of Spiritual Freedom.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Simon February 20, 2012 at 2:44 am

In my case, I think the last two words were well directed.

Happy Monday everyone.

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Paul February 22, 2012 at 11:48 am

Simon,

With God on our side, we don’t really need “good luck” because everything will work out to the good.

Paul

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Fran Rossi Szpylczyn February 20, 2012 at 5:03 am

Oh what a great way to start the day and week. I am going to add this video to my resource section for the “Too Busy for Lent?” talk that I am offering on Tuesday night.

Open hands, open hearts, open minds – Jesus, brother and friend, help us with this. As this morning’s Gospel reminded me, as I so often need to be reminded, “I believe Lord, help my unbelief.” All of me needs to be open for that to happen.

How grateful I am to be journeying with all of you this Lent and always.

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Michelle February 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Fran — are you going to post your resource section anywhere for those of us who live far, far away? I would be lovely to have a Lenten “gift exchange” — bit and pieces and practices that other find helpful in this long season of renewal!

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Paul February 22, 2012 at 11:49 am

Fran,

And we are just as grateful to be journeying with you.

Good luck with the “new” blog!

Paul

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Leo February 20, 2012 at 8:38 am

Very nice introduction to Ash Wednesday Week…

And Happy Ordination Anniversary

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Paul February 22, 2012 at 11:50 am

Leo,

You’re “outing” my ordination anniversary? Tsk. Tsk.

Paul

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Sara Damewood February 20, 2012 at 8:38 am

Thanks so much, Fr. Paul, and Happy Monday to you & Fran & Simon. I love that image of open hands!

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Paul February 22, 2012 at 11:50 am

Sara,

As I think I said, I stole it from somewhere. I steal everything from somewhere else.

Paul

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claire February 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I very much like this video. Thank you. It is also lovely to meet you :-)

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Paul February 22, 2012 at 11:50 am

Claire,

And how I would love to meet you.

Paul

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Michelle February 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm

After weeks of writing for Lent, I’m very much looking forward to this retreat to spending time listening *to* Lent! Thanks to all the Loyola Press people who make it possible….

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Paul February 22, 2012 at 11:52 am

Michelle,

It is our pleasure entirely. Yesterday we began to celebrate our centenary as a company and we reflected together that our only goal is, as St. Ignatius would put it, to help souls.

Paul

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Tim February 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Good stuff, looking forward to the journey, many thanks…

Tim

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Paul February 22, 2012 at 11:52 am

Tim,

Good stuff – I don’t know. That I need to lose weight this Lent – that I now know!

Paul

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Maureen February 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Paul, great to see you “in person” and to listen to your wise words about opening your hands to God for Lent. Thanks!

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Paul February 22, 2012 at 11:53 am

Maureen,

If only the wise words were my own. I don’t even know who I stole them from!

Paul

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Tim February 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm

…Peace to you, today and always… Love it!

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Paul February 22, 2012 at 11:53 am

Tim,

And peace to your spirit!

Paul

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Lynda February 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I really appreciate this thought that retreats and prayer experiences are about “opening ourselves to God’s goodness and allowing God to be good to us”. Allowing God to be good to me will be my challenge for Lent. Thank you very much for putting this into words.

God bless you for walking this journey with us.

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Paul February 22, 2012 at 11:55 am

Lynda,

The one thing that hits me again and again in spiritual direction is how hard people are on themselves. (As I am on myself, I hastily add.) But I truly believe that God seeks our happiness and loves us beyond our wildest imaginings. If we could only bask in that love, our lives would change forever.

Paul

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MJ February 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm

WOW!!! It amazes me how God gets me right where he wants me. I am having to slow down due to some health issues and here I come across this. Chance encounter??? I do not think so. Lent—-”letting ourselves be loved”—-can you imagine Someone loving us so much that He gave His life for us? I am in awe!
Thank you for all your writings. I am so deeply touched.

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Paul February 22, 2012 at 11:56 am

MJ,

As you say, “can you imagine Someone loving us so much that He gave His life for us?” That should be mind and heart-blowing.

Paul

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Carol February 21, 2012 at 5:59 am

Thank you for the reminder we are journeying with each other.
New perspective, open hands, heart, mind and eyes….

Blessings on the journey

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Paul February 22, 2012 at 11:57 am

Carol,

As I said to Fran above, I am grateful to be journeying with you and let’s ask God together to bless us all on the journey.

Paul

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Teresa February 21, 2012 at 7:08 am

Good morning Father Brian,
You always share sublime things with us. Today, I wanted to share this beautiful dance with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=GsTqmEeBKhw&vq=medium#t=41

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Simon February 21, 2012 at 9:46 am

Fantastic! When I see things like that my worries about whether the human race can sort out its problems fade a little. God willing, if we put our minds to it, we can achieve pretty much anything.

As an aside, do you think the guy standing alongside was her dad (just in case muscles dropped her?)

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carol February 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Absolute beautiful grace in motion!

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Paul February 22, 2012 at 11:59 am

Teresa,

Stunning.

I don’t know about other countries, but here I had to sit through an ad for McDonald’s before I could see the video. I refuse to post any video that forces people to watch ads they can’t skip.

Paul

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Marlee February 22, 2012 at 11:21 am

I’ve been meditating today on your clenched hand/open hand metaphor and picturing the things I grasp too tightly–and visualizing my hands opening to shed those attachments–and at the same time receiving something different, something new from God. He is using this very simple picture to stir things up in my soul…..thank you

Marlee

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Chris DeGetmon May 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I honestly wanted to participate in this retreat, at least until I got through the the first reading.

No disrespect, but how do we know that God desires us?

Take the first reading as a case in point: Isaiah 43:1-7. Here God is an exclusive God working on behalf of the Israelites. Verse 4 tells us that a “people” (who are unidentified) are given “in exchange for you.” (Translation NJ Bible).

The problem is obvious: if the opening remarks from the retreat assert that God is unconditional love, then why use a scripture reading inimical to that norm? Why use something which tells us to overturn your initial thesis?

Is God exclusively working on behalf of the Israelites? Why are others condemned to irrelevance and insignificance?

It seems to me that you are defeating your own purpose as long as you use scripture which asserts a Warrior God who condemns the innocent on behalf of what has been characterized as his chosen people. This type of God has more in common with the worst human traits than it does juxtaposed a God who extends universal and unconditional love to all. The retreat is condradictory.

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A Rennie February 14, 2013 at 4:10 pm

The start of Lent with a prayer for the openness of our being to God. May all those we and those we pray for be touched by the same spirit.

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