An Ignatian Prayer Adventure Begins

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.


  1. says

    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.

    • says

      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!

  2. says

    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….

    • Paul says


      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.


  3. Maureen says

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

  4. says

    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.

    • Paul says


      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.


  5. MJ says

    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.

    • Paul says


      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.


  6. Carol says

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

    Blessings on the journey

    • Paul says


      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.


    • Simon says

      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?)

    • Paul says



      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.


  7. Marlee says

    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


  8. Chris DeGetmon says

    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.

  9. A Rennie says

    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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