Yesterday was the fourth weekly gathering of the Lent Retreat in Daily Living I am offering this year at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Our retreat this year is a truncated version of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.
During the past two weeks (last week was our Spring Break), participants prayed with materials relating to Week 1 of the Spiritual Exercises which focuses on sin and ourselves as loved sinners. At the beginning of today’s session (as we always do in these retreat in daily living) participants shared in small groups about their prayer experience during the week.
After their sharing, we had a larger group discussion of several issues relating to the prayer material, and spent quite some time talking about the Temptation of Jesus, an event recorded in all three synoptic Gospels. That discussion flowed into my reflection about this week’s prayer, with the result that I did not record my talk.
This week, participants will pray with episodes from the public life of Jesus, beginning with his Baptism in the Jordan River and ending with Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. I shared with the participants a poem I have shared here before, Roland Flint’s Follow, which asks why the disciples dropped everything to follow Jesus. As I told the participans, that is a question that can only be satisfactorily answered by a personal encounter with Christ. That is what we experience in Week 2 of the Spiritual Exercises: a personal encounter with Jesus, who calls us to labor with him. We seek to know this person who call us to labor with him, to so grow in love and desire for him that we can’t imagine being anyplace other than by his side.
You can find the prayer material for this week here.
Although I did not record today’s reflection, you can find a podcast of a talk I gave on Week 2 of the Exercises at a retreat last year here.