“Take and Receive”
Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty,
my memory, my understanding and my whole will.
All that I am and all that I possess You have given me.
I surrender it all to You
to be disposed of according to Your will.
Give me only Your love and Your grace;
with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more.
~St. Ignatius of Loyola
Prayer for Generosity
Dear Lord, teach me to be generous;
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil, and not to seek for rest;
To labor, and not to ask for any reward –
except that of knowing that I am doing your holy will.
~St. Ignatius of Loyola
God’s love shines down on me like the light rays of the sun,
God’s love is poured forth lavishly like a fountain
Spilling forth its waters in an unending stream.
God’s delight and joy is to be with the ones called God’s children – to be with me.
God cannot do enough to speak out and show love for me,
Ever calling me to a fuller and better life, a sharing in divine life.
~St. Ignatius of Loyola
The First Principle & Foundation
The goal of our life is to live with God forever.
God, who loves us, gave us life.
Our own response of love allows God’s life
to flow into us without limit.
All the things in this world are gifts of God,
presented to us so that we can know God more easily
and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we appreciate and use these gifts of God
insofar as they help us develop as loving persons.
But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
they displace God
and so hinder our growth toward our goal.
In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance
before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice
and are not bound by some obligation.
We should not fix our 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 us
a deeper response to our life in God.
Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better leads
to God’s deepening his life in me.
~From the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, S.J.
Our Way of Proceeding
Lord, meditating on ‘our way of proceeding’, I have discovered that the ideal way of our way of acting is your way of acting.
Give me that sensus Christi that I may feel with your feelings, with the sentiments of your heart, which basically are love for your Father and love for all men and women.
Teach me how to be compassionate to the suffering, to the poor, the blind, the lame and the lepers.
Teach us your way so that it becomes our way today, so that we may come closer to the great ideal of Saint Ignatius: to be companions of Jesus, collaborators in the work of redemption.
~Pedro Arrupe, S.J.
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not wreck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
is now bare, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs –
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
~Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.
Short Sayings – Anthony de Mello, S.J.
“Behold God beholding you…and smiling.”
“Both what you run away from – and yearn for – is within you.”
“You do not have to change for God to love you.”
“Be grateful for your sins. They are carriers of grace.”
“Say goodbye to golden yesterdays: or your heart will never learn to love the present.”
“Peace is only found in yes.”
“Repentance reaches fullness when you are brought to gratitude for your sins.”
A Prayer When I Feel Hated
Loving God, you made me who I am.
I praise you and I love you, for I am wonderfully made,
in your own image.
But when people make fun of me,
I feel hurt and embarrassed and even ashamed.
So please God, help me remember my own goodness,
which lies in you.
Help me remember my dignity,
which you gave me when I was conceived.
Help me remember that I can live a life of love.
Because you created my heart.
Be with me when people make fun of me,
and help me to respond how you would want me to,
in a love that respects other, but also respects me.
Help me find friends who love me for who I am.
Help me, most of all, to be a loving person.
And God, help me remember that Jesus loves me.
For he was seen as an outcast, too.
He was misunderstood, too.
He was beaten and spat upon.
Jesus understands me, and loves me with a special love,
because of the way you made me.
And when I am feeling lonely,
help me remember that Jesus welcomed everyone as a friend.
Jesus reminded everyone that God loved them.
And Jesus encouraged everyone to embrace their dignity,
even when others were blind to that dignity.
Jesus loved everyone with the love that you gave him.
And he loves me, too.
One more thing, God:
Help me remember that nothing is impossible with you,
that you have a way of making things better,
that you can find a way of love for me,
even if I can’t see it right now.
Help me remember all these things in the heart you created, loving God.
~James Martin, S.J.
Prayer for Light and Help
Jesus, I feel within me a great desire to please you
but, at the same time, I feel totally incapable of doing this
without your special light and help, which I can expect only from you.
Accomplish your will in me – even in spite of me.
~St. Claude la Colombiere, S.J.
Prayer for Humility
Let me have too deep a sense of humor ever to be proud.
Let me know my absurdity before I act absurdly.
Let me realize that when I am humble I am most human,
Most truthful, and most worthy of your consideration.
~Daniel A. Lord, S.J.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient with everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient with being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability –
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually – let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time,
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that His hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.
From Death to Life
Jesus Christ, may your death be my life
And in your dying may I learn how to live.
May your struggles be my rest,
Your human weakness my courage,
Your embarrassment my honor,
Your passion my delight,
Your sadness my joy,
In your humiliation may I be exalted.
In a word, may I find all my blessings in your trials. Amen
~Blessed Peter Faber, S.J.
Putting Love into Practice
“Love consists in sharing what one has and what one is with those one loves. Love ought to show itself in deeds more than in words.”
“I ask the Father to give me an intimate knowledge of the many gifts I have received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.”
~From the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius