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Readings for Today

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In Ignatian contemplative prayer, we are invited to engage the gospels with all of our faculties, but often this engagement has been limited, asking us to take on a human role.

However, entering into gospel scenes in non-human roles, will both increase our sensitivity to creation, and open our hearts to new insights offered by the Spirit through the natural world.

This Easter we are invited to enter the scene as if we were part of the natural world – the hewn rock tomb or a plant changed by resurrected light. These contemplations cannot help but provoke feelings of gratitude and compel us towards action on behalf of creation.

While directing the Exercises a few summers ago, I sat with a retreatant who was spinning. He was on the 5th day of the third week, preoccupied not with Christ but with the intensity of the gruesome suffering. As we came to the end of our time, I invited him to place Christ in the tomb by the end the day. Though rarely this direct, I felt compelled and invited him to imagine himself as the tomb itself. He agreed. When we met late the next day, he tearfully began with only four words:

“Christ rose within me.”

Deeply consoled, he went on to recount the powerful contemplation he had experienced as the tomb itself. On this blessed day, when Christ is risen may each one of us find the Living God in the heart of Creation. May we become the “Alleluia!” that creation longs to teach us.

Reflection Questions:

  • Can we see and feel how the ground beneath the cross receives the blood of Christ –soil blood-soaked, resurrected and transformed by rich nutrients?
  • What transformation awaits us this Easter as we pray as part of Creation itself?

Fr. Joseph Carver, SJ completed an STL in Ecology and Ignatian Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara.  Born and raised on a farm in rural New York, his interest in our relationship with creation has deep roots.  Inspired, by both the poetry of Jane Kenyon, Mary Oliver as well as the writings of Teilhard de Chardin, Carver regards Ignatian Spirituality as a path into the breadth and depth of instruction unfolding in creation.  Carver, SJ sees the Incarnate Christ, as not only the spiritual but also the physical center of the universe.  He is currently the pastor of St. Francis Xavier in Missoula, MT and recently returned from presenting on this topic in Manresa, Spain at an Association of Jesuit Schools gathering.

5 replies
  1. Avatar
    Tracey Manning says:

    Thank you for this reflection, which inspired me this Easter to realize that Christ is risen within me too. Alleluia!

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    urms says:

    I think we need a democratic world authority to order world issues, war and violence, climate change, an inclusive economy, basic human rights.

    Reply

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