Bits of Ignatian Wisdom: Contemplative in Action

September 4, 2017

One of the unique ways Ignatian spirituality lives out the life-changing encounter with Jesus is being a contemplative in action.

Bit of Ignatian Wisdom #6: Contemplative in Action

A contemplative in action means being a woman and man of prayer who lives out in the world.

The contemplative part captures the daily commitment to prayer that is typically silent, still, and meditative.  There is an interior life that seeks to grow deeper and deeper in a relationship with God and to still oneself in order to better hear God’s voice within us.

The interior contemplative life serves as fuel for action.  Most of us live out in the world and not in cloistered communities.  In Ignatian terms, we often say it is where we are “fired for mission,” meaning that what transpires in our contemplative life of prayer calls us outward into the world to be part of the work of the Kingdom in the present.

I often think of being a contemplative in action as learning to live as a monk in the middle of a city that is busy, noisy, and full of responsibilities.  Instead of just plowing through the activities of life, it means pausing, reflecting, praying, and seeking God’s input on our decisions and actions.

People for Others: 

A piece of being a contemplative in action is seeking to be a woman or man for others.

Daily prayer is not for selfish gain, but also a place to actively discern how, when, and where God is calling us to serve.   We are invited to discern our gifts and our passions and put them into action for the good of others around us.

Living Our Contemplative In Action Call with Hurricane Harvey:

I can think of no better moment to live out my call to be a contemplative in action than right now.  Watching the devastation that is surrounding Houston and Galveston hits very close to home living in South Louisiana.  I was here when Hurricane Katrina hit twelve years ago.  Last year, my hometown was inundated by catastrophic flooding, leaving over 100,000 homes ruined.  I literally see people every day that are still working to recover and rebuild.  This is long-term work.

As I witness what is unfolding in Texas, I am offering my prayers.   This beautiful spirituality God brought into my life many years ago, though, refuses to let it be only words I say.  There is a huge part of me that is ready to act, and I am working hard on the contemplative part right now listening to others and God, praying, and discerning what I am being called to do.

Ignatius’ words of “love shows itself in deeds more than actions” are like a mantra as I watch the suffering in Texas, and I find myself praying the question from the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises, “What Ought I do for Christ, right now?”

I invite all my Ignatian friends, my fellow contemplative in actions to join me in this prayer.  Yes, let us live out our call to the spiritual work of mercy to pray for the living and the dead, but let us also turn to the corporal works of mercy and seek God’s wisdom on how we are each called to serve and act.

Go Deeper? 

Online Busy Person’s Retreat:  

Andy Otto joins our team offering the Online Busy Person’s Retreat this fall.   He is the founder of God in All Things and author of the book God Moments: Unexpected Encounters in the Ordinary.  Currently, he lives in Atlanta, GA, where he is the pastoral associate at a Jesuit Parish.  In addition, he and his wife, Sarah, offer Ignatian preached retreats at the Jesuit Retreat House, Ignatius House.   I am thrilled to have him join us as one of the spiritual director’s for our retreat!

  • October 2-5, 2017: Register here!
  • October 23-26, 2017: Register here!

Who is the Author of My Life?  Women’s Day of Reflection:  October 18, 2017

Do you ever wonder who is actually the author of your calendar?  Your time?  Your worthiness? Your healing? Your life?  

Spend a day with other women in fellowship, prayer, and reflection as we seek to place God as the author of our life.  Offered in conjunction with the Diocese of Baton Rouge Office of Evangelization & Catechesis.

For more information and to register go here!


Cultivating Space for God Together: Fall 2017

  • September 7, 2017:     Opening Retreat for the Diocese of Baton Rouge Catechetical Leaders
  • September 20, 2017:  First United Methodist Church Ministry for Moms
  • September 21, 2017:   St. George Parish’s Book Club
  • October 10, 2017:        Women’s ALIVE event at St. Robert Newminister Parish, Ada, MI
  • October 11, 2017:         Parish Staff Day of Reflection for St. Robert Newminister Parish, Ada, MI
  • November 16, 2017:    Women in Spirit, St. Joseph’s Cathedral
  • December 5, 2017:      Advent Evening of Reflection, St. Thomas More Parish
  • December 13, 2017:    Women’s Advent Evening of Reflection
  • December 17, 2017:   “Spirituality for a Busy Person“, St. Margaret Parish, Albany, LA

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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