Today begins our series called, Inviting You Deeper. As we walk through the Lenten and Easter seasons, we will unpack the many gifts and promises that come from a relationship with Jesus. This series is based on some of the themes that are in my next book, The Inner Chapel, being released in April. We start with the invitation to fix your eyes on Jesus.
We all need a still point. A place to set and fix our eyes that steadies and calms the turning world around us. Something that grounds and anchors us as the world spins and turns around us. This Lent, I invite us to fix our eyes not on a something but a someone. I invite each of us to fix our eyes on Jesus. As our pastor, Fr. Randy, reminds us often in his homilies, “Jesus is our still-point in our turning world of chaos.”
Much of my work as a spiritual director and retreat facilitator is inviting people to fix their eyes on Jesus so they can be steadily drawn deeper into the life-giving waters of relationships with him. This includes not only fixing our eyes on Jesus but also letting Jesus fix his loving gaze upon us. Over the next few weeks, I invite you to take steps forward in getting to know the One who calls us into relationship and can anchor and still our lives.
A guiding principle in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola is growing “Interior knowledge of the Lord so that we may love him more and follow him more closely.” (#104). Ultimately, what this means is becoming more like Jesus by learning to see like Jesus, hear like Jesus, act like Jesus. It means not only hearing the call to follow Jesus but to also walk with him and be there working with him. As we get to know him, to love him, we learn to follow his way and live the model he lays out for us.
Learning to follow Jesus begins with getting to know the one who calls us into relationship. The way we do this is by contemplating the life of Christ. We do this through praying with the Gospels that reveal the many aspects of Jesus’ life. As Fr. Kevin O’Brien captures in his book the Ignatian Adventure:
When contemplating the Gospels, we are often gifted with memories from our lives that correspond to Jesus’ life. Memories can be gifts because through our prayerful remembering, past hurts may be healed. We come to appreciate how God has been at work in unexpected ways. We gain insight into significant events in our history. (P. 147)
Inviting You Deeper Challenge:
Lent is a time we often to use for all kinds of new habits and disciplines. This Lent, let us fix our eyes fully on Jesus by daily contemplating his life in the Gospels.
As we pray with the Gospels of Jesus’ life we can reflect on these this questions as we pray with them:
- What memories from my life correspond to Jesus’ life?
- What memories from our past remembering them were healed through following Jesus’ life?
- How did I discover God at work in my own life through remembering Jesus’ life?
- What new insights did I gain through the significant events of my life and Jesus’ life?
Resources for Praying with Scripture:
- USCCB daily readings
- Give Us This Day
- Sacred Space by the Irish Jesuits
- Pray As You Go by the British Jesuits
- Print this handy one-page guide to Praying with Scripture.
- Read Listening for God in Scripture
- Ignatian Contemplation/Imaginative Prayer
- Watch this 2 minute video where I narrate the steps of Ignatian Contemplation/Imaginative Prayer.
- Read this blog post Ignatius and Me: Ignatian Contemplation.
- Lectio Divina
- Watch this 2 minute video where I explain the steps of Lectio Divina.
- Read this blog series, God With Us in the Word.
- Make a one-on-one retreat online with a spiritual director during our Lenten Online Busy Person Retreat, coming up March 16-19.
- Register for my new online retreat that brings the preached retreat experience to your email with content sent weekly for you to work through individually, on your own schedule, giving you resources to help you find stillness and build a prayer practice, “Overwhelmed No More: 6 Ways to Discover and Live God’s Vision for Your Life”.
The Inner Chapel: MY NEW BOOK!
- My second book, “The Inner Chapel: Embracing the Promises of God” is coming next month! Pre-order here and watch your email for a special invitation next week to be on my Book Launch Team.
- In the Baton Rouge Area? Come celebrate the new book with us! The Inner Chapel Book Launch Party is April 18 at St. Thomas More Parish. Come for the 4:30pm vigil mass and then move to the parish hall for food, celebration, prayer, and book signings. Flyer here. RSVP here.
Inviting you Deeper as We Walk with Christ:
- March 3, 2020: Archdiocese of New Orleans Morning of Reflection
- Calling all my South Louisiana Ladies! March 10, 2020: Women of the Well Lenten Evening of Reflection “Clearing the Path: Simplifying the Road to Christ”
- Lenten Edition of the retreat that comes to you! March 16-19, 2020: Online Busy Person’s Retreat
- March 28, 2020: Women’s Retreat at St. Rita Parish, Dallas, TX
- March 29-31, 2020: Church of the Presentation Parish Mission, New Jersey
- April 4, 2020: Women’s Lenten Day of Reflection, Birmingham, AL
- Make plans to join me on an in-person Silent Ignatian retreat for women! Seeking Grace: August 27-30, 2020 at Rosaryville Spirit Life Center with Stephanie Clouatre Davis. More info & register here.
- Sign up for my Prayer Team and pledge to pray for the weekly prayer requests posted on my Facebook & Instagram, and for the attendees of upcoming events. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.