In today’s Gospel reflection, Father Ian VanHeusen presents a spiritual exercise based on the readings for Sunday’s Mass.

St. Ignatius of Loyola explains, “By the term “Spiritual Exercises” is meant every method of examination of conscience, of meditation, of contemplation, of vocal and mental prayer, and of other spiritual activities.

“For just as taking a walk, journeying on foot, and running are bodily exercises, so we call Spiritual Exercises every way of preparing and disposing the soul to rid itself of all inordinate attachments, and, after their removal, of seeking and finding the will of God in the disposition of our life for the salvation of our soul.”

This week, we invite you to watch the video, then prayerfully read the gospel for the Feast of the Transfiguration, and finally go through Father VanHeusen’s spiritual exercise.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (17:1-9)

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.

Realize… Jesus shows his glory to those who have a special friendship with him. By this, I mean those who spend time with him in prayer and stir devotion. Are you in love with Jesus? Do you spend time alone with Jesus?

And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

Hear the Father speaking these words to you… let them draw you in to God’s glory.

When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone. As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

The Gospel of the Lord

Spiritual exercise:

1) Imagine the world as a kind of gravity. Imagine all of the things that keep you trapped in this world. Make a resolution to work against the thoughts, feelings, and desires that ensnare you.

2) Go through this scene, but imagine the light of the Transfiguration has a living energy, a living gravity, that is pulling you up and towards God. Imagine this vitality stirring within and drawing you out of this world and into the sun. Then imagine being consumed by God ’s grace and love.

3) Use the dialogue sheet (attached) to have a conversation with Jesus about all of this.


If you would like to print out these questions, we have prepared a downloadable handout version of this Spiritual Exercise. Click the download button bellow.