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 first prayerfully read the Gospel for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, then watch the video, and finally go through Father VanHeusen’s spiritual exercise.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (11:25-30)
Try to imagine the “little ones” who Jesus is referring to in this passage. Do you know anyone like this? Describe them.
True spiritual meekness is not merely a result of human effort, but rather a work of the Holy Spirit. Do you wait for the Lord to reveal you where you need to grow? Is your discernment based on attentive listening to the Word of God and the teachings of Holy Mother Church?
The Gospel of the Lord
1) Can you relate to the example of “gentle strength” in the video? If not, is there something that you can connect with this idea of gentle strength from your experience? Either way, try to connect with a tangible representation of gentle strength. Ponder it and try to investigate the experiences and sensations that this phrase inspires.
2) Having reflected upon gentle strength, do an examination of conscience around your work, your friendships, and your family life. Is there areas where you need to invest more energy? More passion, more creativity? Are there areas where you are forcing decisions and pushing against the Holy Spirit… areas where you need to relax a little and let God work on things? Talk with Jesus about 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.