In today’s Gospel reflection, Father Ian VanHeusen presents a spiritual exercise based on John 14:15-21.

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.”

We invite you to first prayerfully read the Gospel passage, then watch the video, and finally go through Father VanHeusen’s spiritual exercise.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (14:15-21)

Jesus said to his disciples:“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

Remember the basics… ask yourself, do I do the basics?

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him.

In this light, be careful not to equate spiritual flow with things being easy and pleasant. To move with the Holy Spirit, sometimes we have to go against the grain. Have there been any times in your life where going against the grain was important? Did you have the courage to meet resistance head on?

But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.

Realize this… savor this…. through the grace ordered in the sacraments, God is in you. Work to unleash that presence. Brainstorm – how you can unleash this in your life?

The Gospel of the Lord

Spiritual exercise:

1) Name some moments of spiritual flow in your life. What was the experience like?

2) Imagine some areas in your life where you need more spiritual flow. If you have a family, how can you have spiritual flow experiences with your family? Brainstorm how you can make that happen.

3) Make a concrete resolution to add more spiritual flow in your life. Have a conversation with Jesus about it.

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.