Young Woman at prayer

Fr James Hanvey SJ, Master of Campion Hall, University of Oxford, gives us a simple reflection on Christian prayer.

He discusses Christ's own prayer and how we can use the prayer of the Church to draw closer to God the Father.

Part of our 'Schools of Prayer' podcast series.

www.catholicnews.org.uk/schools-of-prayer

This is the second reflection, commemorating the two hundredth
anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus. A reflection
on the life of Pedro Arrupe. 
 
The St Thomas Music Group sing Mysterium Amoris by Margaret Rizza, from
a text by John Main: The meaning of life is the mystery of Love. Just as the
roots of trees hold firm in the soil, so it is the roots of love that hold the
ground of our being together.
 
Pedro Arrupe was born in 1907, and was the first Basque since St
Ignatius to be superior General of the Jesuits. He trained as a
doctor before entering the Society and became a member of the
Japanese Province. When the atomic bomb was dropped in August
1945 he was novice master at the community on the edge of
Hiroshima and he organised for the care of many of the victims in
the city. He became Provincial in Japan, and was elected General of
the Jesuits in 1965. He was an inspirational leader and was widely
respected as a ‘re-founder’ of the Society of Jesus in the light of
Vatican II. He became a vocal advocate of peace and justice being
an integral part of the preaching of the Good News in the modern
world. Just before he was incapacitated by a stroke in 1981, he
established the Jesuit Refugee Service, now at work today in more
than 50 countries worldwide. He resigned as Superior General in
1983 and spent the remaining seven years of his life in the
infirmary of the Jesuit Mother House in Rome, where he died on the
5th of February, 1991.
 
This is a short, but very famous extract from his writings on falling in love with God.
 
Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way. What you
are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of
bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom
you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
 
What are you in love with at this present moment in your life? It could be
anything – family, friends, a partner. What does that feel like? Pedro Arrupe
says that it will even affect how you spend your time. Have you
experienced this?
 
What fills you with joy and gratitude? Can you see your relationship with God reflected in what gives you joy and gratitude?
What breaks your heart now? Can you see how God might be working in this?
 
Listen again to the reading and pay special attention to what Pedro Arrupe
says about "How to say in love ?" 
 
Now enter into conversation with God whose very nature is love, and who is
present in all love. Ask God how you might communicate all of this to other
people in your daily life.
An audio retreat, living the Magnificat
The Introduction to a series of four podcast reflections on the life of St Ignatius Loyola as seen through The Spiritual Exercises.