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Monday, 13 July 2015

Framing Prayer 19 The Jesuits--Paying Attention

Starting now... perhaps the most useful approach to prayer for the laity--the Jesuit method. I want to begin with a basic idea that the Jesuits absolutely believe that God is always active and active now. This idea forms the foundation for our responses to God daily.

Remember when I wrote of active contemplation in the perfection series? The key is to still our hearts and minds so that we can be attentive. Attentiveness underlines the Jesuit way of prayer.

Do you pay attention to signs in your life regarding God's Presence?

Do you pay attention to the Word of God, in Scripture, as Mass, in the homily, in discussions with your friends?

Do you pay attention to excellent spiritual leaders?

Do you pay attention to movements of the Holy Spirit in your life, the ebb and flow of grace?

Attentiveness, of course, means that you cannot pay attention to trivia, to entertainment, to gossip, etc.?

Recently, someone told me that the good emphasis on excellence and individuality in the Jesuit order is connected to attentiveness. What talents has God given the priest to use in the world? What gifts are for the building up of the Kingdom? What does the Church need now?

God does not want to grab us by the face with His "two hands" and say "pay attention". He wants to meet us in the attentive time of prayer, in the silence of our hearts and minds.

Number one lesson today from the Jesuits--be attentive to God.