Father Antonio Brandao, a Portuguese Jesuit, once submitted a list of 15 questions about the spiritual life to St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. The sixth question asked what method of meditation was the best.

Ignatius replied by recommending the constant practice of seeking the presence of God.

Here's what he said: "(People) should practice the seeking of God's presence in all things, in their conversations, their walks, in all that they see, taste, hear, understand, in all their actions, since His Divine Majesty is truly in all things by His presence, power, and essence. This kind of meditation which finds God our Lord in all things is easier than raising oneself to the consideration of divine truths which are more abstract and which demand something of an effort if we are to keep our attention on them."

The always practical Ignatius added: "This method is an excellent exercise to prepare us for great visitations of our Lord, even in prayers that are rather short."

Food for thought

  • Do I seek to find God's presence in all that I see and do?
  • Will I regularly remind myself of God's ubiquitous presence by saying short, silent prayers — even just the name of Jesus?
  • Will I regularly remind myself that I live only because God is always mindful of me and wills my existence in each moment?

Adapted and used with permission from Take Five: On-the-Job Meditations with St. Ignatius by Mike Aquilina and Fr. Kris D. Stubna, Copyright © by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc.

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