The Prayer of St Ignatius of Loyola – A Reflection for Lent

This morning I wanted to share with you a couple of prayers written by St Ignatius Loyola who founded the Jesuits and wrote a set of spiritual exercises that are still widely used today.  Like the prayers of so many of the saints who have gone before us these prayers can resonate deep within our souls and bring new life in the midst of struggle and darkness.  Because prayers like this came out of the deep and enduring work that God was accomplishing in the hearts of these saints they can be inspirational in our lives just as they have been in the lives of so many over the centuries.  They challenge us with examples of lives that were truly dedicated to Christ.

They are also part of what has inspired my own writing of prayers.  As I meditate on words like this I find that they generate within me a strong desire to respond and the prayers I write remind me continually that my response needs to be in actions as well as words.

The Prayer of St Ignatius

Take O Lord and receive

All my liberty, my memory,

My understanding and my entire will

All that I have and possess

You have given all to me

To you O Lord I return it

All is yours

Dispose of it all according to your will

Give me your love and grace

For this is sufficient for me.

Another Prayer of St Ignatius of Loyola

“Dearest Lord,

teach me to be generous.

teach me to serve you as you deserve;

to give and not to count the cost;

to fight, and not to heed the wounds;

to labor, and not to seek to rest;

to give of myself and not to ask for reward,

except the reward of knowing that I am doing

your will.”

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Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Crhist, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Permit me not to be separated from you
From the wicked foe, defend me
At the hour of my death call me home
And bid me come to you
That with your saints I may praise you
For ever and ever, Amen
–Ignatius of Loyola