Related Content from And There Came A Day
- Teach and Serve: Power
- Teach and Serve – The Good Part
- Teach and Serve – Failing in February
I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.
This week’s Link’n’Log is written by my good (best) friend and sage mentor, The Magister himself, Jim Broderick King.
The blog from which I’ve reproduced it is Inspire and Ignite
TO BE CHOSEN AND TO CHOOSE – Jim Broderick King
Just over a week after Ash Wednesday, allow me again to offer: “Happy Lent, Sinners!” (As I said last month, if you knew Fr. Tom Valiquette, SJ or Fr. John Brady, SJ, you probably remember this seeming paradoxical and ironic greeting.)
My contribution to Inspire & Ignite this week is a Lenten follow up to my offering in January, along with a handful of suggestions for your Lenten efforts this year. In that previous entry, I referenced Pope Francis’ Latin motto as pontiff and previously as bishop:miserando atque eligendo, translated ‘by having mercy and by choosing.’ It is said that the Pope chose these words as an expression of his own calling in reference to the call of St. Matthew, to whom Jesus showed mercy and then chose as a disciple.
Last month I trained my aim on the first word of that phrase, clearly true to the Pope’s emphasis on the ‘MERCY’ characterizing this Jubilee Year. More specifically I tried to highlight that this ‘MERCY’ is, for Francis and in Latin, a verb, an intentional action – ‘TO MERCY.’ Francis not only reminds us of the profoundly abundant mercy of God but also exhorts us to be “islands of mercy to others in the sea of indifference.”
Those thoughts continue to fill my reflections this Lent, but lately I am also struck by that second word of Pope Francis’ motto: eligendo. ‘By choosing.’ This deliberate reference by our Jesuit Pope strikes me as being in harmony with much that he and many of us have experienced in St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises. For example, I might contemplate in these prayers what it would be like to be Matthew in the Gospel scene, imagine the exhilaration to have Jesus choose me by name to follow him, and feel the gravity of choosing to follow Him. Or one could be in the midst of Ignatius’ famous “Meditation on the Two Standards,” considering how Christ calls each person to enter battle under His flag and how each freely chooses whether to do so.
These opportunities for choosing and being chosen permeate far more dimensions of our lives than we imagine. As Lent is a time of giving, fasting and especially praying, it could be a powerful experience for each of us to examine prayerfully the episodes and movements of the span of our lives and to see our own ‘Matthew moments’—the times God has chosen us and even the times when we have or have not chosen to follow.
As a parent of a sophomore, I enjoyed this week an opportunity to hear members of our College Counseling Office speak with us about beginning the college search. There I had a powerful sense that this is one place that God is choosing my child, and she will be examining how she will choose Him. Really, how often do we talk about the college search as our kids’ first personal spiritual discernment rather than seeing it through all of the practical lenses of tuition, geography, majors and so on? I had the palpable awareness that this is one of her first, and maybe her most profound opportunity, to be loved by God and to live ‘eligendo.’ Just as Pope Francis opened the Doors of Mercy for this Jubilee Year, perhaps this Lent we can each pray that God continues to open the Doors of Mercying and of Choosing for us.
And in that spirit, to offer you some options from which to choose this Lent, allow me to present below some resources for your own giving, fasting and praying. Have a wonderful Lent!
LENTEN PRAYER OPPORTUNITIES:
- A site for daily Lenten reflections and prayers from the Jesuits of the Midwest.
- A wide variety of basic and self-guided resources for praying in Lent from ignatianspirituality.com.
- See these encouraging prayers and prompts from Pope Francis:
- Always a great comprehensive resource for yourself, your family, your small Christian community, your parish…—Creighton University’s Lenten Page.
- A good inspiration on being kind in Lent from James Martin, SJ.
- Resources from the Jesuits of the American Assistancy. Some resources in Spanish as well.
- An interesting new blog on examining Racial Injustice for Lenten practice at the Ignatian Solidarity Network.
- A humorous reflection from the Jesuit Post.
Jim Broderick King ’87 is Regis Jesuit’s Ignatian Identity Coordinator. He also teaches Latin, English and even Ancient Greek in the odd year. This is his 21st year at his alma mater. His posts for Inspire & Ignite appear the third Friday of every month.