How to reflect on Sacred Scripture

Francis - Palm 2014The Jesuit training of Pope Francis was very evident in his Palm Sunday homily.  The type of reflection on the Gospels proposed by our Holy Father is exactly that which St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, taught to his followers, and recorded in his Spiritual Exercises.  Both St Ignatius and Pope Francis realize how the Holy Spirit can work powerfully in this type of scriptural reflection to lead us to know, desire and follow Jesus in a more heartfelt way.

st-ignatius

…if the person who is making the Contemplation, takes the true groundwork of the narrative, and, discussing and considering for himself, finds something which makes the events a little clearer or brings them a little more home to him—whether this comes through his own reasoning, or because his intellect is enlightened by the Divine power—he will get more spiritual relish and fruit, than if he who is giving the Exercises had much explained and amplified the meaning of the events. For it is not knowing much, but realizing and relishing things interiorly, that contents and satisfies the soul.  (Second Annotation)

If you’re unfamiliar with the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, this talk presents a nice overview in the first 45-minutes.