Journey into Freedom Day 13

Painting of preaching of John the Baptist.

Preparation: Begin by stilling; then dedicating the time of prayer to God and asking God that all you think, feel and imagine are for the glory of God.

Gift: I ask for shame and confusion; a deep understanding of how sin affects me.

Setting: Read the Bible passage below and imagine you are one of the characters in the story of John the Baptist. Consider what it must have been like for that person.

Matthew 3:1-2 & 5-10 HCSB

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’

Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptised by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers!

Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves,

“We have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Painting of preaching of John the Baptist.

Follow the meditation on Scripture with a conversation with God and a Final Prayer.

A Thought for Today:  Love ought to show itself in deeds rather than in words. - St Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises 230

Talking to a friend—Conversing with God

During this retreat, when you have finished praying with the Scripture or doing the meditation of the day, Saint Ignatius suggests that you talk to Jesus as one friend to another or as a servant to his or her master or mistress. The idea is that the conversation is a friendly, unstilted one. It is a time when you can discuss what has come up for you in the prayer. What feelings, what issues, what surprises have arisen for you during your prayer time?

You talk about what has struck you during your prayer time and imagine what Jesus might answer. We trust that we will be inspired to hear responses from Christ that are what God wants us to hear. If we are surprised by the answers we can always ask ourselves “Is this the sort of thing Jesus would say?” The answer is usually “yes”.

Sometimes Ignatius asks us to converse with Mary the mother of Jesus or God our Father. In the Spiritual Exercises this conversation is called a ‘colloquy’.