Journey into Freedom Day 18

Portrait of Jesus

Inspiring Leaders—a Meditation

At this point in the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius gives us the Kingdom meditation. When he wrote the Spiritual Exercises nearly 500 years ago in the age of chivalry, following a good king was guaranteed to inspire a noble young person. Today we might find an honest and reforming political leader more inspiring.

Preparation: I come before the Creator of the Universe, the Father, the Mother, who loves me dearly. I ask that my prayer is according to God’s will.

The Gift: I ask that I may hear and answer the call of Christ to me.

The Setting: I imagine a human leader who promises to work to heal the environment, offers to care for the poor and marginalised in society, to create a fair system of government with education, healthcare and services provided for all. Not only would I be likely to vote for such a person, but wouldn’t I want to co-operate with them in the task of building a more just, fair and sustainable world?

Now I see Jesus Christ, a leader who is both human and divine. If a human leader can inspire me, how much more should Christ inspire me to follow him? Jesus heals the sick, feeds the hungry, calms the troubled and raises the dead. He also calls people to a change of heart. He calls on us to create a better world, not because we are obliged to by law, but because it is our great desire to love others and to love and respect creation.

I finish this prayer by offering myself and my service to God in words such as:

Eternal Lord Jesus, I am moved by your grace to offer myself for your service. I desire to follow you, living simply, as you did; reaching out to others in love and service. I desire to follow you even if this brings me ridicule, poverty or suffering. I wish to follow wherever you, my Lord and God do call me.

Portait of Christ

A Thought for Today: Jesus come and reign, let my body be your temple, my heart your throne. - St Peter Julian Eymard