Prayers in the Ignatian Tradition
Prayer for generosity
Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556)
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 toil and not to seek for rest;
to labor and not to ask for reward
save that of knowing that I do your will.
Prayer for Suscipe
Taken from Spiritual Exercises
Take, Lord, all my liberty.
Receive my memory,
my intellect, and will.
Whatever I have or hold
you have given to me;
so I return them to you
to be used according to your will.
Give us only your love
and your grace,
and with these we are rich enough
and ask for nothing more.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, 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.
Within your wounds hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from you.
From the wicked foe, defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me
and bid me come to you
That with your saints I may praise you
For ever and ever. Amen.
You Have Called Me By Name
Joseph Tetlow, S.J. b. 1930
Oh, Lord my God,
You called me from the sleep of nothingness
merely because of Your tremendous love.
You want to make good and beautiful beings.
You have called me by name in my mother’s womb.
You have given me breath and light and movement
and walked with me every moment of my existence.
I am amazed, Lord God of the universe,
that You attend to me and, more, cherish me
Create in me the faithfulness that moves You,
and I will trust You and yearn for You all my days.
A Colloquy With Jesus
Spiritual Exercises, paraphrased by Joseph Tetlow, S.J. b. 1930
I turn to Jesus Christ, hanging on His cross,
and I talk with Him.
I ask how it can be that the Lord and Creator
should have come from the infinite reaches of eternity
to this death here on earth,
so that He could die for our sins.
And then I reflect upon myself, and ask:
What have I done for Christ?
What am I doing for Christ?
What ought I do for Christ?
And I talk with Jesus like a friend.
I Am Not Worthy to Have You Come under My Roof
William Breault, S.J. b. 1926
I wish I could offer You a reasonably clean
and swept house to dwell in, but I can’t.
I can say—and know the meaning of—
“I am not worthy to have You come
under my roof . . .”
But You are already there!
Living among the once-flourishing idols.
The floor is dirty
and at times the room is airless—
even for me!
I am ashamed of Your presence there,
yet You slept in a cave
and on a donkey’s back at night
under the desert stars.
So, if I can’t change Your accommodations,
let me rejoice all the same
that You are present.
I must believe strongly, Lord,
that I can’t question this:
that You are at home with sinners—
and my greatest sin, Lord Christ,
is that I don’t want to be a sinner!
Nor do I easily accept it—still,
the evidence is overwhelming.
But hope is like a green shoot
in the midst of an airless, disordered world.
And that hope comes from Your Spirit.
I rest in that hope, Lord.
A Prayer for Compassion
Pierre Teillhard de Chardin, S.J. (1881–1955)
Oh God, I wish from now on
to be the first to become conscious
of all that the world loves, pursues, and suffers;
I want to be the first to seek,
to sympathize and to suffer;
the first to unfold and sacrifice myself,
to become more widely human
and more nobly of the earth
than of any of the world’s servants.
Teach Me Your Ways
Pedro Arrupe, S.J. (1907–1991)
Teach me Your way of looking at people:
as You glanced at Peter after his denial,
as You penetrated the heart of the rich young man
and the hearts of Your disciples.
I would like to meet You as You really are,
since Your image changes with whom
You come into contact.
Remember John the Baptist’s first meeting with You?
And the centurion’s feeling of unworthiness?
And the amazement of those who saw miracles
and other wonders?
How You impressed Your disciples,
the rabble in the Garden of Olives,
Pilate and his wife
and the centurion at the foot of the cross.
I would like to hear and be impressed
by Your manner of speaking,
listening, for example, to Your discourse
in the synagogue in Capharnaum
or the Sermon on the Mount where Your audience
felt you “taught as one who has authority.
Fall in Love
Attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. (1907–1991)
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read,
whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, say in Love, and it will decide everything.