Volume 2 of 3 – musical support for imaginative scriptural prayer by Bob Dufford, S.J.
Tongues as of Fire (Vol.2)
Week Two (Jesus’ Public Ministry)
Starting with the Second Week our attention turns wholly to the life of Jesus. Ignatius would have us follow him around in our imagination and ask for the grace ?to know You more intimately, to love You more deeply and follow You more closely.? By intimate knowledge [?… to know you more intimately …] Ignatius means the kind of knowing that we pick up by being-there. If you spend time imagining these scenes from Jesus?s life, you will react differently when you hear the scriptures in the future. You will recog- nize it as ?somewhere I?ve been.?
So when you picture Jesus speaking to a paralyzed man, don?t merely note what he says, but hear his tone of voice, watch the expression on his face and where he looks with his eyes. Consider the others in the scene: the Pharisees, the paralytic, the surrounding crowd. What are they doing? What might they be feeling? Ignatius even encourages us to imagine interacting with the others. Feel their touch: are they rough or tender?
There can be no single, correct way that the scene should be imagined. There is much leeway in the details. The only caution: Stay faithful to the basic meaning of the passage. If you ?get it wrong? on occasion, God and your director will help you see through it.
The purpose here is to realize that you have a place in the life of the Word made flesh. You are welcome there.
Week Three (Beginning of the Passion)
The Third Week is about the last days of Jesus? life, his fidelity to his mission to reveal how God is toward us. ?He who sees me, sees the Father.? [cf. Jn12:45, 14:7-9] Some people avoid contemplating the passion because of the physical and emotional violence. But the
aim is not at glorifying pain and violence or even seeing Jesus as a tough hero who can take any pain that is thrown at him. Freely-born pain does not make up for past sin. But God can choose to forgive it. The question is: Can we believe that God is such that God would forgive us? As Pope Francis has often said, ?God never tires of forgiving us, but we often tire of asking to be forgiven.? Gazing at Jesus hanging on the cross is not meant to focus us on ourselves in guilt or shame, but to help us appreciate how far God would go to win us back. The focus is not on us at all, but on this Gift of God who is Jesus of Nazareth.
So the grace of the Third Week is the same as the Second Week [?to know you more intimately …?] but we add ?even though it be to loss and death.?
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