Poems, Prayers, and Short Meditations
Two Prayers attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding, and my entire will,
all that I have and possess.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
All is yours now;
dispose of it wholly according to your will.
Give me only your love and your grace;
that is enough for me.
The Prayer for Generosity
Dearest 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 ask for rest,
to labor and not to seek reward,
except to know, my God,
that I do your will.
A Favorite Prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola
The Anima Christi
(adapted for use by the Loyola House Jesuit Community)
Soul of Christ, sanctify us.
Body of Christ, save us.
Blood of Christ, inebriate us.
Water from the side of Christ, wash us.
Passion of Christ, strengthen us.
O Good Jesus, hear us.
Within your wounds hide us.
Separated from you let us never be.
From the wicked enemy, defend us.
At the hour of death, call us
and bid us come to you,
that with your saints we may praise you
forever and ever. Amen.
Prayers by Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907-1991)
Fall in Love
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, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
A Personal Prayer
Grant me, O Lord, to see everything now with new eyes,
to discern and test the spirits
that help me read the signs of the times,
to relish the things that are yours, and to communicate them to others.
Give me the clarity of understanding that you gave Ignatius.
In the Hands of God
Pedro Arrupe composed this prayer after he suffered a debilitating stroke, the effects of which he patiently endured for the final ten years of his life.
More than ever I find myself in the hands of God.
This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth.
But now there is a difference;
the initiative is entirely with God.
It is indeed a profound spiritual experience
to know and feel myself so totally in God’s hands.
A Meditation and Two Poems, by Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. (1844-1889)
i. Notes on the Principle and Foundation (1882)
God's utterance of God within God is God the Word,
God's utterance outside of God is this world.
This world then is word, expression, news of God.
Therefore its end, purpose, purport, meaning is God,
and its life or work to name and praise God...
The world and humanity, each after its own manner
should give God being in return
for the being God has given it.
ii. God's Grandeur
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shock foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs –
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
iii. Pied Beauty
Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: