Saint Ignatius College Geelong

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    Faith Matters - The Incarnation

    Article by Mr Brendan Nicholls

    Faith Matters – The Incarnation

    In celebrating Feast Day this week we pause to give thanks for the life and legacy of St Ignatius of Loyola. We come together as a community inspired by his insight and ability to bring others closer to Jesus. As we pause to reflect upon the significance of Ignatius’ life the following contemplation from his Spiritual Exercises may be an excellent manner in which we may honour his legacy.

    The purpose of Ignatius’ Exercises is to encounter Jesus and achieve the purpose of our creation. To achieve this purpose we “should seek to desire only what helps us more towards the end for which we are created”, which is “to praise, reverence and serve God”. The following is a beautiful visualisation of the Trinity, the love of God the Father, the incarnation of Jesus, through the submission of Mary to the will of God.

    Although a small component of the Second Week of Exercises the following contemplation illustrates the brilliance of Ignatius, the ability for contemplation to assist one to transcend the ordinary and the depth of insight he is able to illicit through the personalisation of a number of complex theological concepts. In particular it should be noted that the following contemplation written almost five hundred years ago still speaks to people in the modern day.

    I hope you may be able to celebrate the Feast Day of St Ignatius this week by entering into the following gift that Ignatius entrusted to all those of faith who succeed him, and that as Ignatius says you “draw profit from it”.

    Yours in Christ,

    Brendan Nicholls  Liturgy Coordinator


    Contemplation of the Incarnation

    From St Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises

    First Preamble. The first Prelude is to bring up the narrative of the thing which I have to contemplate.
    Here, it is how the Three Divine Persons looked at all the flatness or roundness of all the whole world, with people, and how the decision taken in Their eternity, as They saw them all going down to Hell, that the Second Person would become human to save the human race. Thus when the fullness of time came, They sent the Angel St. Gabriel to Our Lady.

    Second Preamble. The composition, seeing the place, which here it will be to see the great extent of the round earth with its many and such different races; then, in the same way, see the particular house of Our Lady and its rooms in the city of Nazareth, in the Province of Galilee.

    Third Preamble. I ask for what I want: here I ask for interior knowledge of the Lord who became human for me so that I may better love and follow Him.

    First Point. This is to see the various persons: first those on the face of the earth, in all their diversity of dress and appearance, some white and others black; some in peace and others at war; some weeping and others laughing; some healthy, others sick; some being born and others dying, etc; second I see and consider the Three Divine Persons, as though They are on the royal throne of their Divine Majesty, how They look down on all whole round world and on all it’s people in such great blindness, and dying and going down into Hell; third I see Our Lady, and the Angel who is greets her. And I should reflect in order to draw profit from such a sight.

    Second Point. This is to hear what the people on the face of the earth talk about, i.e. how they are talking with each other, how they swear and blaspheme, etc. In the same way what the Divine Persons are saying, that is: "Let us bring about the redemption of the human race," etc.; Then what the Angel and Our Lady are talking about. And I should reflect to draw profit from their words.

    Third Point. Next I look at what the persons on the face of the earth are doing, e.g. wounding, killing and going to Hell, etc, and in the same way, what the Divine Persons are doing, that is, accomplishing the sacred Incarnation, etc, and similarly, what the Angel and Our Lady are doing, the Angel fulfilling his role as legate and Our Lady humbling herself and giving thanks to the Divine Majesty. Then to reflect in order profit from each of these things. 

    Colloquy. At the end a Colloquy is to be made, thinking what I ought to say to the Three Divine Persons, or to the eternal Word incarnate, or to his Mother, Our Lady, and I make a request, according to my inner feelings, so that I may better follow and imitate Our Lord, thus newly incarnate, saying an Our Father.


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