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THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST - A MEDITATION

From the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola

Christ the KingFrom the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola

Preparation: I take the usual time to place myself before God in reverence and to beg that all in my day be directed to God's service and praise.

Grace: That I might hear the Call of Christ and be ready and willing to follow his will.

Consideration: There are two unequal parts in this consideration, the first one naturally leading to the more important second part.

I dream of the ideal human leader. This leader will be a person devoted to righting the wrongs of the world, to overcome all poverty, disease, ignorance, exploitation and oppression.
All who follow this leader must be willing to toil and make sacrifices, to be prepared to share with their leader the same simple food, drink and clothing.
If a leader inspired by such noble ends were to call, what kind of person could refuse such an invitation?

I then consider Jesus Christ our Lord and his call. If a human leader can have such an appeal to us, how much greater is the attraction of Jesus, truly human, yet truly God?
His call goes out to all, yet to each person in a particular way.
He makes the appeal to win over the whole world to love and compassion, to conquer sin, hatred, and death - everything that comes between God and his people. All who wish to join Christ in this mission must be willing to labour with Him, so that by following in suffering, they might follow in eternal glory.

Those who are inspired to follow Jesus Christ will not only offer themselves entirely but will act against anything that would make their response less than total.

The following is suggested as a prayer of offering by Ignatius:

Eternal Lord of all creation I humbly come before you.
With Mary, your mother, and all the saints supporting me,
I am moved by your grace to offer myself to you and your work.
I deeply desire to be with you, and willingly accept all wrongs, abuse an poverty this might entail - and I deliberately choose this, if it is for your greater service and praise. I ask you to choose me for a life in your service.

NOTE:
It might be easier these days instead of a King or great leader, to consider the manifesto of an ideal political party.
But it is interesting to note that many leaders appeal to the greed or selfishness of their constituents - "you will be better off if you vote for me". Even where there are ideals to make the world a better place for all, particularly the poor and oppressed, it is usually the case that human leader seek to 'do things' to pass laws to force people to share their wealth, to improve conditions, to make 'things' better. Christ not only looks to make 'things' better, he also seeks to change the hearts of all people so that they will want to change the world into a better place. There is no compulsion necessary in Christ's world.


Text based on David Fleming "A Contemporary Reading of the Spiritual Exercises"

 


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