last modified: Tuesday - III - 4 - 2003   

Saint Ignatius Loyola: Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome



Prayer for Assistance in Contemplating the Scenes of the Gospel

I beg of Thee, O God, the grace which I desire to obtain: an intimate knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that, knowing Him more clearly, I may love Him more dearly; that loving Him more dearly, I may follow Him more nearly; and that following Him more nearly, I may attain to a high degree of perfection by imitating Him in all things.

Open, O my God, the eyes of my soul; grant me to contemplate - in the silence of respect, of prayer, and of adoration, the Eternal Word made flesh (St. John i. 14), placed in the manger (St. Luke ii. 7), adored by Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the Magi, and the angels (St. Matt. ii. 11). Permit me to contemplate and consider the demeanor of Jesus, His actions, His divine perfection in the smallest actions, His voluntary obedience, His toil, His bearing, its dignity, what modesty in all His gestures, His movements, His steps! His looks, their serenity and sweetness. Let me consider Him in His sleep. In His prayer, what fervor, what recollectedness! When He works, what admirable resignation and humility! When seated at the humble table of Joseph. Let me follow Him when, with the blessing of His Mother, He departs to receive baptism by St. John, when He retires into the desert, calls together His disciples, teaches the multitude.

Grant, O Lord Jesus, that I may be attentive to Thy thoughts, to Thy teachings, to Thy holy will. If Thou speakest, may I never lose a single word from Thy lips! If Thy lips are silent, grant me to know and understand the workings of Thy Sacred Heart; may I be attentive alike to what Thou sayest and to what Thou mightest say! May Thy voice vibrate through my soul, may it enter my heart, and be as a salutary food to nourish, vivify, and invigorate it!

Above all, grant that I may love, that I may feel, that I may taste, that I may breathe forth to some extent the infinite sweetness and gentleness of holiness, the exquisite fragrance of virtue; and that I may follow the example which our Lord Jesus Christ has given us by His life and teachings.

Holy cave of Bethlehem, blessed walls of Nazareth, where my Jesus lived, let my lips kiss in spirit these witnesses of the virtues of Christ! Would that I could press my lips to all the traces of Thy steps, the earth, the walls sanctified by Thy presence, O Jesus! If Thou wilt permit me to approach yet nearer to Thyself, I would fain, in the purity and ardor of my love, kiss, as did the stricken woman of the Gospels, the hem of Thy garment.