Reflection on the Daily Readings for 10/02/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Lectionary # 459. Fri. of 26th week.  Baruch 1:15-22. Psalm
79:1-2.3-5.8.9. Luke 10:13-16:

Jesus shows us how to pray; he also has us learning how to reflect on our
life's experiences just as he did in the scene about the towns in Galilee
he had preached to and healed many.  They did not receive him very well and
now, having decided to go up to Jerusalem he is confirmed in his decision
because of his reflection and correct discernment of where the Spirit was
leading him; this time it is to Judea and to the holy city of Jerusalem.
Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum will find it more difficult at judgment
time than Tyre and Sidon, two Gentile towns.  The latter two will fare much
better with God.

Now through his determination to go up to Jerusalem, he will do so while
reflecting on what has happened so far in his life with his disciples. They
will learn much on this long journey and the spiritual gift of reflection
leading to discernment will be part of their experience as they accompany

St. Ignatius of Loyola learned to reflect on his past life and his present
ways of reading certain books.  He found out that the thrilling romances he
was reading were great for a few minutes of enjoyment, but then left him
dull and dry. Yet, when he read books about the saints they would have a
perduring effect on him bringing both peace and joy to his soul.

Louis Gonzalez, one of his disciples, wrote this about his discovery of
reflective prayer and spiritual discernment:"When Ignatius reflected on
worldly thoughts, he felt intense pleasure; but when he gave them up out of
weariness, he felt dry and depressed.  Yet when he though of living the
rigorous sort of life he knew the saints had lived, he not only experienced
pleasure when he actually thought about it, but even after he dismissed
these thoughts, he still experienced great joy.   Yet he did not pay
attention to this, nor did he apprciate it until one day, in a moment of
insight, he began to marvel at the difference. Then he understood his
experience: thoughts of one kind left him sad, the others full of joy.  And
this was the first time he applied a process of reasoning to his religious
experience. Lter on, when he began to formulate his spiritual exercises, he
used this experience as an illustrtion to explain the doctrine he taught
his disciples on the discernment of spirits."  Amen.