One of the main hallmarks of Ignatian spirituality is imaginative prayer - the placing of yourself inside the telling of a biblical story. In the poem below, Antoinette Voute Roeder places herself in the second chaper of Mathew, verses 13 and 14. Here is yet another Epiphany moment - a time for Mary and Joseph to enter unknown territory with this child who is already making their impossible life even more complicated. From the art above we can see that this must have been a harrowing journey.
I recently received news that the path I thought I was on is no longer the path that I am on. This has led to deep lament, anger and sadness - i.e. the process of grieving. And with it came a huge desire to chuck God in the bin. Of course that desire must have passed because here I am once again talking about my desire for God. Sigh...So like the Holy Family, I'm packing my knapsack and heading towards all the unknowns that Egypt may hold, choosing to focus not on what might have been but on what is and is to come.
journey (in the way of Ignatius)
"We watch them until they are mere specks
on a wide and vacant desert:
woman huddled in her shawl
jouncing on the donkey's back,
man beside her, walking tall,
I say to you, let us go too.
Let us start upon this journey
into unknown lands and future
where we have no friends, no home,
no kin waiting, no work to perform.
At our feet I see two backpacks,
royal blue, festooned with straps
of leather and with shiny buckles
Bulging with their contents,
they are equal size and weight,
heavy with the same provisions.
As I hand one on to you
and look into your eyes
I know you pack no miracles.
I can expect no angel bands
or acts of God along the way:
just all things needed for the journey
and your priceless company
until we reach that other country,
an extraordinary banquet,
that long promised feast.
Mathew 2: 13 & 14
Ignatian prayer: St. Ignatius of Loyola left us a prayer practice which involves
the use of one's imagination with scripture passages."
This passage is from Antoinette Voute Roeder's Weaving the Wind, p. 101,102
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artwork by James J. Tissot taken from here