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Burn Brighter: An Invitation to Group Spiritual Practice During this time of Upheaval

Burn Brighter: An Invitation to Group Spiritual Practice During this time of Upheaval

by Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde

“let us turn
to our God
and
to the sacred light
of the Holy Spirit
that burns
in
each of us.”

 – from Burn Brighter*, a Meditation by Ray Angle

I sit, center myself, recognizing I am in God’s presence, take a deep breath, and there is Mr. George Floyd, trying to breathe.  There is Officer Derek Chauvin, persisting in his power-over stance.  (There I am, recognizing my own human impulse to wield power and crush things that threaten me.)  I exhale.  I recognize the closing of my throat and the tears so close. Everything in me burns.  Hurts.  I inhale and exhale again, seeking solace and understanding, and surrendering to God’s invitation for me –for our world.  And I know: God made me exactly for this time.

***

On Thursday, last week, we convened as a Loyola staff via zoom for the last time this season, entering into our meeting with prayer.  Spiritual Director Kay Vander Vort lead us in a meditation she adapted from Gonzaga Assistant Vice President Ray Angle’s, entitled, burn brighter.*  It begins:

“Ignatius calls us to go forth

and set the world on fire.

We embrace this metaphor because we believe our purpose

is inextricably linked to helping others clarify and attain theirs.”

Kay concluded the spoken prayer with an invitation to silence.  “For 8 minutes and 46 seconds – [the length of time Officer Chauvin’s knee pressed in on George Floyd’s neck, killing him] – I invite you to kneel.”  This invitation, as a white woman on staff with other white bodied people, brought me to tears.

We were – and are- Loyola Spiritual Directors, doing what we are called to do: enter quietly into a sacred realm of deep listening, occupying a surrendered stance, tuned into the Present Moment.  In this individual and collective action: we were – and are– listening for God’s love, the Spirit’s flame, and the freedom to act.

How do we burn bright with purpose and God’s power?  As an organization whose mission is to offer sacred listening and companioning, Loyola has discerned a call to offer group spiritual practices for those seeking space to pray and practice noticing together.

Starting Thursday, June 25, Loyola will be offering two group spiritual practices – via zoom – to start and end the day.  As Spiritual Directors, formed in the Spirit of St. Ignatius of Loyola, we are offering contemplative practices that make space to hear and see, know and align with the flame of God’s love in and for the world.

Will you join us?

INVITATION: Will you join us in this season as we listen to the fire of Love alive in us, our world, to collectively burn brighter in our sacred purposes?

What:    Centering Prayer, 8am, Thursdays through August …

What:    Examen, 8pm, Thursdays through August

Where:  Zoom

When:   8am and 8pm

Who:     Any and all who feel called to contemplative, reflective prayer practice.

How:     Register online at loyolaspiritualitycenter.org

Cost:     Free

*https://www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/coronavirus-prayers#burn_brighter

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