"Remember, I am with you always to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20)

[6/9] Novena of Grace: "I beg for the grace of repentance, a change of heart"

Peter Paul Rubens: At Manresa Ignatius is inspired to write the Spiritual Exercises March 1522 - February 1523


gnatius said nothing about the pilgrimage itinerary, e.g., the sequence of the places that they visited in Holy Land. The fear of vainglory prevented him from even saying that he was going to Jerusalem. If you have done a pilgrimage to Jerusalem nowadays, the view that Ignatius saw 500 years ago in 1523 was very different from that offered today. The current walls of the Old City and its city gates were rebuilt by the Ottoman Empire not until 1535 under Suleiman the Magnificent.

Many of what are standing now were in ruins or abandoned, except for the two basilicas of the Holy Sepulchre inside the walls and of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Let us quote at length from Ignatius's Autobiography,
As they were journeying to Jerusalem on little donkeys, as was the custom, a Spaniard, a noble it would seem named Diego Manes [commander of the Order of Saint John], two miles before reaching Jerusalem suggested with great devotion to all the pilgrims that since in a little while they would reach the place from which they could see the Holy City, it would be good for all to prepare their consciences and go in silence.
The pilgrims entered the Holy City in procession and in profound silence. As they were walking barefoot and bareheaded, some of them must have stood still and remembered the time of the first crusaders. On July 15, 1099 those same streets they were standing on, according to eye witness accounts, were drenched with the blood of tens of thousands of innocent Muslims, Jews, Orthodox Christians, other inhabitants and native peoples who were massacred by the invading European crusaders. Almost 2000 years later, 12 March 2000, "Day of Pardon," John Paul II apologized publicly. In his homily he said,
Let us forgive and ask forgiveness! While we praise God who, in his merciful love, has produced in the Church a wonderful harvest of holiness, missionary zeal, total dedication to Christ and neighbour, we cannot fail to recognize the infidelities to the Gospel committed by some of our brethren, especially during the second millennium. Let us ask pardon for the divisions which have occurred among Christians, for the violence some have used in the service of the truth and for the distrustful and hostile attitudes sometimes taken towards the followers of other religions... We humbly ask forgiveness for the part which each of us has had in these evils by our own actions, thus helping to disfigure the face of the Church.
Today is the sixth day of our Novena of Grace. Engage in a 'colloquy' by imagining Christ our Lord suspended on the cross before you, and converse with him in a colloquy*: How is it that he, although he is the Creator, has come to make himself a human being? How is it that he has passed from eternal life to death here in time, and to die in this way for my sins? In a similar way reflect on yourself and ask: What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I to do for Christ? In this way, too, gazing on him in so pitiful a state as he hangs on the cross, speak out whatever comes to your mind (Spiritual Exercises 53).

*A colloquy is made, properly speaking, in the way one friend speaks to another, or a servant to one in authority—now begging a favor, now accusing oneself of some misdeed, now telling one’s concerns and asking counsel about them (Spiritual Exercises 54).

Grace to beg for: "I beg for the grace of repentance, a change of heart"

Suggested Scripture passages to ponder: Exodus 19:1-2, 9-11, 16-20b—"The Lord descended on Mount Sinai before the eyes of all the people"; Matthew 13:10-17—"Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted"

TODAY, IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE HARDEN NOT YOUR HEARTS'—EVER IN SCRIPTURE, IT IS THE HEART THAT PRAYS. In today's featured reading, what word or phrase from God speaks to me?—PONDER—LISTEN—THANK—SURRENDER. I contemplate God's word and then end with the OUR FATHER...

Repeat this prayer for nine successive days.

Suscipe (Prayer by St Ignatius)

ake, O Lord, and receive
all my liberty, my memory,
my understanding and my entire will. All I have and call my own. Thou hast given all to me, to Thee, O Lord, I return it. Everything belongs to Thee; do with it as Thou wilt. Give me only the love of Thee and with it Thy grace, that is enough for me. Amen.

With St Ignatius we pray:

oul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malignant enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me.
And bid me come unto Thee,
That with all Thy saints,
I may praise Thee
Forever and ever.


St Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.


  1. Thank you, Fr. Jom for sharing this novena...

    It is indeed a true conversion when people can see it in you and through you... When it glows on the outside from within and people can't help but be inspired and admire you... Actions speak louder that words... A changed heart can change heart... Have a blessed day ahead...

    Thanks much... Take care po...


    1. Thank you for following the novena and for sharing your reflection! It is the heart that touches everything that a person does. It is the heart that is seen, heard and touched behind every human action or word! GBU!😇


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