Ignatian Prayer – The Heart of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola with Fr. Anthony Wieck S.J.
Fr. Anthony Wieck and Kris McGregor continue this series centered around the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. This episode takes a look at the Spiritual Exercises through methods of Ignatian prayer.
“So it’s actually not even my prayer that I’m entering into. It’s actually God inspiring this. And so as I sit in the chapel, as I sit in my place of prayer, I first calm down and remind myself that God is the one leading me here.
I recall my first spiritual director was a Dominican back in California, and I was complaining to him, “Father, I really don’t know how to pray very well. I’m really not good at this. I really want to be better at this.” And he said, “Stop, Anthony.” He said, “Do you realize that even your desire for prayer is already God working within you?” And I said, “No.” I’d never thought of that. So I need to acknowledge that God has even brought me here that he wants to enter. He’s the initiator of this dialogue.
I need to have the Copernican Revolution, huh? Where my focus is on what God is doing. God’s brought me here. God’s sustaining me in existence right now. So I’m acknowledging what he’s doing and that there isn’t other here with a capital O. And so, I’m entering into this dialogue. Before I enter into the desire, and let’s see, what are the steps of my prayer that I’m going to do today? My prayer? Oh no. It’s an acknowledgement that I’m in the presence of an other who’s drawn me here. I have been drawn here, and I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for my faith life, which has been complete gift.”
Fr. Anthony Wieck is a Jesuit priest of the Central & Southern province. Sixth of nine children, raised on a farm in Oregon, Fr. Anthony began religious life in 1994, spending his first five years of formation in Rome, Italy, studying at the Casa Balthasar and the Gregorian. The former was under the watchful patronage of Pope Benedict XVI (then-Card. Joseph Ratzinger). Fr. Anthony currently acts as retreat master at White House Jesuit Retreat in St. Louis, Missouri. He also offers spiritual direction at the St. Louis diocesan seminary for 25 future priests there.