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Confronting Ourselves An Ignatian Digital Retreat For a Pandemic, part 3 of 4

In this third module, we reflect on the life of Christ and St. Ignatius, meditating on how they confronting personal temptations in moments of desolation – and how we might do the same.

Read: Jonah's Prayer

The story of Jonah and the whale is a classic, one we likely learned as children. The moral seems straightforward: Don't displease God, lest you get eaten by a whale.

Of course, that is hardly the whole story. And we would be greatly mistaken to interpret this pandemic as a show of God's displeasure.

But what we might learn from Jonah is how to pray amidst moments of despair, when we are trapped, both bodily and spiritually.

Because the real moral here is: God listens. And then, God sends us forth.

But the LORD sent a great fish to swallow Jonah, and he remained in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah prayed to the LORD, his God, from the belly of the fish: Out of my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me; From the womb of Sheol I cried for help, and you heard my voice. You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the sea, and the flood enveloped me; All your breakers and your billows passed over me.
Then I said, “I am banished from your sight! How will I again look upon your holy temple?” The waters surged around me up to my neck; the deep enveloped me; seaweed wrapped around my head. I went down to the roots of the mountains; to the land whose bars closed behind me forever, But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD, my God.
When I became faint, I remembered the LORD; My prayer came to you in your holy temple. Those who worship worthless idols abandon their hope for mercy. But I, with thankful voice, will sacrifice to you; What I have vowed I will pay: deliverance is from the LORD.
Then the LORD commanded the fish to vomit Jonah upon dry land.

What from Jonah's prayer struck you? What unsettled you? What of this prayer might you incorporate in your daily prayer during this time of pendemic?

The Temptation in the Desert

The desert is not so unlike the cave: a place of desolation where we encounter temptation. Meditate on this slide show depicting Jesus' time in the desert. What stirs within you?

Contemplative Activity

Examen for Life During COVID-19

Susan Haarman wrote an Examen to pray during this uncertain times for the Ignatian Solidarity Network. Take some time to pray with it.

What do you see in yourself during this time that you don't normally see? How does it make you feel? How will you respond?