Discernment in the Cave An Ignatian Digital Retreat for a Pandemic, part 1 of 4

During this time of isolation, lockdown and quarantine, it is more important than ever to continue finding God in all things. This digital retreat is a tool for exactly that. Pray through it individually, or invite members of your community to reflect and share together remotely.

Each module will begin with a short audio reflection. You will then be invited to meditate on images, short videos and Scripture, as well as reflect on discussion questions and contemplative activities.

Entering the Cave

What about this image of St. Ignatius in the cave strikes you? How does it resonate with your current experiences?

A reading from the book of Lamentations

Scripture invites us to cry out to God, even in times of pain, struggle and confusion. The Book of Lamentations provides us with an example of exactly that. A collection of poems, Lamentations records the cries of the people of Jerusalem in the aftermath of the city's destruction at the hands of the Babylonians. Read excerpts from Chapter 1 from Lamentations. Do you see yourself in this cry?


How solitary sits the city once filled with people. She who was great among the nations is now like a widow. Once a princess among the provinces, now a toiling slave.
She weeps incessantly in the night, her cheeks damp with tears. She has no one to comfort her from all her lovers; Her friends have all betrayed her, and become her enemies.
Judah has gone into exile, after oppression and harsh labor; She dwells among the nations, yet finds no rest: All her pursuers overtake her in the narrow straits.
The roads to Zion mourn, empty of pilgrims to her feasts. All her gateways are desolate, her priests groan, Her young women grieve; her lot is bitter.
Jerusalem remembers in days of wretched homelessness, All the precious things she once had in days gone by.
“Look, O LORD, at my misery; how the enemy triumphs!”*
For these things I weep—My eyes! My eyes! They stream with tears! How far from me is anyone to comfort, anyone to restore my life. My children are desolate; the enemy has prevailed.”
Look, O LORD, at the anguish I suffer! My stomach churns, And my heart recoils within me.

Contemplative Activity

Reflect on your experience from the last several days. Write your own cry of lamentation to God. Think about how you've been feeling these days and tell God about it. How does God respond?