“Every good and perfect gift is from above.”

James 1:17 

Friday, 3 September 2021

James 1:17-27 

In the final point for prayer of his Spiritual Exercises, Saint Ignatius Loyola invites the person making the retreat to spend time contemplating how every gift we have been given throughout our lives comes from God. Ignatius was almost certainly inspired to include this in his Exercises because of what he had encountered in scriptures like the one we have been reading this week from the Letter of James.

This thought must have had such a profound impact on Ignatius that it is the last word he chose to leave retreatants with before they returned to the daily life of commitments and chores.

Unfortunately, many people simply do not have the luxury of time and/or resources to dedicate themselves to days of uninterrupted prayer and contemplation in the quiet of a retreat house. (If you do desire this and have the time, please lookout for the next retreat or prayer event offered by the Jesuit Institute). So, as we draw to the end of our week, it is fitting that this also be the last word I leave you to contemplate.

Take some time to consider Ignatius’ last point. Bring to mind the gifts God has given you this week. How do you want to express your love for the gifts God has so freely and generously given you? It may also be helpful to recap some of the points I have invited you to reflect upon over the week and to see what has shifted in you and brought you a greater sense of faith, hope and love—sure fruits that might point you to the gifts God has already given you.

Lord God,

Giver of every good gift, show me the ways in which you have been present to me this week—especially those that I may have been too quick to dismiss. Thank you for always loving me.


Fr Ricardo da Silva SJ

Fr Ricardo da Silva SJ was born in Coimbra, Portugal and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. He had a career in marketing, communications and brand management before joining the Jesuits in 2007 and has studied communications (SA), philosophy (UK), theology (Brazil) and journalism (USA). He is passionate about liturgical music, communications, and ethics and takes delight in good company and food. He has ministered to a wide range of people in many different contexts, from the elderly to high school and university students, refugees, migrants and the homeless. He has just completed the foundational Master of Science degree at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

r.dasilva@jesuitinstitute.org.za @ricdssj
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