Scripture Meditation: Isaiah 26: 7-9; 12; 16-19
Today I offer a guided Ignatian meditation on the first reading from the Prophet Isaiah.
This is an invitation to let the scripture enter into your heart and mind and speak personally to you. As I read the reading, notice any word or phrase, image, or idea that speaks to you or “shimmers” for you. Stay with that and ponder its meaning. Notice how it makes you feel. Savor the experience. After the reading, I will offer some prompts for prayer.
After you finish your prayer, I invite you to write a brief review of what happened. Some suggested questions are on the mediation web page, which is linked to in today’s email. The page also includes a written version of this meditation.
Quiet your body and mind
- Choose a position where you can be relaxed but alert.
- Breathe deeply several times and let your body relax
Ask for a grace
- Ask God to open your heart and mind to what God wants you to hear today.
Read the scripture passage
The way of the just is smooth;
the path of the just you make level.
Yes, for your way and your judgments, O LORD,
we look to you;
Your name and your title
are the desire of our souls.
My soul yearns for you in the night,
yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you;
When your judgment dawns upon the earth,
the world’s inhabitants learn justice.
O LORD, you mete out peace to us,
for it is you who have accomplished all we have done.
O LORD, oppressed by your punishment,
we cried out in anguish under your chastising.
As a woman about to give birth
writhes and cries out in her pains,
so were we in your presence, O LORD.
We conceived and writhed in pain,
giving birth to wind;
Salvation we have not achieved for the earth,
the inhabitants of the world cannot bring it forth.
But your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise;
awake and sing, you who lie in the dust.
For your dew is a dew of light,
and the land of shades gives birth.
In this passage from Isaiah, the prophet expresses longing for God amidst the experience of pain and anguish. “My soul yearns for you in the night,” he says, “my spirit within me keeps vigil for you.” Take a moment to get in touch with your own yearning for God.
Can you express that to God using your own words?
Often, the phrase “to mete out” is used to refer to something negative like punishment. But here the Lord metes out peace. What does this look like in your life, in the world today?
Isaiah notes that we ourselves have not achieved salvation for the earth, for we cannot. And yet, he expresses hope and trust in God’s action for the world. In what ways are you hoping and trusting in God right now?
Take a few moments to share that hope and trust with God. When you are ready, close with a favorite prayer.
Review of Prayer
St. Ignatius recommends that we review our prayer. A written review has many advantages. It enables us to look back on our prayer experience, and to notice what happened. It allows us to be fully present to our experience of prayer. We do not write while we are praying. The review of prayer enables us not to judge ourselves or look for how well we are doing. It helps us to become more sensitive to how God is speaking to us in the here and now. It is also a precious record of our journey with God, which nourishes wholeness and integration.
Some questions to assist with your review:
What happened in your prayer?
What feelings did you experience?
During the prayer period, when did you feel encouraged?
When did you feel discouraged?
Did you receive the grace you asked for?
What did you receive?