St. Ignatius

St. Ignatius
Daily Ignatian Prayer and Reflection - Ateneo de Davao University Basic Education

Thursday, July 31, 2014

There Is Always a Desire in Every Man’s Heart that can only be Satisfied by Divine Supplications

Ignatian Reflections
July 30, 2014

Gospel of the Day: Mt. 13: 44-46

There Is Always a Desire in Every Man’s Heart
that can only be Satisfied by Divine Supplications
(On the anticipation of the Feast Day of St. Igmatius)

In this sharing, I beg for the graces of patience, humility, and perseverance in our desire in the search of the great treasures of our lives.

There is always a desire in every man’s heart that can only be satisfied, not by earthly and material things and possessions, but divine supplications. And when it is found, material value will never be the same again. Definitely, transformation is happening in the heart.

I will highlight my teaching experience in my reflection. It was exactly 12 years ago when I applied as a teacher. I needed a job at that moment. I applied in some establishments and corporate institutions but I got tired of waiting for a response. Then, I tried applying in academe, not as a teacher, but as an office staff. And I only applied here in Ateneo. When I was called up for an interview, I was accepted. I was quite desperate because I was given the job not with what I applied for. I did not apply really as a teacher, but a campus minister. But it happened the other way around. But since, I was in need of a job, so I took it with some reservations, and keeping them in me.

So being a teacher, honestly, was quite a challenge for me. In the first place, I was not an education graduate. So I had to learn a lot like classroom management, classroom strategies, and the like. The only confidence I had was that at least I know what to deliver - the contents of the lesson. Then, I was able to adjust. But even though, I was somehow dragging my feet to go to classes. My work became so technical. I went to work, because that was what I was told to do. I had to prepare because it is part of my job. One of the sources of my joys was payday. Though with a minimal value, still I enjoyed it. The consolation I had was that at least, I was not one of the jobless people. Another source of my joys was playing basketball, the only sport that I love. And I was able to manage to buy things for my own, and to enjoy some things for my own.

Everything was technical. Everything was about material things. Until such time that I came to realize that all the work was not entirely for my own. All those work, the preparation of the lessons, the planning of strategies, managing the class, and the like were not all for my own credits. The real score lies in the learning of my students. I have heard a lot of times that teaching is a vocation. However, it was only then that I came to know and understand its real meaning in my chosen profession. That time in my profession, there I could say that there was a transformation in my perspectives and views.

With my present task, I even more understand that there is really a greater need that I have to attend to for the good of the department, and for the good of the school. It is not me anymore who works, but the assigned task with its underlying functions. Every time I spent extra hours of doing things even at home, all I could think of is that this is for a greater cause. It’s not me anymore, but the need of the greater call. And most of the time, I have sacrificed something that I should have enjoyed instead of doing some personal things for my own personal satisfaction. My salary is important, I couldn’t deny that. Playing basketball with my colleagues is also important for me. However, my point is that there was a transformation in my part. I do not drag my feet anymore in coming to work. My salary, which is not that high, is now a consolation of my day’s hard work and dedication, and definitely now my priority. If it is so, then I could have chosen a different career rather than staying. My basketball life is now a health necessity for me unlike before. Indeed, I was in search for a job, but I found what I was looking for.

Like the man in the gospel, when finding a great treasure, he sacrificed some of his material things for the sake of a greater cause. It is an act of surrendering for the sake of a greater cause. There is indeed a value on this great treasure that no other value of material things in this world can surpassed with.

Lastly, I would like to end up with St. Augustine’s confession: “My soul is restless, until it rests in You.”

Thank you for granting me the graces of patience, humility, and perseverance in our desire in the search of the meaning of our lives.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

26th Day of Ignatian Reflection

Matthew 13: 31-35

July 26, 2014; Feast of St. Ignatius month celebration

Matthew 13:31-35: The Parable of the mustard seed and yeast

31 Another parable He put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches." 33 He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour, until all of it was all leavened." 34 Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing. 35 This was to fulfil what had been through the prophet: "I will proclaim what has been hidden from the foundation of the world."


 In the gospel reading today, Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a mustard seed and yeast.  How do we describe a mustard seed and yeast?  A mustard seed is very tiny, but when properly planted and cared for, it can grow into a tree and can be a home to a lot of birds.  On the other hand, when properly mixed with a piece of dough, yeast can transform the dough into a loaf of bread and can nourish and sustain one’s life.


Just like a mustard seed, God’s love is planted in our hearts.  Though individually we’re small compared to the entire world, but if we embrace and nurture this love by living our faith in our daily life and sharing God’s goodness with others, the kingdom of God will grow.  Our lives will become an inspiration to others and will move others to pass forward the love they experience with us. 


I believe in the adage that goes, “Great things start from small beginnings.”  There can be peace in the world only if there’s peace in every nation.  There can be peace in every nation if there’s peace in every family. And there can be peace in every family only if there’s peace within ourselves.  The song “Grant me serenity within, for the confusions around are mere reflections of what’s within me” reminds me of this.


In my journey to wholeness, I am humbled by my experience of God’s love in my life.  God made me realize that I cannot love others if deep within me I feel unloved and unlovable.  I cannot care for others if I don’t even know how to take care of myself.  I cannot affirm others if I don’t accept and befriend myself.  I can’t be grateful to others if I am not even grateful to my God who has given me a lot of graces and gifts.  I cannot trust others if I can’t trust myself.  I cannot forgive others if I can’t even forgive my own mistakes and misgivings.  I will not be happy to see other people happy if in my heart resides hatred, anger and resentment.


I realized that I cannot give what I don’t have for everything comes from the self because God dwells in there.  It was only when I started to recognize this loving presence of God in my life that the emptiness within me was slowly replaced with meaning and joy.  When I learned to forgive and accept myself, I also learned to appreciate the giftedness of others.  The tiny seed of love God planted in my heart has slowly blossomed, allowing me to wholeheartedly embrace my mission as a wife, mother, teacher, mentor and friend.


I pray that God sustain me with His loving presence.   I pray that the Holy Spirit, like yeast, continue to transform me and inspire me to be the living witness of His love at home with my family, in school with my colleagues and students and in every moment of my life.  I pray that we experience joy amidst our imperfect self and chaotic world around us.  May we do things for the greater good and the glory of His kingdom.  Amen.


Reflection questions:

1.    Do I allow God’s love to dwell in my heart?

2.    Do I allow the Holy Spirit to transform my life?

3.    How do I live my faith in my daily life?

                                                                                           MArinar F. Castro

Friday, July 25, 2014

25th Day of Ignatian Reflection

Luke 10:38-42
July 25, 2014

Jesus visits Martha and Mary

 38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”


I find today’s gospel more special to me because it focuses on two faithful women – Martha and Mary – and their gestures and choices in welcoming Jesus to their home. These women illustrate different ways of nurturing a relationship with God. One way is accepting Jesus by believing that what we do everyday serves and pleases HIM and other people. Like Martha, we tend to keep ourselves busy with material concerns, always worried with what others might say or think of us, and we become too traditional with our roles that sometimes, the choices we make become a hindrance to doing what is more important in life – that is, to find time to sit down and listen to what really God wants us to do. In the gospel, Martha was doing what a woman in their time was traditionally assigned to do. On the opposite, Mary left the ‘woman’s traditional role in the kitchen and instead sat at Jesus’ feet to listen to His words. Mary’s gesture is another way of nurturing a relationship with God. She may have appeared lazy in the eyes of Martha but this simple gesture of listening was more pleasing to Jesus because it doesn’t just give importance to what is essential in life but the act itself also empowers women to go beyond the traditional roles of attending to the domestic and worldly things and learn to take care of their own spirituality.


I am a woman. I perform different roles everyday. Like Martha, I have the passion to do what is expected of me as a sister, a daughter, a mother, a wife, a teacher, etc. But, as a believer, I also want to do things that will strengthen my relationship with God. Yes, I go to church and pray but sometimes my traditional roles distract me from listening to and accepting God’s word. This gospel reminds me to set priorities in my everyday life - to be like Mary who took the opportunity to sit down, set material concerns aside, and just listen to what God was telling her. I realized that the more I neglect God, the more I become anxious about the things around me. I should always keep in mind that God’s abundant blessings to me or the pains I experience do not give me a valid excuse to leave HIS side. I am empowered to choose the essential and take care of my spirituality. Just like what Jesus said to Martha, “Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”  No one can stop me from doing what is essential for my faith to grow.



Reflection Questions:


1) What are your priorities in life?

2) To whom do you dedicate everything that you do everyday?

2) Do you spend time to listen to God and allow HIM to set your life in order amidst distractions?



Joan M. Abejaron

SAC- Social Studies


Thursday, July 24, 2014

24th Day of Ignatian Reflection

July 24, 2014


The Purpose of the Parables

10   Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?"

11   And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

12   For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

13   This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

14   Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: "'You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.

15   For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.'

16   But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.

17   For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.


In our Gospel reading for today, Jesus reminded his disciples to always be keen and discerning.   He spoke in parables.  And to understand these parables demand more than just mere seeing and listening; what it demands is “discernment.” 

Learning how to discern God’s movement is perhaps St. Ignatius’ greatest contribution to Christian spirituality.  Discerning, according to Michael Ivens, SJ, is to “recognize the action in human consciousness of the Holy Spirit.”  The gift of discernment allows us to make good decisions which are aligned with what God truly desires from us.  And this gift of discernment is honed through the Consciousness Examen: an Ignatian prayer method of discerning God’s active presence in our most ordinary life experiences. 




 By: Julie Ann Kwan


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

23rd Day of Ignatian Reflection

Gospel Reading: Mt. 20: 20-28
July 23 , 2014

The Request of the Mother of James and John

20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down,asked a favor of him.

21 “What is it you want?” he asked.

She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”

22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”

“We can,” they answered.

23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”

24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


The passage tells us about one of our primary missions in the Ateneo de Davao University; to be men and women who does not live for themselves but for our Father God through their service to others. We are all called to give our loving service to our brothers and sisters, especially to those who are less fortunate than us.

Ignatian Value:

Men and women for others
Reflection by: Leslie of SDC


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

22nd Day of Ignatian Reflection

Gospel of Matthew 13: 16-17
July 22, 2014

16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.



The first person I can think of when I am asked , “Who introduced Jesus in your life?” , is my Mom.

Back when I was in grade school, I remembered her coaxing us to attend mass. It was not delighting considering the crowd.  However, the colorful balloons outside San Pedro Church partly inspired me to go .That was something to look forward to every Sunday.

I also remembered my mom bringing us to Betahouse, a small store filled with betamax tapes. DVds are not available yet those days. So, we carried these huge bags filled with  Betamax tapes. One of our favorites was Flying House. My brother and I enjoyed  Kadenchin, the Solar Ion Robot ("SIR"). They would travel back time and witness Jesus’ discipleship.

My mother also introduced the praying of the Rosary . Again, she coaxed us by giving us new rosaries. I was  asked to pick the rosary I liked best and that inspired me more to pray every night.

As I grow older, going to church, watching inspiring movies about Jesus and praying the rosary smoothly became part of our routines. My mom need not convince us to do those stuff anymore. We longed to do those instead. We would take turns leading the rosary, come to mass earlier  to avoid standing outside the church  and rent more betamax and watch more stories like Moses.

The scripture reminds us that not all were able to see, hear and feel God’s love for us. Reflecting, I am blessed because I saw , heard and felt God’s love  through my mother’s persistent effort of bringing Jesus into our life.

Being Jesus’ disciple is not easy.  Challenges come sometimes like waves but amidst all these, life is still beautiful as ever because the feeling of being loved so much by God makes all things a lot lighter. Problems come and quickly go.

Well I guess, this is such a privilege to be His disciple.

By:  Glynes Ibanez