Igniting Our Values
Igniting Our Values

February 26, Thursday

Finding God in All Things

As a communications professional, Jeremy Langford is on the front lines of the tech revolution. As an Ignatian colleague of the Midwest Jesuits, Jeremy frames his work with a deep familiarity with the Jesuit vision.

Scripture Readings

Sunday Readings - Week 1

GN 9:8-15
1 PT 3:18-22
MK 1:12-15

English
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022215.cfm

Español
http://www.usccb.org/bible/lecturas/022215.cfm

A procedural note: our reflections and prayers will refer to the Sunday readings for the week, not the daily readings.

Daily Reflection

Using Technology to Find (and Talk about) God
by Jeremy Langford

St. IgnatiusHanging on the wall above my desk is a reproduction of a Saint Ignatius icon. The iconographer, Meltem Aktas, wonderfully depicts Ignatius as a young man surrounded by symbols of his journey from soldier to saint. But what strikes me most is that Ignatius is writing his Spiritual Exercises with a quill fountain pen!

I often look at the image and wonder, “What would Ignatius do with today’s technologies?”

This question drives — even plagues — me. Two things I know for sure: Ignatius would leverage technology to reach people where they are with a constant invitation to find God in all things. And he would insist that we meet the challenge of today’s gospel by helping people discern between temptation and the Good News (what Ignatius calls the two standards).

In communications, the Holy Grail is to “know thy audience,” and from there to serve people’s needs, track measures of success and adjust accordingly. One hunger our audiences share across all demographics can be expressed in the words of the original disciples as, “teach us to pray.” Without exception, our audiences identify Ignatian spirituality as one of the most compelling reasons for connecting with the Jesuits.

Of course, we reach out to people and feed these needs through traditional channels such as our print magazine and in-person gatherings. But, as Father General Adolfo Nicolás often emphasizes, we are called to the “frontiers” of new media. As a result, we have devoted considerable resources to building a network of websites and social media platforms that share the Catholic tradition, highlight the good works of the Society and foster community and conversation.

Another frontier for communications these days is reaching people on the go through mobile applications (apps). And so, to better serve our audiences, on July 1, 2012, we launched JesuitPrayer — an app (or better, a movement) that offers a daily dose of Scripture, Ignatian spirituality and Ignatian prayer. JesuitPrayer also engages people through a website and/or a daily email and offers them the chance to download prayer cards, share content with their networks, and submit prayer requests. All prayer requests are responded to by our JesuitPrayer Team, and our senior Jesuits pray over a summary of intentions on a weekly basis.

In the past few years, JesuitPrayer has amplified the ministerial outreach of hundreds of Jesuits and Jesuit-trained lay people. We’ve learned that if we hadn’t built the app, we’d be missing a huge portion of our audience. At present, we have 25,000 app users on Apple and Android devices, as compared to 2,500 daily email subscribers and 3,500 monthly website visitors. We have also responded to 4,500 prayer requests from people of all walks of life. Our JesuitPrayer social media posts have become our most popular content. Now, we are growing our outreach by creating a franchise of sorts with Jesuit institutions that are investing in rebranding the app, website, and daily email to better serve and connect with their constituents.

What would Ignatius, who wrote one of the largest collection of letters in history and secured a printing press just before he died, think of all this? I like to believe he’d smile to read one of the many 5-star app reviews JesuitPrayer has received: “This app is a perfect example of Jesuits responding to the call of the times. As always Jesuits use what's available to them to bring us closer to God. This time using social media and current technology to help us deepen our relationship with God. A must-have app for everyone.” — BlueEagle2.

Usar la Tecnología para Encontrar a (y hablar de) Dios.
Por: Jeremy Langford

Colgada de la pared, arriba de mi escritorio, hay una reproducción del ícono de San Ignacio. El artista Meltem Aktas, representa maravillosamente a Ignacio como a un hombre joven, rodeado de símbolos de su trayectoriadesde soldado a santo. Pero lo que más me sorprende es que Ignacio está escribiendo sus Ejercicios Espirituales con tinta y pluma!

A menudo observo la imagen y me pregunto, “¿Qué haría Ignacio con la tecnología actual?

Esta pregunta me persigue – me plaga. Sé dos cosas con seguridad: Ignacio promovería la tecnología para llegar a la gente con una invitación constante a Encontrar a Dios en Todas las Cosas. E insistiría en que aceptemos el desafío del Evangelio de hoy, ayudando a la gente a discernir entre la tentación y la Buena Nueva (lo que Ignacio llama los dos estándares).

En comunicaciones, el Sagrado Grial es “conocer la audiencia,” y a partir de esto servir las necesidades de la gente, medir caminos al éxito y ajustarlos acordemente. Un hambre que comparten las audiencias a través de toda la demografía, se puede expresar con las palabras de los primeros discípulos diciendo, “enséñanos a rezar.” Sin excepción, nuestras audiencias identifican la espiritualidad Ignaciana como una de las razones más irresistibles para conectarse con los Jesuitas.

Por supuesto, nosotros llegamos a la gente y cubrimos estas necesidades a través de canales tradicionales como por ejemplo la revista impresa y las reuniones en persona. Pero, como P. General Adolfo Nicolás siempre enfatiza, estamos llamados a las “fronteras” de los nuevos medios. Como resultado, hemos dedicado recursos considerables a construir una red de sitios de internet y una plataforma de medios de comunicación sociales que comparte la tradición católica, resaltando los buenos trabajos de la Sociedad y fomentando comunidad y conversación.

Otra frontera para comunicarse en estos días, es llegar a la gente sobre la marcha, a través de las aplicaciones móviles(apps). Por esto, para servir mejor a nuestra audiencia, el 1 de Julio, 2012, lanzamos JesuitPrayer – una aplicación (o mejor dicho un movimiento) que ofrece una dosis diaria de Sagrada Escritura, espiritualidad y oraciones Ignacianas. JesuitPrayer también involucra gente a través del sitio de internet, y el correo electrónico diario les ofrece la posibilidad de descargar tarjetas de oraciones, compartir contenido con las redes y solicitar oraciones por determinadas intenciones. Todas estas solicitudes de oraciones son atendidas por nuestro Equipo de Oración Jesuita, y nuestros Jesuitas mayores rezan un resumen de intenciones cada semana.

En los últimos años, JesuitPrayer ha amplificado el alcance ministerial a cientos de Jesuitas y laicos con entrenamiento Jesuita. Entendimos que si no hubiésemos creado la aplicación (app), hubiéramos perdido una porción importante de nuestra audiencia. En el presente, tenemos 25,000 usuarios de la aplicación en Apple y dispositivos Androides, en comparación a los 2,500 suscriptos diarios de correo electrónico y 3,500 visitas al sitio de internet. Hemos respondido a 4,500 solicitudes de oraciones de todo tipo de gente. Nuestros mensajes en el medio de comunicación JesuitPrayer se ha convertido en el contenido más popular. Ahora estamos incrementando nuestro alcance, a través de una especie de franquicia con instituciones Jesuitas, que están invirtiendo en actualizar la aplicación, el sitio de internet y el correo electrónico diario para servir y conectar mejor a los constituyentes.

¿Qué pensaría Ignacio de todo esto, quién escribió una de las más grandes colecciones de cartas de la historia y aseguró la prensa justo antes de morir? Me gusta creer que sonreiría al leer una de las tantas revisiones 5 estrellas que JesuitPrayer ha recibido: “Esta aplicación es un ejemplo perfecto de la respuesta Jesuita al llamado de estos tiempos. Como siempre, los Jesuitas hacen uso de lo que disponen para llevarnos más cerca de Dios. Ahora usando medios de comunicación y tecnología actuales, ayudándonos a profundizar nuestra relación con Dios. La aplicación indispensable para todo el mundo.” - BlueEagle2


Jeremy Langford is the Director of Communications for the Midwest Jesuits. He helped found and runs JesuitPrayer.org, which offers a daily dose of Ignatian spirituality and prayer through the web, email subscription and mobile app. A publisher and writer, Jeremy has served as editorial director of Rowman & Littlefield’s religious studies division, Sheed & Ward, and Loyola Press. His books include "Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life" and "The Spirit of Notre Dame." Jeremy earned his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and his M.A. from Catholic Theological Union. He lives in Evanston, Illinois, with his wife, Liz (who has degrees from three Jesuit institutions), and their three children.


Prayer

God,
you are three creative persons in constant life-giving communion,
help us to be drawn into that communion.
Help us to claim the creative, forward-thinking intelligence
that is our birthright.
Created in your image,
we are creative in your image,
give us strong voices and effective means
to proclaim your saving power
in our world,
your world.
Amen.

Passages

God communicates with us by way of all things. They are messages of love.
: Ernesto Cardenal

The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.
: Pope Francis


Multimedia

Music
Glassworks: Opening (Glass)


 

Playlist (Spotify users login, then click)
https://play.spotify.com/user/beajesuit/

Learn more about the JesuitPrayer App
https://jesuitprayer.org




Questions about the program? Email the coordinator by clicking here.


Click here to download the announcement PDF for "Igniting Our Values".
















Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 10/14/19

America 9/30/19

America 9/16/19





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