Igniting Our Values
Igniting Our Values

February 20, Friday

Are we who we say we are?

A Clarification

Our rucksacks are packed, our walking shoes and water bottles wait by the front door; we’ve marked our foreheads with ashes and set our eyes firmly on the prize: Jesus. We’re ready to depart, but-- at the last possible moment-- new instructions arrive. A clarification regarding penance, courtesy of the prophet Isaiah, who advises us to leave the sackcloth and ashes at home. Isaiah warns us, in no uncertain terms, that God expects a different kind of penance, a penance characterized by action, not piety. On this particular pilgrimage, our acts of penance must ease the hunger and suffering of others, promote freedom and justice and bring about the Heavenly Kingdom.

This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly,untying the shackles; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them and not turning your back on your own.
What gives value to fasting is not our growling bellies but the people who eat because of our growling bellies. What gives value to almsgiving is not the satisfaction of a Christian duty completed, but the liberation that springs forth whenever we reject the claim that possessions make on our soul.

We must be hospitable because we are homeless; merciful because we are guilty.

Scripture Readings

IS 58:1-9A
MT 9:14-15




Almighty and ever living God,
you invite us deeper into your world, your people, your Lent.
May this time be one of outward focus;
seeking you in those we often ignore.
Help us live a Lent focused on freedom, generosity, and
Give us hearts hungry to serve you
and those who need what we have to give.


This is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze. And this is what I said when they asked me if I would accept my election as pontiff. I am a sinner, but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I accept in a spirit of penance.
: Pope Francis

Pour mercy over your fasting so that it can give you its fruit: fasting runs dry in the desert of mercilessness. Mercy fecundates fasting the way rain fecundates the ground.
: Jonas Abib

I have always welcomed the perennials
but today I celebrate weeds. The arrival of
horse-tails, their primitive vigor thrusting up
under the fence as if the Third Day of Creation
were just yesterday. In penance, as redemption,
I will begin to touch the earth more lightly,
remembering to walk barefoot in the soft
forest so that I make no bruit or break.
: Luci Shaw



Keep Your Eyes on the Prize (Seeger/Springsteen)

Playlist (Spotify users login, then click)

Please join the Jesuits for “Igniting our Values,” our Lent 2015 digital prayer experience beginning on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18, through Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015. Each evening, material for the following day’s prayer will be posted here. Participants who sign up will receive an evening email with the newly posted content.

"Igniting our Values" will bring us together again, as pilgrims, to follow Jesus through the Lenten desert to the healing waters of the Resurrection. 

While we journey, we will prayerfully consider the Gospel readings in light of our Ignatian identity. We will explore what it means to be companions of St. Ignatius — whether as Jesuits or Jesuit colleagues, partners in mission, students, alumni, family or friends. What, precisely, are the values and characteristics we think of as being uniquely "Ignatian" or "Jesuit?" How, in our many ministries and vocations, do we express, recognize and support those values?

Ignatian men and women from across the Jesuit spectrum will provide daily reflections (available in Spanish as well as English). Carefully selected music, video, art and poetry will enrich our prayer.

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

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

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

Sioux Spiritual Center
The Sioux Spiritual Center, nestled amid the hills of western South Dakota, is the heart of the Diocese of Rapid City’s efforts to develop native clergy and leadership on the reservations.