Lent 2019: Praying with Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ

Second Sunday of Lent


In today’s second reading, from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, he writes:

“For many…conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their ‘shame.’ Their minds are occupied with earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”


What prevents us from becoming more and more like Christ? What “earthly things” do we cling on to? How do we let go?

Words of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ:

In “Simplicity of Life,” Fr. Arrupe writes that we are becoming “slaves in many different ways: slaves of propaganda, of that high-pressure salesmanship which is the distinguishing mark of a consumer society; slaves of acquisitiveness, the drive to accumulate possessions which begin as luxuries and end up as necessities.”

In “Men and Women for Others,” Fr. Arrupe challenges us to cultivate “a firm determination to live much more simply — as individuals, as families, as social groups — and in this way to stop short, or at least to slow down, the expanding spiral of luxurious living and social competition.  Let us have men and women who will resolutely set themselves against the tide of our consumer society.  Men and women who, instead of feeling compelled to acquire everything that their friends have, will do away with many of the luxuries which in their social set have become necessities, but which the majority of humankind must do without.”

An Ecological Examen

The Ignatian practice of the examination of conscience, or “examen,” is a prayer that invites us to review our experiences, to find God within the course of our daily life, and to let go of the things that prevent us from growing into relationship with God. This “ecological examen” uses the framework of the prayer form to invite us into reflection on how we might let go of what Arrupe calls “the drive to accumulate possessions” in order to both conserve natural resources and commit to a Christ-centered “simplicity of life.”

Ash Wednesday

“Grant me, O Lord, to see everything now with new eyes…”  

So begins a personal prayer of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, who served as the Jesuit superior general from 1965 to 1983 and whose cause for sainthood was opened earlier this year

It’s a perfect prayer for Lent, this time of spiritual renewal and preparation for Easter. How easy it is to forget that God is always with us, here and now, reaching out with love and inviting us to grow closer to him. How often we put our own selves at the center of the universe, failing to respond to or even notice the needs of the human family. How natural to get burnt-out, cynical or just plain tired. 

We need a new way of seeing.  

What if we could see other people, the planet and ourselves the way God does? How much more joy and peace would there be on earth? 

Holy men and women like Pedro Arrupe are essential guides for us disciples, pointing the way to Jesus and encouraging us to come along. This Lenten season, as the Jesuit community continues to pray for the canonization of Pedro Arrupe, we invite you to spend some prayerful time with the words and prayers of this revered Servant of God.  

Each Sunday of Lent, we will use a line or two from the day’s Scripture passages to uncover a theme, and then connect that theme to words of Arrupe’s. We’ll use videos, images and written reflections to enter into just a bit into his deep spiritual life. Because while you can learn plenty of facts about Pedro Arrupe by readings biographies or scholarly articles, you can learn something else entirely by praying with him.

Ignatian Resources for Lent 2019
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 2/18/19

America 2/4/19

America 1/21/19

Jesuit Spiritual Center
The Jesuit Spiritual Center at Milford spreads over 37 park-like acres overlooking the Little Miami River, 30 minutes east of Cincinnati.