Prayer

Ignatian Spirituality for Kids

July 31 is the feast of Saint Ignatius! Children already speak the language of Ignatian spirituality because they have the capability to imagine, feel, and reflect. Here are three ways to integrate Ignatian spirituality into the lives of kids.

Prayer by Thought

One of the hardest ways of prayer is praying for those people who you said you’d pray for. It’s easy to tell someone that you’re praying for them but sometimes hard to remember. Thankfully our thoughts about others can become prayers for them.

The Prayer of “Yay!”

There’s a music minister at my church who loves to say “Yay!” after singing. Something as simple as a proclamation of “yay” not only reminds us that joys can be found in our life, but it reminds us that expression to God can be as simple as one word.

Take, Lord, my understanding

Life is far from understandable. So how can we find some solace when we find ourselves, once again, saying “I don’t understand!”? Saint Ignatius says we must not surrender just our wills to God but also our understanding.

Guilt

What good can we find in Catholic guilt—or even guilt in general? Healthy guilt can lead to positive change for the world. Consider the stories we learn of in just one 24-hour news day. If we can imaginatively enter a gospel scene in the Ignatian tradition of prayer where we interact with Jesus and all the characters, can’t we do the same with news stories? And if you feel guilt, ask God what it might be saying to you.

Inception Prayer

Like dreams in the movie Inception, imaginative prayer can let us make real things hidden in the subsconcious by taking us to a “fantasy” place. Such meditations are not an escape from reality but rather a way to get more in touch with God by processing and revealing stuff about our feelings and experiences.