Contemplation on Scars

Contemplation on Scars – A Spiritual Exercise

http://www.jcooperforpeace.org              

  1. I make a gesture of reverence like a bow, folded hands in prayer, or the Sign of the Cross.
  2. I enter a period of silence and meditation.
  3. I think about what I desire, that I desire to think of scars in my life and in others.
  4. I touch one or more of the scars in my body or in my heart.
  5. I imagine Jesus standing beside me, as I silently meditate on the circumstances of the scars, that is how it happened, how long it took to heal, and how Jesus has supported me and healed me, and is with me, even if I still suffer…
  6. I read the Prayer Text from John 20:
  7. 24One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord! “Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”26A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then stretch out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!”28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”29Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!”

“So He embraced our sorrows. The powers then

serving evil inflicted on Him all the suffering

human violence could think of. In more than one

sense, “ours were the sufferings he was bearing,

ours the sorrows he was carrying,” as Isaiah

prophesied about the Redeemer (Is. 53:4).

Now look: The Son of God, who is God, knows

what it is when we call on Him in our sufferings.

He hasn’t forgotten. He still has the wounds in

His flesh. They don’t hurt any more, though.

They’re a sign of glory

So will all of ours be.”

(Finding Christ in the World, A Twelve Week Ignatian Retreat in Everyday Life, Joseph A. Tetlow, S.J. & Carol Atwell Ackels, The Institute of Jesuit Sources, Chestnut Hill MA)

 

  1. I meditate in silence, thinking about the prayer texts above…
  2. If I am in a group, I share my scars with others and allow them to share theirs, figuratively, that is, if it is appropriate. If others offer, and it is appropriate, I metaphorically touch the scars of others in my group. How has Jesus healed us? I share how He has healed me… If I am privileged, I resolve to give something back, love, prayers, money, or what I may be inspired to pay forward for my future generations to amend for the scars I have inflicted on others. I write these matters down in my Journal when I am finished for future reflection and action.
  1. I am silent again, this time hoping to enter a state of thoughtless contemplation, allowing God to do His work silently and passively in the healing of my heart and soul.
  2. I recite the Lord’s Prayer myself or in my group together, holding hands, in communion with others.
  3. I will discuss what I have experienced with my Spiritual Director, Pastor, or counselor or friends and I resolve to take this exercise again as often as needed.

John Cooper

About jcooperforpeace
Spiritual Director, Spirituality of Inner Peace

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