Wisdom from our traditions
The global threat to health and life posed by COVID-19 is unprecedented in the 21st century. But women and men of faith have faced challenging and dangerous circumstances for millennia, and continue to work for wholeness and peace throughout the world. Their experience and insight has much to offer us.
The resources below draw on a variety of faith communities and spiritual practices. In particular, our rootedness in the faith and spirituality of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange offers us a rich wellspring of wisdom and tools to respond to our present moment. For example:
- The Examen, a practice of Ignatian spirituality, is a process of reflection that helps us to make sense of our challenges and discern the best path forward
- The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange call us to "serve the dear neighbor without distinction," reminding us of the need to be attentive to the vulnerable and marginalized in our communities
- The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary work "that all may have life" and emphasize the spiritual importance of the arts; as we work to maintain physical and mental wellness, embracing music, literature, dance, and the fine arts provides avenues for self-expression and life-giving connection to the sacred
Our diverse LMU community also offers us gifts from many faith communities, especially the Jewish and Muslim traditions. We are grateful for the richness of our community and the depth and breadth of wisdom it gives us.
- Prayer for the LMU Community on the Feast of St. Joseph (Sisters of St. Joseph)
- Prayer in the Time of the Coronavirus | Oración en el tiempo del Coronavirus (Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles)
- Prayer in a Time of Anxiety (anonymous)
- A Prayer of Hope during this Pandemic (Rabbi Naomi Levy)
Reflections and encouragement
- COVID-19: Discerning a path to God (Fr. General Arturo Sosa, S.J.)
The Examen is a method of peaceful daily prayer taught by St. Ignatius in the Spiritual Exercises as a way to notice the presence of God in one’s daily life and to live in generous response to it. Learn more about the basic structure and some variations on it here.
There are also many adaptations of the Examen for our current circumstances.
- Reimagining the Examen: App-based (free) guided examens on specific topics, from daily reflection to themed discernment
Audio and video Examens
- Examen Live: Livestreamed examen each Friday, from the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces of the Society of Jesus
- The Examen: Audio daily examen and reflection with Fr. James Martin, SJ, from America Magazine
The Examen can be adapted for use in your class, department, unit, or other individual or group setting. We can collaborate with you in developing and offering a specific adaptation for your needs. Please contact Kat Brown at Katherine.Brown@lmu.edu
An ancient Christian practice, lectio divina (literally "divine reading") is a prayerful or reflective way of reading a text or looking at an image which allows God to speak through the experience and creates a space for the reader to respond. It may be practiced individually or in a group setting.
- Introduction to Lectio Divina with step by step instructions, from the Jesuit Institute
- Discernment in the Cave: A Digital Retreat for a Pandemic - A four part retreat consisting of guided readings, reflections, and contemplation activities for individuals or groups, from the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States
- With Jesus in the Desert: A retreat for a time of isolation - An online retreat from the Australian Jesuits that has been developed for people who are in social isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. It has been designed to run for 14 days, but may be adapted and run as needed.
- Seeking God: A Jesuit Retreat - A preached online retreat based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Brian Strassburger, SJ, will guide participants through themes of the exercises and offer resources for prayer and reflection. (The Jesuit Post)