Meditation in the Ignatian Tradition

Douglas Gregg, Christian Formation and Direction Ministries

Meditation in the Ignatian Tradition

Exercise: Walking on water, from the close of week 2 of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius

Objective: Intimate knowledge of Christ, that I might be with him, become like him and live for him.

Scripture: Matthew 14:22-36

First Point: Jesus dismisses the crowds and goes to pray alone
Second Point: Jesus walks on water to the disciples
Third point: Peter comes to Jesus; he becomes afraid
Fourth Point: Jesus saves Peter; the wind ceases


  • Prepare: Preparatory prayer. Sing “Turn your eyes upon Jesus” or some simple praise song or hymn. Ask for God’s help in attaining the objective of the exercise.
  • Read and reflect: Using meditative reading, consider each of the four points above as thoroughly and carefully as you can. In this method you approach the text with patient humility, waiting for words, phrases and ideas to impact you as you slowly read and reread the text. As you read, carry on a quiet dialogue with the Lord, telling him what you notice, asking him about what you are seeing or thinking, wanting him to take you deeper—to show you more about himself and about yourself. Take time to reflect on what you are seeing, thinking and feeling. Is what has impacted you an insight (principle, attachment, detachment)?
  • Pray: Close by thanking God for insights that led to deepening knowledge of yourself or Christ and that have inspired you to love and serve him more fully. Ask the Holy Spirit to intensify your attachment to Jesus.
  • Review and record: Use the following to review and record your experience: 
    • Am I experiencing intimate knowledge of Christ?
    • Was I “with Christ” during the meditation and prayer time? 
    • Am I able to give myself to him in service for this coming day? 
    • If there is difficulty at some point, stop and talk to the Lord about where you are in this journey of intimacy with him.