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  • Our Lady of the Way

The Colloquy : Lifting our Hearts and Minds to God

"The colloquy is made by speaking exactly as one friend speaks to another, or as a servant speaks to a master, now asking him for a favor, now blaming himself for some misdeed, now making known his affairs to him, and seeking advice in them. Close with an Our Father." (SE54)

The (SE) translations are take from"The Spiritual Exercises St. Ignatius of Loyola Based on Studies in the Language of the Autograph" by Louis J. Puhl SJ.

"When you call me, and come and pray to me, I will listen to you."

(Jeremiah 29:12)

In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius of Loyola suggests we close our prayer period with a conversation, which he calls a 'Colloquy'. A colloquy is another word for dialogue or conversation. Saint Ignatius invites the one making the Spiritual Exercises "to make a colloquy" during the Ignatian prayer period to God the Father, the Word Incarnate, the Three Divine Persons, and Jesus' Mother throughout the Spiritual Exercises.

The colloquy is an invitation for the one making the Spiritual Exercises to speak and listen to God as the Holy Spirit moves them. When making a colloquy, we speak in a personal way. While making a colloquy, we may talk as a friend to a friend, or as a child to a mother or father, or as one would to someone they loved and cared for deeply. The colloquies are spontaneous in nature, as they communicate what is in one's heart at that moment.

A colloquy is like all conversations because it is a dialogue between two or more people. The one making the Spiritual Exercises is encouraged to speak what is on one's heart and mind. After speaking to God this personal way we ought to listen heartily to what God is saying in response. I speak to Jesus, and then pause to give Jesus time to speak back to me.

Selected Colloquies from the Spiritual Exercises

(SE45) "This is a meditation on the first, second and third sin employing the three powers of the soul. After the preparatory prayer and two preludes it contains three principal points and a colloquy."

(SE53) "Imagine Christ our Lord present before you upon the cross, and begin to speak with him, asking how it is that though He is the Creator, He has stooped to become man, and to pass from eternal life to death here in time, that thus He might die for our sins.

I shall also reflect upon myself and ask:

What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I to do for Christ?

As I behold Christ in this plight, nailed to the cross, I shall ponder upon what presents itself to my mind."

(SE61) "I will conclude with a colloquy, extolling the mercy of God our Lord, pouring out my thoughts to Him, and giving thanks to Him that up to this very moment He has granted me life. I will resolve with His grace to amend for the future. Close with an Our Father."

(SE63) "First Colloquy The first colloquy will be with our Blessed Lady, that she may obtain grace for me from her Son and Lord for three favors:

  1. A deep knowledge of my sins and a feeling of abhorrence for them;

  2. An understanding of the disorder of my actions, that filled with horror of them, I may amend my life and put it in order;

  3. A knowledge of the world, that filled with horror, I may put away from me all that is worldly and vain. Then I will say a Hail Mary.

The second colloquy I will make the same petitions to her Son that He may obtain these graces from the Father for me. After that I will pray Soul of Christ.

The third colloquy I will make the same requests of the Father that He Himself, the eternal Lord, may grant them to me. Then I will close with the Our Father."

(SE71) "Enter into conversation with Christ our Lord. Recall to memory that of those who are in hell, some came there because they did not believe in the coming of Christ; others, though they believed, because they did not keep the Commandments. Divide them all into three classes:

  1. Those who were lost before the coming of Christ;

  2. Those who were lost during His lifetime;

  3. Those who were lost after His life here on earth.

Thereupon, I will give thanks to God our Lord that He has not put an end to my life and permitted me to fall into any of these three classes.

I shall also thank Him for this, that up to this very moment He has shown Himself so loving and merciful to me. Close with an Our Father."

(SE109) "The exercise should be closed with a colloquy. I will think over what I ought to say to the Three Divine Persons, or to the eternal Word incarnate, or to His Mother, our Lady. According to the light that I have received, I will beg for grace to follow and imitate more closely our Lord, who has just become man for me. Close with an Our Father."

(SE147) "First Colloquy A colloquy should be addressed to our Lady, asking her to obtain for me from her Son and Lord the grace to be received under His standard, first in the highest spiritual poverty, and should the Divine Majesty be pleased thereby, and deign to choose and accept me, even in actual poverty; secondly, in bearing insults and wrongs, thereby to imitate Him better, provided only I can suffer these without sin on the part of another, and without offense of the Divine Majesty. Then I will say the Hail Mary.

Second Colloquy This will be to ask her Son to obtain the same favors for me from the Father. Then I will pray, Soul of Christ.

Third Colloquy This will be to beg the Father to grant me the same graces. Then I will say the Our Father."


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