Ignatian Prayer of the Second Week
New Dimensions

First: You are brought face to face with the Trinity. In the Second Week the primary object of all contemplations is intimacy with Jesus Christ and consequently to deepen and purify your love for Him.

Second: You now know yourself to be surrounded by the whole human family, of all times and of all places, of every race, of every form of civilization, etc. You know that you belong to this family, that you are one of its members.

Third: You realize that you are drawn into the relationship that exists between the Trinity and human kind. You are caught up with the human family acting in a certain manner by thought, word and deed and thereby moving forward to its own destruction. At the same time you share mankind's relationship with one God in three Persons.

Hugo Rahner says that the end for which we were created lies in the imitation of God's life on earth. This imitation opens up a way of life, which has already been referred to in the First Principle and Foundation as a desire for whatever is MORE conducive to the end, and not simply confined to the minimum necessary to salvation.

Again, according to Hugo Rahner, the aim and purpose of the Second Week can best be summed up as "the ordering of one's state of life" in order to imitate Christ more closely, a decision which is made in the light of the divine consolation experience during the meditations on the life of Christ. The MORE of the First Principle points the way to the ideal of the Second Week. Only the Second Week gives the more perfect answer to the question, which we asked ourselves before the crucifix: "What shall I do for Christ?"

In the Second Week, then, we contemplate the life of Christ which for Ignatius was more than just an edifying example in the sense understood by modern devotions ? it was the fundamental theological principle behind Christian spiritual life, which is ultimately nothing more nor less than the conforming of one's whole being through grace with the crucified Christ. That is why Bishop Sheen can say that Christianity without the cross is weakness.