The Loving Gaze

Venice not Jerusalem
March 28, 2022
Venice and Corpus Christi Community
March 28, 2022

The Loving Gaze

Some Lenten reflection resources for you

Put together by Frances Tilly, JISA Mission Formation Coordinator

 

What do you love to gaze at? What stirs your heart with love, compassion, or wonder as you gaze upon it? We know for Ignatius, it was always the night sky. For myself, I think of the faces of my children, the horizon, the plants in my garden, especially the first flowering in spring. For friends, it’s the dawn breaking, a favourite work of art, the engineering of the harbour bridge.

 

Indigenous elder and artist, Miriam Rose Ungunmerr Baumann speaks to us about the gaze of awareness and connection, becoming present in the practice of Dadirri. Listen here.

https://youtu.be/tow2tR_ezL8

 

Pope Francis writes eloquently of the loving gaze of God on us. In his encyclical of some years ago, the ‘Joy of the Gospel’ he invites us repeatedly, gently, and passionately into this relationship of the gaze – with God, with one another and for ourselves. This seeing, recognition and connection hold the promise of love and peace.

 

Here are some of Francis’ reflections. How do they speak to us at this time in the world, in these weeks of Lent?

 

‘The gaze of the Good Shepherd, who seeks not to judge but to love [125].

 

‘Our compassionate gaze which also heals, liberates, and encourages growth in the

Christian life’ [169]

 

‘We are pilgrims journeying alongside one another. This means that we must have sincere

trust in our fellow pilgrims, putting aside all suspicion or mistrust, and turn our gaze to what we are all seeking: the radiant peace of God’s face [244]

 

Standing before him with open hearts, letting him look at us, we see that gaze of love which Nathaniel glimpsed on the day when Jesus said to him: “I saw you under the fig tree” (Jn 1:48) [264]

 

When we stand before Jesus crucified, we see the depth of his love which exalts and sustains us, but at the same time, unless we are blind, we begin to realize that Jesus’ gaze, burning with love, expands to embrace all his people [268]

 

Here is a Lenten examen from the British Jesuits which invites us into prayer through the experience of God’s loving gaze.