Ignatian Prayer: The Tax Collector and the Pharisee

Jesus told this parable to certain people who had convinced themselves that they were righteous and who looked on everyone else with disgust: “Two people went up to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself with these words, ‘God, I thank you that I’m not like everyone else—crooks, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week. I give a tenth of everything I receive.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He wouldn’t even lift his eyes to look toward heaven. Rather, he struck his chest and said, ‘God, show mercy to me, a sinner.’ I tell you, this person went down to his home justified rather than the Pharisee. All who lift themselves up will be brought low, and those who make themselves low will be lifted up.”

– Luke 18:9-14 (Common English Bible)

  • What do I see and hear? What do I smell, taste, or touch?
  • Who are the characters and what's going on with them?
  • If I were in this movie, what role would I play?
  • If I were Jesus in this story, what would I be thinking, feeling, saying?

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