Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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Wake Up and Love – Ignatian Spirituality

smooth stone with fish symbol on beach - Julie Hagan/Shutterstock.com

This previous summer time on my annual retreat, I entered the time of retreat unsure as to what I wished from God. After all, I all the time need to develop nearer to Christ and to be renewed for the yr forward. I hope for the consolations that may include a retreat. However because the retreat went on, I didn’t know what I wished in a deeper sort of means. Ignatian spirituality usually works from our deepest needs, in addition to reflection on these needs and the way greatest to make use of them to present again. However what if one just isn’t certain of what one needs? At different retreats, I’ve entered with a clearer set of particular needs, similar to therapeutic from the grief of a mother or father’s demise or discovering readability about work priorities. This time, it felt utterly open-ended.

What helped me to go deeper into the retreat house was praying about discovering my very own needs anew. Jesus requested me, “What would you like?” I replied, “I don’t know. Assist me to find.” In my imaginative prayer, Jesus handed me a clean, oval, grey stone. On each side of the stone, there have been phrases. One aspect stated, “Get up.” The opposite aspect stated, “Love.” Get up and love? That sounded excellent as a option to articulate the deeper longings in my coronary heart. Receiving this stone felt like puzzle items coming collectively, and I felt the “rightness” of the message.

On the times afterwards, that “Get up” message led me to attempt to be attentive to the place God was in the great thing about the character on the retreat middle and to awaken to a palpable sense of God’s presence inside myself as nicely. I discover that there’s all the time deeper to go in the place and the way we will expertise God’s presence deep inside ourselves and out of doors us on the earth. Though generally these experiences could be huge moments, I discover that as I get older, I respect the ways in which God is current in small moments and little graces. The great thing about a fern that I walked by one retreat afternoon stays with me, for instance. Ferns are humble vegetation that don’t flower however have a quiet sort of glory to them of their lovely inexperienced, unfurling fronds. They’re hardy and develop nicely within the shade. Prayer, too, can generally be like an enormous, showy flower or quieter and humbler, like a shade plant. God is in each. However am I awake to each sorts?

The opposite aspect of the stone, “Love,” jogged my memory how a lot I need to like nicely and to be cherished. Maybe God was merely letting me know that retreat was a time to expertise God’s love and to remember the numerous cases of love I’ve identified over the many years from different individuals, to revive and renew me in order that I also can give love. Waking up and loving go collectively, I believe. After we actually get up and see the goodness in who others are, the nice in who we ourselves are, and the goodness of creation, this re-awakening additionally wakes up our love.

Ignatian spirituality reminds us to hunt God in all issues. It’s been months since my annual retreat, however I return to the message on that stone as a reminder to maintain working towards the identical within the day-to-day of labor and residential life: be attentive, be wakeful, and search to like in peculiar, on a regular basis methods.



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