In Ignatius’s words, the Exercises are intended “to overcome oneself and to order one’s life, without reaching a decision through some disordered affection”. Spiritual freedom is an interior freedom, a freedom of the mind and heart. This week marks the beginning of a challenging journey for me. Recognizing disordered attachments in my life. What are the distractions that are keeping me from my desire to move closer to God? A small sampling of what comes to mind.
- Ability to allow people, places or things the freedom to be themselves.
- Willingness to accept the things I cannot change.
- Placing of all things in life into a healthy perspective. Recognizing that I must back away from the uncontrollable and unchangeable realities of life.
FIRST PRINCIPLE AND FOUNDATION
The Spiritual Exercises, #23
The goal of our life is to live with God forever.
God, who loves us, gave us life.
Our own response of love allows God’s life
to flow into us without limit.
All the things in this world are gifts of God,
presented to us so that we can know God more easily
and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God
insofar as they help us develop as loving persons.
But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
they displace God
and so hinder our growth toward our goal.
In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance
before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice
and are not bound by some obligation.
We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,
wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or short one.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
a deeper response to our life in God.
Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better leads
to the deepening of God’s life in me. St. Ignatius Loyola as paraphrased by
David L. Fleming, SJ
I remain motivated to get to Manresa in September. At times this motivation is over shadowed by fear and doubt. This fear and doubt is getting in the way of my Ignatian excitement. A clear example of two disordered attachments.
I found this Prayer written by John O’Donohue, that I will take with me on the dusty path to Manresa:
A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.
May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground,
That you many not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.