“Ignatius would be the first to tell us that the Exercises are not an end in themselves but a tool for the journey ahead. They are a means of finding God in all things, of deepening your relationship with Christ, of experiencing a greater interior freedom, and of discerning God’s desire for you. The hope is that you have savored these graces. Over the weeks and months to come, these graces may deepen or reveal themselves in new ways, both in your prayer and in your daily living.” Fr Kevin O’Brien SJ
Nine months ago, God directed me to the Campion Center in Weston, Ma. and to this beacon of spiritual life.
Last week with an emotional heart I completed The Spiritual Excersises of St Ignatius. As we both reflected back on my spiritual inventory, it was obvious the guy who entered Cynthia’s door in September has been given the graces of self awareness as well as a spiritual foundation on which to build. One of readings for the week was Philippians 4:4-9. This reading truly spoke to me and the timing was perfect. To me the reading was my Ignatius commencement address.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.And the God of peace will be with you.
To get my spiritual game face on each week before meeting with Cynthia, I would sit in the chapel at Campion. In the winter months I had my favorite spot which was up front, where the sun came through a stained glass window. It was always the warmest spot. As the months moved on I found myself sitting on the opposite side of the chapel. I found a chair with a padded seat which assisited in my reflection and from time to time a quick nap. I will miss these Thursdays, but most of all, those moments of silence in this Jesuit sacred space.
When Ignatius sent his Jesuits around the globe for various missions, he would write them letters of instruction and encouragement. He often closed those letters with words intended to challenge as much as to inspire. They are fitting words to leave me with now, as I look forward to living the Exercises in daily life: “Go and set the world on fire!” Or the departing words of Cynthia ” I’m not done with you yet”. Adios…Que Dios bendiga a mi viaje.