This past weekend, I had to the joy of introducing a group of about twenty people to Ignatian Spirituality. What a joy it was to see so many of the retreatants have "ah ha" moments, some of which might truly be life-changing for them. I certainly pray that is the case, and I hope the on-line continuation of our time together proves to be even more fruitful.
Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I have come to embrace the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola as my own. To be a "contemplative in action," to "find God in all things," to focus one's life on striving to serve God more and more each day (AMDG) resonated with me from the beginning of own Ignatian pilgrimage. Even that word, "pilgrimage" drew me in. To be a pilgrim, which Ignatius used when speaking/writing about himself means to be on a journey, one which will hopefully lead to eternal life with God.
However, to be a pilgrim in 2017 more that likely means the traveler will experience many roadblocks, wrong turns, grand canyon-sized obstacles and other risks along the way. Thankfully, for five hundred years pilgrims and would-be pilgrims have used Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises as a spiritual road map. His daily Examen helps keep it's devotees on the right path, and helps them when necessary to quickly and effectively realize that somehow they took a wrong turn but can safely get back on track before too much time is lost. The Examen is just one example of several Ignatian practices we discussed on our retreat.
Finally, I wanted to wrap this post up with a scripture passage which took on new meaning for many of my fellow pilgrims.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
As we greet another sunrise, either today, or tomorrow, or the next day, I hope you will join me in recognizing that God's love for us never ceases, and every new days comes with more mercy than we will ever need. It's ours for the taking, and best of all, it's available to all.
If you live in the Mid-Atlantic area, please consider joining us for our next retreat, The Ignatian Way, which will take place April 28-30 at Bon Secours Retreat Center in Marriottsville, Maryland. Click here for details.