Heart's ease - an infusion was said to help mend a broken heart

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

God in all things

I'm currently doing a course in Ignatian spirituality and spiritual direction, so I definitely can't let today's feast go uncelebrated! Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, deviser of the Exercises, developed and lived a spirituality which has inspired countless women and men through the centuries. Today, the Ignatian family worldwide comprises dozens of religious congregations, various forms of lay commitment, spirituality work and volunteering, and countless others who have been set on fire by his ideals and spirit. And all because this one man's dreams of military glory were shattered early on by a cannonball, and converted by a lack of non-religious reading material during his convalescence...

The Ignatian family in the UK now has a new portal (here, and in the blogroll) called Christ in 10000 places. Its name comes from lines in a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, a Jesuit; lines suffused with the Ignatian ideal of finding God in all things. It's a lovely ideal: easy enough, of course, when "all things" are sunsets, babies or holy people who exude love; much harder - but so much more necessary - when it's a case of finding God in ugliness, pain, destruction or just those people and events that make life (and our search for God) more difficult.

This reminds me of some words from one of our superiors general, Maria de Loe, written about 100 years ago, but very relevant for today: Happy is she who believes firmly in the love of her God and sees His Heart through the veils of pain, of uncertainty, of restrictions.  It's a sure route to inner peace, but also a huge challenge, and a grace to be prayed for constantly...

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