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Not being from a Catholic background, I know very little about Ignatian spirituality. I know that it is based on the life and thoughts of Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuits in the 16th Century. I know that Pope Francis is a Jesuit, which made me interested in finding out a little of the philosophy on which he bases his life.
One very important part of Ignatian (Jesuit) spirituality is the idea of finding God in everything. In the evening, Jesuits are to carefully examine their day to discover where God has revealed Himself. It is almost always very easy to find God in the beauty of nature, in your loved ones faces, and in especially meaningful interactions and events. But if we truly believe that God is everywhere and works in everything, no matter how mundane or even painful, then we need to look for Him in all the events of our day and life.
One of my daughter-in-law’s very recently lost her father. She and her mother both wonder if her father had to become weak (he was a very strong man – physically, mentally, and emotionally) so that he could see his need for God. He came to God before he died, but only after suffering and being humbled.
Isn’t that the way we all are sometimes? We think we have it all together and can handle what life throws at us – until we find we can’t and that we have no control over factors and events that overwhelm us.
Are you consciously seeing God in your daily life? Can you see him in the little things and the big things? Can you see him in your weakness and suffering – and in your joy? I think the idea of seeing Him in all of our day might be a very good discipline for us – not just as an exercise to do at the end of each day, but also a very good practice to keep in our minds as we go throughout the day. Perhaps it would help our prayer to be “unceasing” as we come to a greater awareness of our great need for Him and of His constant Presence and involvement.
Tonight, pause…and reflect on how you saw God in your life. See if it changes your heart and attitude about what happened during the day.
PRAYER: It is so easy, Lord, to become preoccupied to the point that we fail to recognize your hand at work in all the details of our lives. Help us to reflect on how you journeyed this day with us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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