“…but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings…We know that all things work for good for those who love God…” These two particular lines in the First Reading of today integrate with two current activities in which I am involved. First, I am participating in Creighton’s 34 Week Online Retreat, and, second, I am taking an online course this semester about Jesuit Mission and Identity. The readings for both of these activities the past three weeks have included aspects of Jesuit history and knowledge that focuses on discernment in one’s life. As I reflect on this First Reading, I see a parallel to the “inexpressible groanings.” I am learning about the discernment of spirits and what leads me to behaviors of consolation (being closer to God) or to behaviors of desolation (being alienated from God). Because of my participation in these two activities, I spend more time during my day and evening being aware of the “groanings”, of my chosen behaviors, and my reflections on my behaviors. Did a behavior lead to consolation or to desolation? When I read the phrase, “inexpressible groanings,” I think of those times during the day when a feeling or a movement leads me to one of those places of my being with God or further away.
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