spring, and the Spiritual life have this in common; each is a tug
of war. Spring is tugging at winter to let go. The Spiritual
Exercises of St. Ignatius are directed at our becoming more aware
of human unfreedoms and the free gift of God’s love to help
us let go. Lent is the prayerful time to prepare for Easter and
prepare for our living the joy of being disciples of Jesus.
The Spiritual Exercises help us to ask the big questions and then
search for the answers. It is all about coming back to life
are creatures wonderfully made, but not always grateful for that
dignity. We have limitations which confuse and dishearten
us. Lent is God’s call to repent, but from what!
Repent is the invitation to examine to what we are listening and
to what do we hold on. Being and accepting that each of us
is a creature is not a comfortable excuse for failure, but the beginning
of our recovery.
the voice of the Good Shepherd is not easy; there are many voices
of those who wish to attract us. We love security and exactness
and we will be attracted to any voice which offers us these. How
do we spell relief and belief. Christian spirituality is living
with the tensions which flow from the conflicts between our beliefs
and our desires for Relief. The tensions caused by our beliefs,
offered to us by Jesus are growthful and graceful.
We are formed to listen to what things are and use them according
to our reverence for them. Reverence is proper use of God’s
gifts. We would like to use things according to our impatient
expectations. We have a sacramental view of things in which
all creation has the fingerprints of the Creator. Because
these “things” are limited, they can frustrate our demands
if I selfishly ask them to be more than they are.
prayer change God? We are accustomed to having the power to
change or manipulate things. All who have been called by God
are called into faith which is the basic tension of our lives.
The Transfiguration takes place often in our lives. Jesus
is there, but not exactly according to our personal specifications.
We love the security of the familiar and God seems to call us always
to the adventure of the new, and the mystery of the “level
plain.” It all involves the call to listen to Him.
comes to us according to how we need to be come to. Jesus
is God’s affirmation that being human is a blessed event and
we will be met there. Jesus used gestures of all kinds as
do we to convey our inside personal feelings and thoughts.
Jesus Himself is a Sacrament of God’s interior expressing
to us who God thinks we are and expressing to us who God is for
us. By the Sacraments we are sent to live the Sacraments by
being a sacrament.
searches always for us and we find ourselves being found.
We are like the thirsty land of springtime. What we do search
out are those things which we think will satisfy us. Everything
has within it the invitation to go beyond it. The Woman at
the Well desires living water and Jesus offers her what will ultimately
satisfy. Emptiness can be a gift that calls out for God
Following Jesus involves loving or gracefully accepting the unknown
of the future, being obedient. The question is always about
the point at which we will drop out from investing in His Company.
God’s will is more than when things are going well.
What is God’s will? Jesus lived His life as a continual
act of obedience or gratitude, or openness. We were saved
by His whole life of His being open to His Father, even to His death.
comes as Light and gives true sight so as to see who we are and
what God is offering us in our lives. He offers sight so
that each of us may see Him in the events of our lives.
We can be blinded by what we see and faith is a way of seeing
beyond and within realities. Is seeing believing or is believing
a way to see? Faith allows us to see God in everything,
and everything as rooted in God.
sees a woman caught in adultery differently from the way the Elders
see her. With Jesus as Light of the World, sinners become
sacramental; outside that Light we become judgmental. Jesus
blesses time and gives us time to be a blessing. Jesus sends
her to live with her past into the blessedness of her new life.
does it mean to be saved? Salvation does not mean that everything
in our lives is repaired. Sin brings darkness into the world
instead of light. Sin flows from the attitude and the actions
of not being grateful. Lazarus is raised from his tomb and
given light and life. Sin is illness and can be cured.
Jesus meets us where we would rather not be, where we do not look
so good, but need to be found.
is coming to our senses about who we are in God’s eyes.
This is the constant work of Jesus and grace. The “world”
is a spirit more than a global place. That spirit works
to dim His Light and define us according to its ways of valuing
and rejecting. We are a gift from the Father to Jesus.
We are being attracted to the ways or Spirit of Jesus, but the
tug of war continues about the big question, to whom do we belong?
The world will try to give us our identity, our personal worth.
What of the world would we want to shake off?
becomes dramatically what He has always been, the Servant washing
the world. His whole life is consummated with His death.
This death brings us the freedom to live thankfully and not with
shame and guilt which would move us away from Him. The Cross
is a safe place. His surrender in the Garden begins our
recovery. When Jesus breathes his last it continues God’s
breath of creation. This is what is very good about Good
We are baptized into Christ and Christ’s being on mission.
We are baptized into the “dawn,” not clear blue-sky
security. The Resurrection took place at dawn when the light
is almost. There was always the problem of people’s
recognizing Him. When the resurrected Jesus met them, He
The Final Conference is about how we can pray less productively,
but more personally. Praying with the day before it is experienced
and after. Take the time to pray by wasting time lest the
rest of the day be a waste of time.