May we have prayerful insight into recognizing the purpose for which we have been created! May we come to see the wisdom of letting go of all that which can hold us back from that purpose! May we ask for the intercession of St. Ignatius of Loyola that we might discern wisely as we try to choose that which leads us closer to God! May we come to greater interior freedom by seeing all created things as means to an end, which is the Kingdom of God! And may we have gratitude for the many gifts we have been given so that we might freely share them with others, assisting them by our little acts of kindness! Let us continue to meet in the Heart of Jesus! Peace!
©Michele L. Catanese
Notes: Next post, August 12
* In the next post, I will deal with discernment of spirits, a key principle in Ignatian spirituality. There was simply too much to say in a single entry.
** Principle and Foundation, paragraph 23 in The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. To read it, click here: https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/offices/ministry/pdf/First%20Principle%20and%20Foundation%20-March%202015%20%282%29.pdf
*** Suscipe, (Take Lord Receive) paragraph 234, ibid. The text of the prayer is at the beginning of another excellent article. To read it, click here: https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/prayers-by-st-ignatius-and-others/suscipe-the-radical-prayer/
1. My photo, Glen Etive, in the Highlands of Scotland: I chose this because it is a place which I truly felt etched itself into my heart. It was so beautiful and quiet, even with many hikers in the area. While I only passed through, it was a place which I savored.
2. Icon, St. Ignatius the Pilgrim, by Fr. William Hart McNichols: This icon was perfect for depicting the early stage of the spiritual journey of St. Ignatius of Loyola into the spiritual powerhouse he became. He began to understand the 'art' and importance of discernment of spirits during this time. If you are interested in a copy of this icon in one of many mediums, you can find it at https://fineartamerica.com/featured/st-ignatius-the-pilgrim-021-william-hart-mcnichols.html
3. My photo, taken in Mount Desert Island, near Arcadia National Park, Maine: This photo seems to capture the nature of our spiritual journey insofar as the clear sky and calm seas, but with the fog in between the two. Spiritual discernment helps us to cut through the fog a bit, by relying on the Holy Spirit to help us become closer to God, sort of a spiritual GPS. (Perhaps in this case GPS could stand for 'Godly Positioning System?')
4. Icon, St. Ignatius in Prayer Beneath the Stars, by Fr. William Hart McNichols: This is perhaps my favorite icon of St. Ignatius. I love it because of the obvious contemplation he is engaged in, but it also depicts that he was a great mystic as well. That his feet are not on the ground spoke to me of letting go: he is not attached to anything and all is for the greater glory of God.
5. Painting, St. Francis Gives His Cloak to a Beggar, Giotto (1299): This painting is in the upper church in the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi, Italy. I really like the work of Giotto, and chose this one because if ever there was a Christian missionary of love, St. Francis was it. He imitated Christ more than any other saint insofar as he truly loved everyone, regardless of who they were or what disease they had, poor or rich.
6. My photo, on the ferry crossing the Long Island Sound from New Haven, Connecticut to Orient Point, NY: This photo seemed to capture the theme of passing through once. I have actually made this trip a number of times, but every time it seems different. And in fact it is always different due to variables in the weather, the season of the year in which the travel is done, the passage of time between trips, etc. It is a reminder that while I may have taken this trip before, each particular time is singular and unique, unlike any before or to come. We only pass through in this way once.
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