Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Trust and Retreat

I rather liked today's first reading from the book of Proverbs:
Every word of God is tested; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Add nothing to his words, lest he reprove you, and you will be exposed as a deceiver.

Two things I ask of you, deny them not to me before I die:
Put falsehood and lying far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; provide me only with the food I need;
Lest, being full, I deny you, saying, "Who is the Lord?"
Or, being in want, I steal, and profane the name of my God.
 Which reminded me of St. Ignatius' First Principle and Foundation:
The human person is created to praise, reverence, and serve God Our Lord, and by doing so, to save his or her soul.
All other things on the face of the earth are created for human beings in order to help them pursue the end for which they are created.
It follows from this that one must use other created things, in so far as they help towards one's end, and free oneself from them, in so far as they are obstacles to one's end.
To do this, we need to make ourselves indifferent to all created things, provided the matter is subject to our free choice and there is no other prohibition.
Thus, as far as we are concerned, we should not want health more than illness, wealth more than poverty, fame more than disgrace, a long life more than a short one, and similarly for all the rest, but we should desire and choose only what helps us more towards the end for which we are created. (emphasis mine)
And of course, St. Ignatius's Suscipe prayer:
Receive, O Lord, all my liberty. Take my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. Whatsoever I have or possess Thou hast bestowed upon me; I give it all back to Thee and surrender it wholly to be governed by Thy Will. Give me love for Thee alone along with Thy grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more.
Which is pretty cool, because I just got back from an Ignatian Retreat at this beautiful retreat center:

 Where I stayed in this old farmhouse...

And spent a lot of time reading and praying (and trying to stay warm!) on the back porch...

 And spent a lot of time walking around (and taking pictures of) the lake...

Which seemed to be a different color every time I looked at it...

I listened to talks by this priest (in person) and this priest (on my iPod) and felt very grateful for the silence and rest and opportunity to reset both spiritually and physically.

1 comment:

John said...

Nicely put! Proverbs and Ignatius right next to eachother. Now to put it all in to practice - trusting in the Lord. It seems SO right that it actually seems that it should be easy. Why have I found it so hard so far? Well anyway... here goes again.