Hearing “Set me like a seal on your heart” in this recorded spiritual exercise, reminded me that recently, we drove past the house in the Gold Coast hinterland where we had our honeymoon, 42 years ago. We recalled reading the Song of Songs to one another by the log fire in that house hidden in remnant rainforest. The voices in the recording of this exercise, with the spaces provided and the music, took me back to that time and to other places, including the convent in Avila, where the guide pointed out to us the room in which John of the Cross was Teresa’s spiritual director.
Desire is such an essential Ignatian insight that one needs to pray for the return of awareness of that yearning, that enthusiasm. Searching and finding, misunderstandings and breakthroughs, consolations and desolations are parts of the lifelong walk along rainforest paths. We invite others to be part of these healing walks and to experience the freedom that Jesus had with the Father and that the Spirit desires to unleash in us.
The spiritual exercise concludes: “I end in thanks, considering two questions. Firstly, if possible, how might I reconnect with the persons (and the places) which have shown me the passionate love of God. Secondly, to whom and how do I pass on this exercise – who urgently needs the healing of God’s ardent love?” This is our invitation.
With thanks to Peter Webb from JISA Faber in Queensland, for this contribution to the JISA Discernment Series. Peter is an Ignatian Spiritual Director and Giver of the Spiritual Exercises in all their forms, as well as a formator and supervisor. He is a devoted husband, father, and grandfather.