Releasing myself to the Spirit of Progress

Releasing myself to the Spirit of Progress

HEAVEN’S HEART – CREATION Artists: Arturo Araujo SJ, Chloe Rollens. Based on a photo by JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service) at the Kfar Zabad school, Lebanon (2014).
©JRS / JRS’s History – Lebanon

A reflection on the JISA Discernment Series Spiritual Exercise, Daily Progress.

When I am stuck, when I am attached to a particular outcome, and when I am white knuckling to a ridged way things ‘should’ be done, I am unable to move freely forward in progress.

Praying and recording this beautiful spiritual exercise with Margaret reminded me of the Ignatian concept of indifference that invites us to embrace a heart space of detachment and openness. For me indifference doesn’t mean apathy or disinterest but liberating myself from excessive attachments and listening for a deeper connection of how God is moving me.

Indifference nourishes this freedom in my decision-making, encouraging me to surrender my impulses for specific outcomes and focusing on discerning what aligns with God moving in me and the greater good. In this heart space, I am not indifferent to the world but unburdened by the weight of my own fixed partialities, and this gives me more flexibility and adaptability in navigating the complexities of a decision.

I am free to confront challenges and injustices with resilience and grace. I am more receptive to the unexpected and the diverse ways in which the Spirit calls me, seeing more clearly God working and speaking through others, acknowledging each experience as an opportunity for gratitude and growth. Indifference frees me to engage in and with the world more authentically.

And as Ignatius wrote in The First Principle and Foundation of the Spiritual Exercises (in part) For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things as much as we are able, so that we do not necessarily want health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honour rather than dishonour, a long rather than a short life, and so in all the rest, so that we ultimately desire and choose only what is most conducive for us to the end for which God created us. [23]

I would love to say that I hold true to this ideal every time I am confronted by challenges and injustices! But I am grateful for the experience of making the Exercises which reminds me to dip into that sacred space of knowing more deeply the end for which God created me. This helps me be indifferent and releases me in the spirit of Progress.

Thank you to Robyn Wunder for this contribution to the JISA Discernment Series. Robyn is a Spiritual Director, giver of the Spiritual Exercises, Psychotherapist, and works with Jesuit and Ignatian Spirituality Australia. She lives on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, finding inspiration from expansive water, the constancy of waves and the company of eucalypts that grow on her doorstep. And she loves spending time with her 14-year-old boy girl twins.

[23] The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, A Literal Translation by Elder Mullan, SJ and edited by Rick Rossi, March 2015