Encouragements & Wisdom: May 25, 2014
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E & W reflections are additional helps for your Sacred Story prayer journey. Reflect on them at week’s beginning or outside of your 15-minute prayer periods.
The closer I get to holiness,
the more I will see and feel sin’s disorder in my life.
In the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius is very focused on helping individuals to have gratitude for creation, but also come to grips with personal sin. He wants retreatants to “feel” the effects of sin.
Second Prelude. The second is to ask for what I want. It will be here to beg a great and intense sorrow and tears for my sins.
Third Point. The third, to look at who I am, lessening myself by examples:
First, how much I am in comparison to all men; Second, what men are in comparison to all the Angels and Saints of Paradise; Third, what all Creation is in comparison to God: (–Then I alone, what can I be?) Fourth, to see all my bodily corruption and foulness; Fifth, to look at myself as a sore and ulcer, from which have sprung so many sins and so many iniquities and so very vile poison.
The purpose of such introspection is not to make us despair, but to turn to God for help. For when we truly see ourselves in need of redemption, we turn to Christ for his healing love. The more we turn to God’s healing love, the more we realize how much we need to be saved! This is the amazing thing about growth in personal holiness. The closer we get to God, the more we see sin’s impact and the greater our understanding of how much we need God. We experience true humility as we realize how the Lord’s unfathomable love has brought us from death to new life.
Lord Jesus, you invite me to “feel” my sins so that I can turn to you for healing. Let me never be afraid of my sinfulness, but realize that you loved me even while we were still enemies (Rom 5:10) and died for me so that I can be forgiven. Always give me hope in my weaknesses so that I can live for you and find
Creation, Presence, Memory, Mercy and Eternity.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
(Psalm 66: 20)