This week was the fifth gathering of those participating in the Lent Retreat in Daily Living I’m offering both at St. Hubert and at the University of St. Thomas. As we do each week, the participants started by spending time in small groups, sharing something of their prayer experiences from this past week. I then gave a talk that focused on the difficulties that sometimes arise for us as we walk through Week 2 of the Exercises and move toward the point where we are asked to chose Christ wholeheartedly. I also spoke about Ignatian Decisionmaking.
Some people look for a blueprint, thinking God’s will is determined. We have an image of God having a complete plan worked out irrespective of any input on our part. One of the things I emphasized in my talk was that Ignatius doesn’t quite view it that way. Ignatius has a dynamic image of God and believes that at the deepest levels our desires and God’s desires for us coincide. That suggests an active process on our part in discerning God’s will. If God’s will were a detailed plan for each person, discernment would not be an adult decision, but just an act of finding a pre-determined plan. That is not the case for Ignatius who believes finding God’s will is making best choices can in given set of circumstances – with who I am right now and what circumstances I have in which to make decision.
I usually record and post podcasts of the talks I give during the UST meetings each week. I tried to do so this week, but it didn’t work. However, for those who wish to continue to pray with us this week, you can find the new material for this week of prayer here.
I will try to rerecord the talk this weekend. When I do, I will edit this post to add a link to the podcast.