Today was the second gathering of the Advent Retreat in Daily Living I’m offering at UST Law School this year. We began the session, as always, by giving participants time to share in small groups the fruit of their prayer over this past week.
I then offered a reflection on this weeks’ theme – God’s invitation to us to participate in his plan of salvation. I began by reading David Fleming’s translation of the St. Ignatius’ First Principle and Foundation and then discussing some of the central elements of that exercise, which Igantius considered a skeletal summary of the inner journey. My focus was on something central to the Principle and Foundation (and to Igantian spirituality in general) – the idea that we are invited to participate with God in a tremendous project – to establish the reign of God among all creatures. God has a plan, and we have a role in that plan.
The rest of my talk revolved around the prayer material for the week, all of which is designed to get us in touch with that invitation from God. I began with the essential starting point of getting in touch with ourselves as the beloved of God; before we can believe we are called by God to participate in his plan, we need to know how beloved of God we are. I then talked a little about the individual nature of our call and ended with a brief description of Ignatius’ Kingdom Exercise, which participants will pray with at the end of the week.