Blessings on this Ash Wednesday!
Yesterday was the first gathering of our annual Lent Retreat in Daily Living at the Law school. This year, our retreat will focus on personal prayer and our experience of God in our prayer and daily life, using the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius as our guide.
In my opening talk I gave an introduction to St. Ignatius and the Spiritual Exercises. I then spent some time talking about our theme for this first week of prayer, the theme of what is sometimes termed the Preparatory or Disposition Period of the Spiritual Exercises, during which we get in touch with God’s love at very deep level. We want to get a sense of who we are in the eyes of God and a sense of ourselves as God’s creation. As well, we come to understand during this period that God has a plan for salvation – and that we have a part in that plan. This something that is very important in St. Ignatius’ eyes; he believes I can’t go any serious spiritual work without a deep appreciation for who I am in the eyes of God.
In my talk I spoke of some of the things that make it difficult for us to embrace God’s unconditional love of us and his invitation that we labor with him. I also identified some ways of praying to help get over those hindrances.
You can listen to the talk I gave at our gathering here or stream it from the icon below. The podcast runs for 40:22. For those of you who wish to join us in prayer during this retreat, you can find the prayer material participants will pray with this week here.