Those formed by Ignatian Spirituality are said to be “contemplatives in action.” Ignatius and his Exercises aim at an engagement with the world that is simultaneously active and contemplative. Contemplatives in action unite themselves with God by joining God’s active labor to save and heal the world.
To be sure, prayer and retreat are essential – after all, it is God’s plan we are about, not our own. But out of our deepened relationship with God, we co-labor with Christ, doing God’s work in the world.
I thought this quote from John Philip Newell’s Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul, which came via e-mail this morning contains a beautiful expression of this:
Our vision of reawakening to sacredness needs to be grounded in action. It is not enough only to see compassionately. Nor is it enough even just to feel compassionately, as essential as this is. Compassion needs also to be embodied, both in the relationships of our lives and communities and in the structures of our societies and nations.
How will you embody compassion today?