Starting with the Love of God and Never Stopping (A guest post from spiritual director Dale Gish. You can find him at In Paragraph 75 of the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius invites you to open yourself to the fact that God is constantly looking upon you with a gaze of love. Just like the rich young man in Mark 10:21, Jesus looks at you and loves you. And like Numbers 6:25, God makes God’s face shine upon you and is gracious to you. God is always looking upon you with a gaze of love and you are invited to receive that loving gaze, absorbing as much of that love as you are able. And so that is how we begin every prayer time in the Exercises -we stop and receive God’s loving gaze. This is so important! For Ignatius the love of God is central. Everything rests upon it. For Ignatius, it would be destructive to consider our sin if we are not thoroughly grounded in God’s personal, unconditional, relational love for us. We are invited to consider and experience why the Trinity sent Jesus into the world. “For God so loved the world…” As we pray through Jesus’ life and ministry we pray with Jesus seeing people, loving them, having compassion on them, healing, restoring, and freeing them. Why does Jesus do this? Love! How does Jesus do this? Love at the heart of everything! Then, as we pray through Jesus’ passion, we see the love that motivated him, the love that allowed him to suffer and die for us. And in the resurrection, we experience his joy as he comes alive and goes to speak peace to and restore his friends. We experience Jesus inviting us to join him in this kind of love. Ignatius’ final consideration is entitled The Contemplation of Divine Love. In it, we are invited to experience the enormity and many-faceted reality of God’s love, to be overwhelmed by love, and to become “incandescent with gratitude.” Faced with this amount of overwhelming love, we are forever changed, forever invited into a love relationship with the Trinity.

Posted by Anam Cara Abbey at 2023-02-14 14:30:06 UTC