Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Spiritual linguistics- Fr.Hedwig Lewis

Spiritual linguistics

Take” and “receive”, in the prayer that sums up the Exercises, are not a play on words. Ignatius was very discerning in verbal usage. Each of these verbs contains within itself a unique spiritual dynamic and significance.

Ignatius observed levels of commitment [Classes, Degrees] in individuals. An enthusiastic beginner in the spiritual life, in an outburst of devotion, implores God to “receive” all he is and has. However, given his lack of spiritual understanding and experience, his “all” is defined. It does not include attachments apparently good in themselves (people, possessions, pursuits). As his first fervour diminishes, he gradually steers away from his God-ward direction, and becomes increasingly drawn to his self-satisfying attachments.

For spiritually mature persons, the “all” is refined! They radically surrender the steering to God. They let God “take” complete control! “Take” emphasizes their total disposition towards God’s actions, even when these entail God’s stripping away “all” their attachments, including the justifiable ones. It is an unconditional offering. “Take” comes before “receive” so that the commitment remains focused on God, and the self-giving is long-lasting. When God takes ALL, my EGO dies; and empowered by his Love and Grace, I rise!

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