Freedom and detachment:
I think that what prevents us from a life of freedom
and joy is that we are inordinately attached to people and things. We have
disordered affections. Having affections and being attached to certain people
and things are fine. However, inordinate, disordered attachments is what brings
us sorrow and pain. Since it is an affection, it is appealing. But it is
disordered, it is not life-giving. It causes death. Ignatius invites us to move
towards ordered attachments. If we did so, we would become freer and happier.
Ignatius certainly wanted us to have life and have life to the full!
During the crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are
constantly called to make choices. The crisis is at once global in its spread
and impact, and local in its visibility. It has affected nearly everything and
everyone, and has brought us face to face with a plethora of choices. The
challenge is to choose correctly when faced with a conflicting set of choices.
To this end, the Rules for Discernment from the Spiritual Exercises could prove
helpful. They are valid and relevant even today after more than 470 years. They
are deeply rooted in reality and have stood the test of time. The challenge is
not only to know the rules but also to have the wisdom and grace to know how
and when to use them.
everything for the greater Glory of God, is one of the hallmarks of our
spirituality. Mediocrity had no place in the world-view of Ignatius. The
spirituality of the magis is the
spirituality of infinite possibilities. It is not a spirituality that would
result in a heart attack. Rather, it is a spirituality that would bring depth,
joy and a breath of fresh air into our lives. Fr. General, when talking about
the magis says that it is a call not
only to do more but also to do it better.
The life of Ignatius is the story of how a
self-centered man eventually becomes a God-centered man. Over the years,
Ignatius grew in the ease of finding God, so much so that, towards the end of
his life, he could say talking about himself as a pilgrim, “Anytime, anyplace
he wanted to find God, he could.” May St. Ignatius bless each one of us with
this grace, so that we may be ablaze with God as Ignatius was!