Dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises Lecture 10: Contemplation to Attain Divine Love

Dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises Lecture 10: Contemplation to Attain Divine Love
Articles
2


– Much of what I’m going to say, as I explained at the beginning of this, takes its origin from a very, well, what I think is the
best article in English on the Contemplation to Attain Love, by Father Michael Buckley in
The Way supplement from 1975, so it’s not a recent article, but it’s, I think, a profound piece, and so we’re going to have,
I wanted you to have the gist of it because I think
what he says is good, but it needs to be unpacked, okay? Well, we begin with saying
that the text of the exercises does not designate any particular place for the contemplation,
sometimes referred to as a Contemplatio, historically. There’s been therefore some controversy about it’s interpretation and
role within the exercises. In other words, since Ignatius
doesn’t say exactly where it should come, some people have said, why can’t you use it at the
very beginning of the exercises? Or in the middle? Or wherever you wanted to use it as a guide or a director
that it seems helpful? And that was true from the very beginning. If you look at the early directories, those assemblages of
hints, pastoral hints, on how to give the exercises,
you have a difference among some of the very earliest Jesuits about where the Contemplatio
should go or could go. And some people say it’s up to you, and some say no, it really ought to be at the end of the exercises,
as a kind of climax. Well, in the article, Buckley, you’ll see, argues really that it
really should be at the end of the exercises, that
it really is a summary of the four weeks of the
exercises, and therefore a kind of gateway to
the return on the part of the one who has made the
retreat to everyday life. But it is a disputed point. So if you hear somebody as
a fellow director saying, I like to give the Contemplation
to Attain Divine Love at the very beginning of
the spiritual exercises, that’s an option. I think it’s a wrong option,
but it’s an option, you know. But that’s opinion. That’s opinion. But just so you know that sometimes you’ll be reading something, and
it will sound as if you can use it any way you
want, and I suppose, like anything else, you can. And maybe for people who have made the whole spiritual exercises
and are familiar with them, you might want to diversify it sometimes, and use it at the very beginning. So it’s what you feel,
pastorally, is appropriate and can be adapted for the good of the one who’s making the retreat,
so you want to honor that there’s a dynamic
here that maybe yields its understanding, if
you see it at the end, but there’s a pastoral accommodation, which is always yielding to the need or the help of the person
you’re working with. Okay? All right. Buckley says, at beginning of
line one, two, three, four… About five into this first
paragraph, quoting Buckley: “Is it a method of prayer equally viable “at any stage of religious development?” Now, what does that phrase mean? He means, is it a prayer
form that you can use if you are first week, second week, third week, or fourth week? So that means any stage of
this religious development. Whether you’re going
through a kind of purgation to be attentive as a creature before God, to all the good that God
has given, but to also all the omissions, the spaces, the Xs in your performance with God. I don’t like to put it that
way, but you get the idea. Or whether you’re moving
along into more intimacy with our Lord in the second
week of the exercises. So, that development, where you are moving in your response and your
exchange with our Lord. Okay, so it’s a prayer form. Or is it a special kind of
prayer form, called a synthesis? A bringing together, the
dynamics, the movements of the spiritual exercises,
and therefore as a synthesis it’s dependent for its
efficacy upon the evolution. It has gone before into
a loving union with God. That’s the issue. Is it just a prayer
form, or is it a specific kind of prayer form that pushes
the one making the retreat into a personal kind of summary– Effective summary, not
just linear and mental, but religiously, psychologically attuned to what the movement has been. Now notice, again, when
we’ve done this before, the terms that Buckley is using. Development, synthesis, evolution. Now, I know Mike’s words
are very important. What’s the difference between those three? And it helps you on the exercises. A development, as we
said before, development is like a psychological
or the biological paradigm that you can’t move from one phase unless you finish the phase
that necessarily starts. You can’t get into intimacy if
you don’t have good identity. If you don’t know who you are,
and you’re falling in love with everybody, you’re up a creek. You know, you can go bonkers. At the same time, if you’re
all worried about intimacy, and there’s only enough room in your life for that one other
person, then you’ll never move into generativity, which
is the donation of yourself for something greater than
the two of you in love. You need an earlier stage
to move into a later stage. And if you jam a later stage
into the life of people before they’re ready for
it, it can be chaotic. It can hurt them. So you don’t get a three year old and say, the time has come to tell
you all the secrets of sex. A kid has no way of putting that together, and to them it’s gibberish, you know? Later on, they’ll find
it’s adult gibberish, but it’s still gibberish, okay? So, whether it’s
psychological or physical, it’s one stage cannot preempt the growth that has to take place
in an earlier stage. So you can’t be a second week experience until you’ve had the
first week experience. All right? So that’s what he means by development. Evolution. What does evolution add? It’s also something that
moves developmentally toward something which
is better, more advanced, more intelligent,
intelligible, more mature, greater exercise of one’s
talents and energies. So that you’ll notice in the
four weeks of the exercises, when you come to the fourth
week, how little advice Ignatius gives about how to deal with the one making the retreat. Why? Because the evolution has been
one of spiritual autonomy. The person begins to understand
where he or she should be. And needs less and less
that kind of overt, that is, in direction that tells
people what to do, and much more support, initiative, a
trusting of your instincts. Because that’s what you take away with you when you leave the retreat. An experience of your instincts before God are graced, and really
God dealing with you is better than anyone
else dealing with you. Annotation 15 is therefore
an evolutionary reflection. You move to a more advanced state, if you want to put it that
way, of life of the spirit. So the word development,
psychological maturation. Evolution means the
movement that’s organic to what it is to be a
person led by the spirit. For Jesuits who are here,
remember at the beginning of the constitutions,
Ignatius says the interior law of charity rather than any exterior law. So the presumption is
that, when you have turned your life over to God, you
can trust the inner voice that tells you how you should pray, what you should do, what
really leads in your life towards what is wholesome and good. What leads away from
that to what is divisive, upsetting, disintegrating. Okay, those are… They’re important for people telling you what are the exercises? And you read these
things, and they tell you all about the traffic
signals of the exercises, but they don’t tell
you about the evolution and the development of it, and
that’s what they really are. And thirdly, a synthesis. We know what a synthesis is. A synthesis means it’s
a syn, come, thesis. Bringing the theses,
the logical components together, in a way in
which those components form a whole greater than their parts. A whole greater than their parts. You say, what does that mean? It means after a while,
you look back and you say, I understand what the first week means, in terms of its literal
presentation better because I know what the fourth week is. And the fourth week illumines
things in the first week I would not have thought about. Like God’s love. You think of it maybe
as a first week person, your vulnerability, your timidity, your sense of frustration,
your sense of finding things you don’t like about
yourself, and then being told, despite all that, God gives me
courage and care and support, and God has a way of
falling in love with losers, and the more I accept myself
as a loser before God, the more I find myself a winner. And no one understands
exactly what that means until you get into it, and you know that the paradox is, the more that
I understand the need of God, the more I appreciate what love is. That it’s a lifting up, and it’s really an identification of me precisely where I most need God to enter into my life. Well, you’re saying that you get a feel of looking back on that first week from the perspective of the fourth week, that is a synthesis. It brings together, in a different way, what you did in the first
week, because now you see it in terms of the development
and the evolution. The words make more sense now,
because they’ve been enriched by this ongoing experience, okay? Last night I was talking with somebody, and I said, what do you
think the Magis means? And he said, well I
suppose it means more work, more generosity, more giving. And I said, what if you think of it as a greater and greater capacity to allow God to enter into your life? That it’s not active only, it’s passive. It’s not only doing, it’s
also being able to receive. To receive. And then once you think
of that, you think of what we’ll look at in this final prayer of the Contemplation:
take, Lord, and receive. Take, Lord, and receive. Take, and we’ll talk
about that later, but… Receive. You’re saying, I want to enter
into the divine passivity, which is God’s abiding capacity to absorb. But to absorb not in
dissolution, not destroying, but in synthesis, in
making the created reality part of the divine reality. So anyway, I want to make a lot of it, because it goes back
to what we keep saying about the exercises,
that when you’re talking with somebody, you’d say the exercises are a spiritual evolution, they
are a spiritual development, they are a spiritual synthesis
that allow a woman or man to move into greater and greater autonomy before the all-embracing love of God. So that dependency and
autonomy are harmonized. They can live together in peace. The lamb and the wolf lie down together. Okay? The lamb of our need and
the wolf of our aggressivity become one in the union of God’s love. You read the Scripture differently. All right. Then Buckley says, “Now, all of this goes “into a loving union with God.” Now, what the Contemplation
to Attain Divine Love explores is, what do we mean when we
talk about union with God? What does that phrase mean? You say, well, it means that
we’re in God and God is in us. I say, well okay, well
what does that mean? And what the contemplation
explores are four ways of looking at what it is
to be united with God. Okay? So it’s one of the major
questions of the life in the Christian revelation,
of a life of the spirit. The Father and I are
one. What does that mean? And when you go back to
John’s Gospel, look how often Christ spells out what that means. Knowledge, love, work,
and how in these sometimes unintelligible discourses
that we get after Easter, in which you feel like one day sounds like the day we just had before. Christ keeps saying the same thing. The Father and I are one. The Father’s in me and I am in the Father, and you will be in me
as I am in the Father, and the Father will be
in you, and you say okay, I heard it, I heard it, I get it! But I don’t know it. Well, this an effort to
take that mystic language, and to give it some kind of operational, some way of entering into that as having meaning for ourselves. Okay? And that’s why it’s so rich. He says: “There’s another way
of putting the same question. “For Ignatius, the election,”
remember what the election is? That is the cooperative decision that grace and my own reflection
on the movement of grace, out of the history and
the special movements of this retreat, what is God
asking me to be or to do? And if you recall, we
said there are three ways of looking at the Ignatian election. It’s a choice that I
have the freedom to make about what I will do or what I will be in a radical way that defines my life. I will be a contemplative nun
who will live on a mountaintop and I will feed the squirrels. Okay, that’s an election. Kind of a dippy one, but
it’s an election, okay? All right. Or I will really be someone who will live as a single person, but
I like to work directly with the poor, because I feel that’s what God has asked me to be and to do. All right? And you see that as,
what is the concrete way my life has been leading me? Okay. Or, it can be not a choice
of basic life and lifestyle, but it can be the correction
of a lifestyle chosen, but I better it, I redirect it. I’ve been a mother and I’ve been a spouse, but I look more and more and
I see that I’ve trivialized some of the best parts of
what it is to be mother and spouse, and I would
really like to redirect that in a way where I give my children freedom, and I give my spouse
support, and I realize that I’ve drifted away from that, and our relationships
will become functional. We get together at Christmas and Easter, but I suddenly realize that there’s a lot of my life I want to change. Or I’ve been a bishop, and all my life has really been pushing ecclesiastical upward
mobility, and I suddenly say, I don’t want to live like that, I want to make decisions
as pastor, as pastor. As pastor. Or, I’ve been a politician,
and I’ve been the judge and the state supreme
court, but now I know that God is asking me to go
back, and give that up, and work directly as an advocate for
pro bono work for the poor. Now, I’m giving you three
cases that are real. That’s an election that’s a modification. A change, okay? So an election that is a
stance, and an election that is a change, and the third one is an election that is a deepening. That basically, I feel I’m doing what God is asking me to do, and I
think I’m doing it fairly well. I don’t see any big
changes, but I would like to deepen the meaning,
I’d like to reaffirm. Sometimes, people will
say, is it a good thing for people who have been married 50 years to re-pronounce their vows,
or is this just sentimental? I said no, it can be
a wonderful experience of renewed grace, a deepening
of affection and care after all those years of
putting up with one another. You say, we’d do it again. Or Jesuits, and I was in
charge of churchmanship, would say, what do the final vows give me that I didn’t say once? Why do we have final vows? First vows were perpetual, weren’t they? I said yeah. But in final vows, you
take proprietary care of that Society of Jesus
that took care of you. You pledge yourself to be a caretaker for the Society of Jesus. That’s different, that’s a
deepening of your affiliation. You mean I’m more of a
Jesuit now than I was before? Yeah, you’re more what? Evolutionarily developed, in
order to bring a synthesis of your life together in those final vows. Okay? So those, remember with election, we mean those three things. Direction of life, change
of life, deepening of life. Okay? All right, that’s… And so he says, “For
Ignatius, election demanded “an antecedent maturity.” That is, before you made
the election, you had to be a free woman or man,
capable of making a choice. Capable of responding to grace. Those two things I keep underscoring. My autonomy and my
dependency out of my autonomy on the companionship and guidance of God. Okay? A freedom from deranged activities. Okay, disordered affections that we’ve talked about before, not oriented to love. And a sensitive
identification with Christ. All the work of the second week. So Buckley is saying a tremendous amount in language that you can skip
over and say it’s too abstract until you start pulling it
apart, and it’s a wonderful way of bringing these dynamics of the spiritual exercises together. “This religious liberty.” Now, think of phrases,
like religious liberty. He’s just describing, what
do we mean by libertas? What is libertas? Well, it does mean liberty, but it means liberty and disponability,
and we’ll look at that later. “Which emerged from the influence of God, “and a concentrated human cooperation.” It keeps hitting these two
things again and again. Grace, autonomy. Grace, autonomy. “Stood as a presumption of
finding God in the decision.” All right. Decision, election, okay? “Now, at this point in
the retreat, the issue is, “are these similar
dispositions for entering “into the Contemplation
for Attaining Love?” Is the Contemplation for
Attaining Love more like the election and less than
just another form of prayer? That’s a crucial point. And Buckley is saying,
and I think it’s right, it’s like the election. It’s choosing. Choosing consciously at the
end of this retreat experience that I will be a lover by
knowing how I am loved. Now that’s important. It means that I don’t earn my love, I have been tutored in love. Tutored in love. And you think of the autobiography,
that phrase of Ignatius. God treated him the way a
schoolmaster treats a child. And you think, well yeah, he was docile. It doesn’t mean just that. It means God taught him
how to teach. (laughs) God taught him how to help
by being a helping God. There are parents who
correct their children. I mean, of course they’re going
to do what they should do. There are parents who are
so attractive in the way in which they teach
them how to drive a car, because of the way they’ve driven. How they’ve kept the neat and
clean, or how they’ve cooked. They learn by watching them do the good things that are acts of love. Not the having their
parents become foremen that make them do their duties. It’s give and take,
you know, and sometimes you do want the kids to do their duties, and you do act like a
foreman, because at this stage of their development, it’s the
only thing they understand. But you ought to know you’re doing that, and not think of that as being what it is to be a father or a mother. You see that it’s wonderful language. And people have read– I’ve given it to people who say, I don’t know what he’s talking about. I said well, he’s talking
about something that brings the whole dynamic
of the exercise together, in theologically rich and
psychologically complex language. And it’s a work of a very bright guy. “Does it demand that one has progressed “through the struggles and
the graces of the four weeks “of the exercises, and now
draws them into a unity. “Or does it find a legitimate place “at any stage of this development?” Well, the answer is, it’s
not just a prayer form, it really is a climactic bringing together of what has happened in the exercises. That’s his point. “The purpose of the
contemplation was entirely “a comprehension of all
that had gone before.” That means something of the
first week, second week, third week and fourth week, enter into the dynamic of this contemplation to Attain Divine Love,
and feeds its resonance. It carries it with a certain heaviness. A comprehension. That is, comprehend is comprendere,
to bring things together in a way in which they are heavy with a meaning that they carry. When I was a kid in high school, and we were taking the Aeneid, and you hear Aeneas say “Sum pius Aeneas”. And we chanted, I am pius Aeneas. (laughs) I said okay, we’re translating it. We’re getting through and
you can put that down. But as you become more and more aware of what this epic is, and what it means, it means I am steadfast to
what I’ve been called to be, and I can only learn what I’ve
been called to be by doing the things that allow me
to become what I should be. And you suddenly realize
that that’s different from just suddenly telling everybody, I want you to know that I really live a good life, I’m pious, to saying I am a work in
progress, and it’s hard to do what I’m doing,
and I wish that the gods had not called me to leave
Troy, and to found a new nation, and to go through all this
pain and all this anguish, but I’m going to stay
there, because otherwise I would be denying who I am. That’s comprehension. And so, when people
look over the exercises, they come to the fourth week, and you say, all the things that
were hard, the dryness, the difficulties, the
moments of depression, and desolation, and sadness,
and the moments of exultation, the moments of insight, the
moments in which you understand what God has been doing in your life, all of that is that rich experience that we’ve had together that
makes the life of the spirit. So discernment is not
a tool to investigate, it’s a revelation that opens
up the rhythm of my life. And that’s different. I was talking to a
wonderful person last night, thinking of being a Jesuit,
and again and again I found him saying well, people told me that when I would talk to you
that you would tell me– I said, I’m not telling you anything. I’m going to listen to what God
has been doing in your life. If you’re going to be a Jesuit, you’re not going to be a Jesuit because
I’ve swayed you in it, because of some rhetorical device I have of lassoing you into the order. He said well, how do you look at it? I said I look at this as
saying, I would love to have every good, young, because
we’re a male order, male who’s got ambition
and talent and energy and autonomy, and all those good things. I would love to see him become a Jesuit. But, I also am moved by
the fact that not everybody can be, should be, or wants to be. And so I’m torn between a
value that I want to share, but an autonomy that I
always have to respect. And if I screw up with
either one of these, I shouldn’t be doing this job. So the two have to be held together. A value to share, but a value I reverence, which is that person’s freedom. Okay? And if preachers would remember
that, they’d preach better. You have a value you want to share, but there’s all that autonomy out there that you’ve got to respect. So how do you get around
it? You tell stories. You give illustrations, you give poems. Because then people can dismiss it, but they know in general
what you’re talking about, and they begin to think of their story. At least, you hope they will, huh? “So the purpose of the
contemplation was entirely “a comprehension of all
that had gone before. “A comprehension whose activity “was a sharing of personal communion.” Okay, you say well, is that saying… That phrase, “whose activity”, saying it all over again but another way? No, it’s adding something. What is it? That that coming together
has suddenly been a love story between God and me. It’s sort of like, if you ever were a kid, you played this game where
the little pieces of paper, you pick up a clue and it says look under the bureau, and they run around. You look under the bureau,
there’s another piece of paper. Look under the bed. And you run to the bed, and
then you pick up the paper, and it says look in your dad’s closet. You run and look in the
closet and look around, and you find it and it says, all right, now look in his golf bag. You look, and finally at the
end you find the treasure. Well, in a little way, there is an element of the searching for the
treasure in the exercises. What is the pearl of great price for you? What is the seed that
falls into the ground of your spirit, and becomes a harvest? All that language of the
hidden reality of the Gospel, when it comes to some kind of growth, becomes something you have
experienced, you know? And that’s why everybody’s
experience will be different in the exercises, because
their pearl of great price, their treasure in the
field, their harvest, their haul of great fish, all those images that we have in scripture about finding what your occupation is. If you’re a housewife and you
found a whole bunch of fish in your bathtub, you would not rejoice. But if you’re a fisherman and you get them in the ocean, you do. Why? Because of context. So contexts are going to
be different for people. You know? If somebody says to you,
we’ve dumped a lot of dirt in your living room, we’re sorry. But somewhere in there there’s
a pearl of great price. You’d say, you know, screw the pearl, who’s going to clean
up all this stuff, huh? So you want to remember the context. The pearl is going to be
different for the salesperson. The fish is going to be
different for the fisherman. The harvest is going to be a
different thing for the farmer. And gradually you say, what
Christ is saying is that the kingdom and the treasure
is going to be different for each one of us, and
I said that’s right. So you have these ditzy
questions, like when I die, am I going to be the best
age I was in this life? I said, I don’t know. But I think it will be
whatever you’ve looked for, that you would want to be, you’ll be that. Why? Because that’s your heart’s desire. And that’s what I think our
Lord has promised, is what? The fulfillment of what has
been your heart’s desire, whether you’re a fisherman, a
farmer, a merchant, and so on. Okay? And the whole experience
of the exercises has been parabolic, living out a
parable of discovering what is that pearl of great price. Whatever it is, it finally
tells you that I am loved. I am loved. When I was a little
kid, what I wanted most was my own bicycle, you know? When I was a teenager, what I wanted most was enough money to go to the prom and buy the stuff I had to get. Then when you get older,
say we’d like to have a collection of Mary
Oliver’s latest poems. Okay, you change. But each one of us becomes what? Something that’s an emblem
of my heart’s desire. Something that I have value for. And at the end of the
retreat, you’re saying, what have you been looking
for through this retreat? What suddenly has come
together as your treasure? And what has God shown you it is? And some people say, I’ve
made an election, and so on. But the biggest thing is that God is happy when I choose what I know will be, really, the best thing I can do with my life. And that’s been so
revelatory of me, therefore, that I don’t have to perform before God. I have to surrender to the dream that God has shared with
me, not imposed on me. Well that’s a great gift, isn’t it, to have at the end of a retreat? So you’ll find that the
contemplation invites a person not only to see the Id, the
thing that they have promised, but also the environment of the promise. The culture of election. And that’s what you find in what? Through the Jesuits here. In the constitution, Ignatius always talks about pure intention, okay? What is that? It’s the way in which you move your life so that it is constantly in
harmony with what you know God wants you to be and to do. And that means that when
you then as a Jesuit, you make your account of
conscience, you allow your soul to be exposed to your superior. You can tell the superior
who you are, and you listen. What you’re really looking for together, if he listens to you, is
how God is leading you to enrich the gift of
which you are a part, which is the communion of the Society. All these things take on
such a wonderful meaning, but the temptation is
to instrumentalize them, so they become functions and revelations. Okay? All right. “Within a single person,
there is the ecstatic union, “in which personal
knowledge, love, and service “become a total surrender. “They become a way of giving yourself “over to someone that you love. “Within the universe, all
things are finally understood “as descending from God as
gift, as holy, as sacred history “in its participations in the divine.” Okay. Now, let’s go through this. Descending from God as
gift is the first movement of the Contemplation
to Attain Divine Love, which is to see all of
the communication from God as a gift, something
God did not have to do, but wanted to give to me. Like, I always, when people
say thank you for this, you didn’t have to do it. Of course, I always say,
what a contradiction. Of course I didn’t have to do
it, that’s why it’s a gift. So don’t say you’re not… You’re never worthy of a gift,
because it’s freely given. But you can be appreciative of a gift, which is freely received. So when you give a gift, you say, I don’t want people to make me feel… I had an aunt. When she gave you
something, my mother said, for God’s sake, get
the thank you card out, or we’ll never hear the end of it. So wrote thank you cards just
to get her off our backs. And I remember as a kid saying
I am willing to do that, because I know it means
a lot to my mother, but I wish you wouldn’t even
send me a gift, because it’s such a chore to get out
and say the right thing. Can she read this, is she
looking for the lemon juice that I never wrote what I really
meant by this or something. Anyway, I wish she’d kept her gifts. All right. That’s not how God gives. God also, the second point, dwells. Okay, dwells. Now here you’ve got to be careful. Remember, every time God abides, God makes holy by God’s presence. The Holy of Holies that
marked the Jewish festivals. What did it mean? This is
holy because God is there. The Jews still have this
residual love of the land. Why? Not just because
it’s their possession. But because it’s been possessed
by the presence of God. So holy is what? God’s stamp of presence. Take off your sandals,
for this is holy ground, God says in Exodus, to Moses. The bushes become holy.
Why? Because I’m here. I’m here. It’s almost as if there’s a fragrance. The mystics will frequently
talk about the fragrance of the divine, and what
they’re talking about is the inhabitation that
God has in circumstances that create a whole different environment. Fragrance. Light. Darkness. Okay? Well, that’s that second point. The third point, that
Mike puts it this way. As sacred history, the
labor of working this out in time and space, which is our history. Revelation is God’s communication. But the history of revelation
is the tedious task of working this out in language
and symbols and cultures, all of which partialize
something that’s greater than they are, that is,
God’s immense revelation. But what it means for us here and now. So when people get all excited… This guy that I can’t
stand, but a guy on TV, who’s always making fun of
religion, I forget his name. Bill Maher. And he always says oh yeah,
the Ark of the Covenant. (laughs) All those animals came in. Who was cleaning up after it? But then you keep saying,
where do you start? You know, it’s a story, Bill. You know, it’s not a literal presentation of the first celestial zoo, it’s a story. And for God’s sake, take it as a story, or you’ll never understand. And everything in religion you can reduce to absurdity, because it is absurd. Like every story is absurd. But like every story, there is a wisdom. There is an insight into
what it is to be human, and to accept the limitation of the human, and to accept the fact that
something greater than myself has found a way of talking to
me in terms I can understand. I don’t have any problem with that. You might have a problem with that, but don’t reduce it to
something that you can ridicule easily, because there are a lot of smart people that can
teach you how to read myth. And you can make fun of any myth, because every myth is vulnerable. I don’t know whether there was ever… I guess there was a Betsy Ross. I don’t know whether she
said “Shoot if you must “this old gray head” and all the rest. But I do believe that there were people that loved our country
from the very beginning, and said honor it, take care of it. And I want to be part of that myth. Take away all of our myths,
you take away all our dreams. Take away our dreams, and
we live only as functionary, for what we do, what we can have. Okay, anyway. But the point there is that third point of God laboring, as God
labors through the human to make the divine present, okay? And participations in the divine. The fourth point, that God is both the beginning and the end. God is like sun that
bursts out of the clouds and touches the gutter, and
the glare from the gutter absorbs and light back to its source, so that there is an ebb and flow. Or like water from its source,
and water to its destination. All right, I’m not going to go on. “The merger of these two,
of the surrender of man’s “settings that Eden put woman into.” But of the human person. “And of the descending creation of God “as a unity, in which the
lover and beloved become one. “Integral in their mutual communication “and co-mingled in personal communion. “And to allow for this, the Contemplation “to Attain Divine Love
resumes the principle themes “of the four weeks of the
exercises into a synthesis, “in which a person moves
gradually to God as he is, “and for whom he surrenders
himself in all things.” So, now you remember, I
want to get into this. The four points talk about God giving, and God dwelling with the
gift, God laboring within each gift to bring it to its unique own wholeness, and God being
the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. God being the embrace, the embrace. I just read something
recently someone was saying, when I think of death, I think of it as, and I say, I do not know where I will go, but I trust it will be in love. But I also know that I do not
know really where I came from. I know that I was generated by my parents, and I took flesh in my mother’s womb, but the personhood of
who I am, I do not know. There’s a mystery, before I got here. I’ve often thought about all the ancestors whose blood and psyche and nerves and spiritual realities
flowed into my parents, and were transmitted to me. I had a mother– (laughs) Of course I had a mother. But my mother’s younger
brother, his name was Lester, died during the flu
epidemic, and my grandmother used to say you are so much like him. And I never knew him, I never
even saw a picture of him. And they think one reason
for that is my grandmother, when he died, got rid of all the pictures. It was just too hard for
her to bear, I guess. But I’ve often thought there’s somebody I don’t know I wish I knew, because I’m supposed to remind people of him. And so, you always think
as if you’re living with a double somewhere, you know? But that mysterious before. And that mysterious after. And to think of God as being
the before and the after is what Ignatius gets
at in that fourth point. The fourth point’s hard to get across to people what it means, I think. Propositions. “Ignatius sees all movement a progress “with a beginning and an end. “An unfolding history,
not atomic movements.” Now, why is that important? It’s the ability to look at your own narrative as a narrative. Not just incidents, but revelations that have a greater meaning,
that are linked together. The grand sweep, and I don’t mean… (taps desk) By grand sweep, I don’t
mean just big events. I mean that the events
have a link to one another. They are gradually telling me about who I am, where I came from. And so when you look at an old picture– I’ve got pictures of myself and my sister, and I see some little
things that even as a kid I was doing that I still
do, when I realize it. Little things. But my sister’s kids were forever coming in to wash their hands,
if they would fall down. She said you don’t have
to come in each time, but they did, and she said
there’s something about our family that’s fanatic about
cleaning up, and it’s true. We’re always cleaning up. I don’t know where it came
from, but it’s in your genes. Other people can say they don’t want to particularly clean
up, there’s something in their genes about letting
things be as they are. You know? And you say well, they’re just obsessions and they’ve been learned. I say, I believe that. I
think that you can learn. I also think that there are
instincts that have simply been pre-natal, and
are part of who we are. And you wonder where it came from, and you say I can just see it. “This movement is developmental.” I’ve talked about that enough. “It’s a growing of
consciousness that Ignatius “calls the center,
interior knowledge passing “through stages called weeks. “And the orientation of this
knowledge is towards goodness, “with which God has
surrounded the human person.” Okay. Buckley has this phrase,
“one is taught to love “only by being loved, and this pattern “of ordinary experience repeats “the most profound models of religion.” You’ve got to unpack that. If somebody comes into a
retreat, and they have been wounded all their life by
the withdrawal of love, the first week is a lot of repair work. Knowing you are loved
is not easy for someone who’s not known much love. Or if somebody realized
that the love that God has always been grudgingly
given only be the performance that you’ve been able
to give, that wins you the approval of the parental person, okay? Because some people hate school, not because of the drudgery,
but because of the constant humiliation of being told
they’re not too smart. Maybe not always verbally,
but in the grades they get. The things they don’t succeed at. Think of how many kids’ lives
was really twisted by the fact that they were autistic and
nobody helped them know it. Or dyslexics. Nobody
helped them understand. They didn’t know how
to read, couldn’t read. And you uncover that,
and suddenly realize that any injury that was done was
not simply the physical one, it was the emotional one,
it was the status one. Okay? All right. “So the purpose of the
contemplation is not contemplation “simply, but a contemplation
that transcends itself, “and moves into the decisions “or directions of a man or woman’s life. “The unity of three movements: “Interior knowledge, or realization, “love or affectivity, “and service or action.” To know, to love, to serve. You’ve said that from the
second week of the exercises on. But they become an underlining what? Paradigm of the dynamic
of the Christian life. The Christian life is what? Revelatory. The Christian life is what? Affective. The Christian life is what? Self-donating. Or there’s no Christian life. You unscrew any one of those three, and you don’t have the
Christian experience. So people who work very
hard, but never have known it as the fruit of love, or
the revelation, or something that comes to them as a good
in which they can participate, because it tells them
something about themselves. There’s just so much– You can see there’s so
much, as you go in here, that gives you a background
for this contemplation. Now the structure for the
contemplation, 230 and 231, those are two very important comments. 230 says, “It was good to
know these things first. “Love ought to find its
expression in deeds, “rather than in words.” That’s been quoted again and again. I got a wonderful insight
into this, the second reading for the Sunday of the Good Shepherd, in which Gregory the Great
says, “It is not faith “that helps us to know the Lord, but love. “And it is not obligation, but deeds.” So acting out of love, you
discover the love of God. Not acting out of saying
this is what we should do, but what we are doing as
the completion of something that is good for us, and
the good that we want to do as something that really is the way in which we express
the good that we value. And so, when you look at
the whole ethical system that puts an emphasis
on law, or obligation, instead of the developmental reality of the life of virtue, it’s screwed up, because what it does is
it begins to substitute for knowledge that is love,
knowledge that is imposition. So when people ask why is this true, they’re asking a very
fundamental question. I mean, what does this mean
for me, and how does it have resonance with what my
whole experience has been? So when someone says, I don’t
understand the resurrection, because I have no knowledge of it, they’re saying something important, okay? “Each of the four points are a power. “Memory, the gifts God-given,
insight into what I remember, “how this was an act of
love, reflective analysis “of how God works toward something, “and surrender to the embrace of God.” All right. I think I’ve
said enough about that. I put down here that
if you look at John 21, I think it’s a very concrete
evangelical representation of the Contemplation
to Attain Divine Love. And sometimes having people live with that is a good way of doing the contemplation. The gifts, all of the
things that Christ does on the sea shore, calling them together, making the fire, having fish,
having something to eat, dwelling with them, that
all these are a sign that He dwells in those
things that nourish us, and give us warmth and
give us companionship. The hospitality, okay? And the third that he labors. It wouldn’t be there if
He didn’t work for them. And He ties all together
what He did at the beginning, calling them, He does
at the end, He recalls. The second call, okay? “The take and receive–” Now, what I want to make
most of here is everything I’ve been saying, as
expressed by Ignatius. “Take, oh Lord, and
receive all my liberty.” (coughs) Is that freedom? No. It’s the capacity to be generous. A magnanimity of spirit. It’s a great gift we can give back to God. Doing what I do not have
to do, but lovers do it. So it’s the freedom to do
what is the great deed. So it’s libertas he talks about. “Take, oh Lord, and
receive all my liberty.” My freedom, it’s not exactly that. It’s my capacity to do great things. To dream great dreams,
to have great ambitions. It’s about an energy to do something that will not be done unless I do it. And to realize that I have been called. And the importance in the whole Christian religious experience of the I. What is the favorite
expression in John’s Gospel, which Jesus begins His revelations with? Ego eimi, I am. I am the good shepherd, I
am the light of the world, I am the vine, you are the branches, I am. That identity that God pronounced in the burning bush, I am who I am. And God has shared that
assertion of self with us, as the greatest gift we
can give back to God. You who I am, I give you who I am. And I give it to you,
not that it’s despoiled, or disintegrated, or hoarded away, but that it’s united, lifted
up, embraced, rejoiced. And that’s different. It’s not the tyranny of the divine, but it is the union of
the divine, and that’s why the word union is so
important for Ignatius. Now, my pastoral note finally is… And I’m sorry I took too long, but there’s so much stuff here that’s rich. It’s too much stuff at once. People just are worn out,
so I in the fourth week give the first point one
day with other stuff. The second point another
day, then the third point, and the fourth point, and
then maybe about the fourth day or fifth day of that,
which is probably the last day for the fourth week, tell them to put it all together in some way. Okay? Now I gave you this
little essay, grace notes, because I think, although
it’s about grace, grace as the gift of
God, God’s self-donation, it’s a perfect example
of the Contemplation to Attain Divine love as
a dynamic, as a movement, played out in this wonderful
essay about the omnipresence of grace in life, and how
we take it for granted. And there it is all around us. It’s a wonderful, wonderful
essay, both in terms of its rhetoric and its theology. You can see that Contemplation
to Attain Divine Love. You as a director, as a guide,
will want to go through it for yourself, because it’s just so rich, and the things you can do with it are multiplex in their application. Okay, but I want any questions,
clarification, or Frank. – Could you elaborate a
little bit on those last couple of points about take and receive? – About take and receive? Yeah. There’s some question about
whether, at the end of each of these four points, do you
say that, over and over again, take Lord and receive
all my liberty and my… Some people say it’s really only a prayer at the end of the first one. Some will say no, it’s
at the end of the fourth. I don’t worry about stuff like that. I’d say do it if it helps you. And of course, somebody
will say, well how do I know whether it helps me or not? (audience laughs) Oh, good. And I said well, see if
it makes you feel happy, or good, or if you feel that
you don’t want to say it. Okay, that’s the one
thing, when you do it. Then take, Lord, and receive. Take is not raptus. Raptus is, you know what
the word rape means. But raptus is forceful snatching away. That’s not what that means. Take means, be gracious
and accepting who I am. Please be gracious to me.
Please be gracious to me. Well how do you know that
that’s what it means? Because it’s so much
attuned with what we know about the cultural makeup
of Ignatius, where civility, courtesy, offering, for
him, were not just cultural niceties, but they were
imitations of the divine presence. The reverence that Ignatius talks about is an acknowledgment of
how God has treated me. So why is that important? You say well, because any
time you see any religious experience that’s not
reverence for the reality of people, God’s not there. It’s not what Christians
should do. It just isn’t. That this take is really graciously accept this reality that I’m giving to you. And realizing that I can
say that with a reality that is limited, bruised,
frequently capricious. You know, a little kid
handed me the lima beans she doesn’t want to eat
at supper, and saying “Here, uncle Howard.” It still is a gift. I might say, well I
will save it for later. (laughter) Especially since you’ve seen her take it out of her mouth, and not want it anymore But I think it’s very important
that you just don’t… (yells) There’s something that’s
going on in these things. And you don’t have time to
do all this psychologizing for every little thing,
but it’s an instinct which is so important,
that Ignatius has there. It’s not a raptus it’s, an acceptance, a gracious acceptance. Take and receive, allow
it to be integrated into the wholeness of who you are. What do we mean at the prayers, when we say through Christ our Lord? And you say well, it’s a formula, and I’d say, but what does it mean? We ask all this through Christ our Lord. We mean, take it into
the way Christ prays, so that what I’m asking
becomes what he’s asking. Intercession. That’s different. It’s just not the way of
ending the prayer. (laughs) I just can’t… It’s a way of entering into Christ, because He’s my spokesperson. You say oh, you mean a
kind of forensic justice. Christ stands for… No, that’s not Catholic. It’s intrinsic. Christ becomes my prayer. That’s the deal. And so, when we say
through Christ our Lord, we’re really saying, everything
we do which is imperfect and self-seeking and nutsy
sometimes, and I’m treating God like a slot machine,
and hoping the right numbers come up so I’ll hit the jackpot. All those things that we do in prayer. All of that, in a sense, is
absorbed into the freshness and the integrity and
the goodness of Christ. That’s a wonderful thing that I’m praying. He becomes my spokesperson.
That’s receiving. Put it into your reality. Graciously accept who I am
and put it into your reality, so that it becomes transformed into all the goodness you are. Live with that for a while. That’s what every good poet does. They receive their reality,
and then they transform it into their vision, and in
sharing that work with you, they ask you to be part
of that poetic vision. And that’s why… And I do the same thing, too. But these speed tours that you go through. (speaks rapidly) Look, that’s Da Vinci! And at the end you say I can’t
take it, I can’t take it. I need an ice cream cone. (laughter) It was meant to stay
with one or two things, to take and receive. It’s much closer to the ascetic experience than it is to a moral, ethical imposition. It’s revelatory. Okay, so you say take,
Lord, and receive what? My capacity to do great deeds, which I might not even know about. I might not even know how great it is. But it’s that predisposition
to do great deeds. Take, oh Lord, and receive all my liberty. Then you say, in I understanding
my memory, my entire will. In other words, all those
realities that allow me to master time and space,
so that the imprint of the human as a spiritual reality can continue to mark our world. Take those things now, and
let them be fed with you. Take, oh Lord, and receive all my liberty. My memory, my understanding,
my entire will. Whatever I have, whatever
I hold, whatever I have. Okay, whatever I possess, res,
those things of the principle and foundation of all
other other res things on the face of the earth,
things that mark me who I am. And how they’ve impacted
me. What I have and hold. What has become part of me. You know, how can I say it? If you live where I’m living long enough, you get used to coming
down to a living room that looks like a hotel ballroom. Okay? And so when people say
my God, it’s so big, I say yeah, I don’t even
think about that anymore. I go where I’m going, and that little corner becomes my habitat. I don’t think about how big it is. I think about how can I reduce
its size so that I can find a few friends to sit
there and humanize it. Because I’d be overwhelmed otherwise. Every time I come down, I
feel as if I’m a floor manager at a departments store, you know. Or the house detective. Who’s here and should be here. (laughter) There’s a stranger at our desk. And I said, this is what
God gave us, and this is where we are, but boy, they certainly weren’t thinking of a home. But we can make it that way.
We can make it that thing. That’s to have and to… Take, oh Lord, and receive… Whatever have or hold.
Those are rich words. What possessions that have
left their imprint on me. Made me what I am. You’ve given it to me. So you said to me, it’s
providence. What is providence? The practical way in which
God has accompanied me in the historical details of my life. That’s what it would
have been for Ignatius. It wasn’t some overriding governing plan. Did God know from the
beginning that we were going to have meatballs tonight? I say, I don’t know. I don’t really care. Well, I think God did! And if you don’t think that,
you’re not a good Catholic! God knew every little
thing. I said oh, all right. And if you don’t think that,
boy am I writing you up. I said well, I’ll tell you. I really think God’s got
more things to worry about than whether we have meatballs. But I think in a general
sense, God wanted us to be fed. God wanted us to feel
good about what we ate. I think God wants us to be nurtured. God wants us to be healthy. Those things I really
believe, but I don’t think God cares whether we have meatballs
tonight or pork sausages. You know? I say, I think God knew we
were going to have meatballs, but do I think that for all
eternity God was obsessed with whether we were going
to have meatballs tonight? No, and I think we’re spending
so much time on crazy stuff like this, I just think
it doesn’t make sense. But that mechanistic idea
that God doesn’t know anything unless God knows all the
details that we have determined, I said, I don’t… But you mean God didn’t know? I said I don’t think God cares
about it, is what I’m saying. And you have that
experience in your own life, when you get people who are
fussy, and they say do you… I said, I don’t care that much. I really don’t care that much. I don’t think it’s a big deal, you know? And I think to be obsessed with the details is to be obsessed. To be obsessed with big
things is to be dedicated, so the line between
dedication and obsession is always pretty thin. (laughter) So a lot of dedicated people are just nutsy about the right things, you know? And you can get that way, okay? So, take, oh Lord, and
receive all my liberty, my understanding, my entire will. Whatever I have or hold,
you’ve given it to me, and I surrender it to you
to be governed by your will. I want it to be governed
by your will doesn’t mean God is going to impose on me something I really don’t want to
do, but it’s God’s will. That can happen, but God’s will is basically
the loving determination that whatever is will work
towards what is the good for the fulfillment of creation. But we said, oh. Fulfillment of creation. Now can that sometimes mean deprivation? Yeah. In all of our lives, it sometimes can mean an immediate deprivation. We don’t take care of our
earth the way we should, deprive ourselves of some
abilities, some luxuries, and we’re not going to
have any Earth left. And that’s going to be a
hard message to get across, because we have not been a people who live well with voluntary deprivation. We just don’t. Imposed deprivation, yeah. But
not voluntary, not too well. So you want to have to have a conversion of our minds for this, a
deep religious conversion. So that’s what that
means, when you unpack it. Okay. Yeah. – Howard, this is maybe… It’s not trivial, but
compared with what you’ve been talking about, less profound, maybe. But I’ve run into situations
where the Contemplatio, the language that St. Ignatius
uses is not easy language. – No. – And what are your thoughts about how we, when you give the Contemplatio, ways of passing it to the
person to pray, to pray over? – You’re right, and I know what you mean. That’s why I suggested that John 21. That you have the dynamic
of the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love in that scene of Jesus at the sea of Tiberius. All the movements are there. And you say, pray over this
as a scriptural presentation of what Ignatius is talking
about at the end of the retreat, of all the ways in which Christ
represents the donating God who dwells within His gifts,
has labored to bring them so that they are available
to us, and reinforces the idea that where we
begin, where we end, it’s all brought into divine embrace. Jean Vanier, the great Canadian figure, who has done so much with the people who are handicapped folks,
has a wonderful essay called The Second Call, and
he said John 21 represents the ongoing call that is
part of Christian experience. That God doesn’t call us once, but God calls us again, and
again, and again, and again. And that’s that fourth
point, that God who has begun is God that will end, and
we’re always being called to a renewal and to a completion that is going to be in the hands of
God, in one way or the other. You know, you do feel that. Sometimes you’ve got this
thing, I’m doing things, I’m still learning the things I thought I should have learned a
long time ago and I didn’t. Then I realize maybe that’s the
way it’s always going to be. That this is an area of limit
and weakness and sinfulness, that I’m simply not going
to get rid of it, it’s here, and I’m not complacent about
it, because it bothers me. I wish I didn’t have it,
but I’m not tormented by it, because I’m pretty much an unfinished work that God’s going to have to finish. That’s the deal. And if it isn’t, and if I’ve
made a mistake, too bad. There’s nothing I can do about it now. But that would mean that
everything else I’ve gambled on mercy, love, understanding,
forbearance, goodness, has been a sham, too,
and I don’t believe that. I make it all sound like
I’m a little flower. (laughter) I don’t feel that way. I feel that a lot of it is struggle stuff, but I really do believe that
you surrender your doubts to the sureness of God’s presence. That’s all you can do, you know? So, I might talk like that with people. You say, you know as you come
to the end of the retreat, you might say I don’t feel more… Some of these people say I
don’t feel any more perfect. I don’t feel like there’s been
this great transformation. I have more ideas. I’ve prayed more. I think I’ve done good things, and I see things a little differently. And I said well, you won’t
know that until you keep living your life, and God will
keep bringing reality to you. If you think of the exercises
as being a program for moral betterment, they’re always
going to be disappointing. If you’re going to think of
them as a strategy for ongoing revelation, then they’ll
be very enriching for you. You know, is said this to you
again and again and again, and I know it’s hard to
get, but the betrayal of the exercises is to make them an
exercise in moral betterment. They’re not that. They’re
not moral betterment. They are really an invitation
to ongoing revelation, to finding God in all
things, which is revelatory. Seeing things differently,
seeing them with more dimensions, seeing them with freshness,
hearing, you know. It’s like people telling you, I said would you like to go to the symphony? Well, what are they playing tonight? Beethoven’s 5th. Oh, I’ve heard it. (laughter) Okay, you know? Remind me to change my
hair lotion or something. Novelty is not… It’s the familiarity that
deepens, because you see things you didn’t see before, you know? Or would you like to meet somebody? Well, I’ve met them. I said I know, but did you deepen the relationship,
get to know it better? Or a good movie. I remember, we showed,
because I would use movies on the exercises in a
course, and kids would say Father, why do you know
so much about this movie? I said, it’s because about
the eighth time I’ve seen it. Oh, God. Eight times, the same movie? I said yeah, but it’s a good movie, and you find things
you didn’t find before. Oh. Well kids don’t, you know,
their idea is to watch doofus, and somebody else become jackass. Once you’ve seen it, you’ve
exhausted its richness. But the idea, why would you want to watch the Magnificent Ambersons three times? Because I find things in
it I didn’t find before, and see things I didn’t see before. And that’s fascinating, you know? So the exercises are not a mechanical methodology for being a better person. They are our revelatory invitation to being a more observant person. And then they say well, how is that? Then you have to go back to
Lonergan’s idea of conversion, which is not just moral
betterment, but seeing life in a new way, seeing dimensions
you haven’t seen before. You know how you suddenly realize that… When I went and lived
for a year in east Asia, it was so good for me, it really was. I’m not a good linguist, and so I didn’t have a hold of the language. But I began to realize what
it is to be an American is not the paradigm for
what it is to be human. It’s just one small parcel of that marvelous tableaux of the human race. That’s all I can say, and that
left a big impression on me. That the way we do things is just one way. But there’s a Korean way,
there’s a Chinese way. There’s a Filipino way, and each of these has got a little twist that’s different. And it’s that mosaic
that begins to give me an understanding of
what it is to be human. And so when people say
we must be tolerant, I say well, okay, if
that means that basically you really feel you’re
better than everybody else, but you’re slumming by
accepting them as being part of this great human family, it’s not real. Now, I don’t mean I don’t do it. I still correct myself
all the time about this, but it’s when you’ve had
the breakthrough that the revelation is that
my possession of humanity is only one small part of a mosaic of what it is to be human,
and that’s liberating. We don’t bear the burden in
the United States of America of having to be the strongest. We just have to be strong
in the way God wants us to be strong, which is
not the way God wants Switzerland to be strong, or Luxembourg. And you come then with
reverence for the way in which they can reveal to you something
of their human strength that you don’t see otherwise. Now, that’s what I think the
exercises should really do, is this humble revelation
of the ongoing unfolding of the magnificence of God’s
panorama of who we are, and who God is, so that
you’re never finished with it. Never finished with it. So, I think in the take
and receive, you know, I would use some of the
parables that people have taken always as just
the treasure in the field, the harvest is great,
the haul of great fish, and say live with the parable
and not the moralizing that frequently enough the
Scripture has added onto it. But what was probably the
original saying of Jesus was the story told, and
realize it’s talking about every fish is not the same. Some are cute fish, and
some are big fat fish, and some are fish to eat, and
some fish to use for bait. They’re different, you know? To stay with the great haul,
it’s multifarious in who it is, and say think of that, so we renew a lot of things we’ve done. Take the good Samaritan
parable, and read it now in the light of this Contemplation
to Attain Divine Love. What’s the gift? Where does the Samaritan
dwell in the gift? What does that mean? He dwells in them. They are his oil. They are his bandages. They are his wine of disinfectant. They are his beast of burden. They are his money. They all represent that he was dwelling with them and he’s giving them away. And he labors. He lifted up this person,
he took care of this person. And then he leaves, but
he says he’ll come back. So he begins this work of
mercy, and he will come back and end this work of mercy. So it’s a wonderful
paradigm that you can tease into a re-capitulation of
almost everything you touch in the revelation of our Lord. So there’s no way in which
you cannot bring to life things that people have
seen on one level now as a new dynamic out of the way we love. And I was thinking the other day, you know how you’re not particularly… You’re not pursuing
it, but out of nowhere, I was coming back from, I don’t know, I went down to M Street
for something to come back, and I said you know,
this is what it is to– It’s not that you do these things to show that you come to know
love, it’s what love is. Love really is giving,
and dwelling, and helping, and abiding, accompanying a person from the beginning of
something to the end. That’s really what it is to love, and when those things are
there, I know that these are ways of looking concretely
at whether I love somebody. What do I give, and does
this really symbolize something that I want to be
part of me to that person? Am I working alone to
help this person become what he or she ought to be,
and are they helping me? And the accompaniment, you know. What I’ve said is, when
my mother was dying, I remember my sister saying,
isn’t there something we can do and I said no, we can be here. She was here for us before we even came, and now we’re being with
her as she goes out. That’s all she asks of us. It’s our return for what she did for us, and she said that helped us, you know? And I wonder if mom knows. I said yeah, in the deeper
ways of human consciousness, I trust that she will know. It’s important for us. Anything else? Okay, thank you very much. (applause)

I have found these lectures to be indispensable in guiding people through the Spiritual Exercises.Thank you much for posting this series on YouTube. Does a list of the texts and essays that Fr. Gray used in this lecture series exist?

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Prelude to Infinity War
Articles
100
Marvel Cinematic Universe: Prelude to Infinity War

Before creation itself, there existed six singularities of immense power. When the universe exploded into being, their remnants were forged into concentrated ingots possibly by the Cosmic Entities Infinity, Entropy, Eternity and Death. Over time, the infinity stones representing Space, Mind, Reality, Power, Soul and Time became scattered across the …

God’s Word to the World – Series 7 – Part 6
Articles
4
God’s Word to the World – Series 7 – Part 6

>>ANNOUNCER: TODAY ON THE JOHN ANKERBERG SHOW AS WE APPROACH THE NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATION, MANY IN OUR WORLD WILL NOT BE CELEBRATING. THE UNITED NATIONS SAYS THAT THERE ARE NOW OVER 70 MILLION PEOPLE THAT HAVE FLED FROM THEIR COUNTRIES AND ARE LIVING IN REFUGEE CAMPS. AND TODAY WE ARE …