I recently heard that Fr. Jerry Fagin, SJ, is ailing. He’s a Loyola Press author and a professor at Loyola University in New Orleans. Here’s something beautiful he wrote about reverence, taken from this piece elsewhere on IgnatianSpirituality.com.
I remember standing on the top of a mesa ten thousand feet high overlooking what seemed to be hundreds of miles of fertile land. I had an experience of amazement, of silence, of vastness, of expansiveness, of gift. I felt a sense of wonder that God had almost done too much and thus created out of the sheer joy of creating and sharing goodness.
We feel such things often—in the countless number of stars on a clear night, before a work of art, at the birth of a child, at the moment of dying of a loved one. These contemplative experiences draw us closer to God even as we feel small and unworthy. They are sacred moments that expand the landscapes of our hearts. Ignatius knew reverence when he prayed at night under the stars, but he knew it as well in the busyness of each day. He hoped to elicit that experience throughout the Exercises.
Ignatius believed that anyone who prayerfully considers the basic truth that we are created out of love by a transcendent God of holiness will grow in a sense of reverence. We will have a deepened sense of the sacredness of all things if we think of everything as continually being called and sustained in being by God. We will stand in awe not just before sunsets and mountains, flowers and trees, but also, and especially, before every person we meet.Image by Robert Crum under a Creative Commons license.