A Long, Loving Look at the Real

by Tim Muldoon

The Jesuit theologian Walter Burghardt once described contemplation as “a long, loving look at the real.”  As I understand him, he meant that to the extent that we behold the world as God has made it, come to see its contours designed lovingly by a loving creator, we become aware of the presence of the God who is in all things.

Here are two very disparate and yet similarly attentive ways of contemplating the world as it really is.

1. Pedro Walpole, SJ, reflecting on why some Jesuits are scientists.  Historically, the Jesuits have been astronomers (with many craters on the moon named after Jesuits), physicists, botanists, archaeologists, and so on.  Science has a happy home in the Ignatian tradition.

2. Meditations centered around the World Cup by one of my favorite groups, the British Jesuits who produce pray-as-you-go.org.

For the one who has fallen in love with God, God is to be found everywhere, from the farthest stretches of the cosmos to the crowds gathered round the football pitch (that’s “soccer field” for my fellow Americans who missed the UK-US game a few days ago).  As Hopkins wrote: “these things were here, and but the beholder/Wanting.”  Our prayer might be that we become more attentive in seeing the really real, and thereby to more clearly see God.

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Tim Muldoon

Contributes to Patheos at The Capstone
Tim Muldoon is the author a number of books, including The Ignatian Workout, Longing to Love, and The Ignatian Workout for Lent, as well as many essays. He edits the journal Integritas: Advancing the Mission of Catholic Higher Education, a publication of the Boston College Roundtable. He, his wife, and their children live west of Boston.

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June 14, 2010

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