The Contemplation on the Love of God is the concluding meditation of the Spiritual Exercises (Spiritual Exercises, 231–237). It presents a God who loves without limit and who invites us to make a generous reponse of love in return.
The contemplation invites reflection on four themes.
- Reflection on God’s gifts to us (life, family, friends, faith, church, eternal life).
- God’s self-giving in Jesus.
- God’s continuing work in the world.
- The limitless quality of God’s love. As a contemporary paraphrase has it, “God’s love shines down upon me like the light rays from the sun, or God’s love is poured forth lavishly like a fountain spilling forth its waters into an unending stream.”
At the end of this contemplation we are invited to make a generous response in return. Ignatius Loyola suggests the Suscipe prayer:
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will—all that I have and call my own. You have given it all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace. That is enough for me.
The Contemplation to Attain Love by Paul Coutinho, SJ
Spiritual Exercises in Art (dotMagis blog post)