This post is based on Week Two of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure.
From out of nowhere, my phone rings. I check the number. One of two things is likely to happen. Either my heart leaps and a huge smile crosses my face (I have been longing for this call.), or I bite my lip and feel my heart recoil a bit (I have to deal with this.). As I do my daily Examen and look back through my day, it’s not the phone call itself that I ponder with God, but rather the spontaneous gyrations of my heart that it ignited. Where did that come from? I prayerfully wonder, asking for the grace to see myself honestly.
Only in prayer is my reflection this clear. In the presence of God’s overwhelming love, I am safe to admit the source of my desires. Sometimes the source is a healthy desire, like the wonderful bond I have with my daughter, and I am filled with consolation and reaffirmed that time spent interacting with her is indeed where I am called to be. Sometimes the source is an unhealthy desire to build my ego or pass negative judgement on someone. God gently reminds me that he offers me all the ego stoking I need or that he sees that other as a beloved child, regardless of how that person has acted. I am called to do the same. I do not feel belittled or judged myself, but rather reassured that I can let that unhealthy desire or negativity go, because it isn’t helping me grow to be the person God is calling me to be. Now, in this safe space, I reaffirm my commitment to respond with a heart rooted only in the desire to love and reflect God in this world.
Surely the next time that phone rings my heart will remember this little conversation God and I had. Surely I get it now and can love fully. Well, we will see what tomorrow’s Examen brings.