This post is based on Week Five of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure.
It is a gift to witness the profound transformation that happens in a person when he or she grows deeper in relationship with God and makes the Spiritual Exercises. Walking others through them also gives me a deeper appreciation for my own experience of making the Spiritual Exercises. The graces of the Exercises are still abundantly present in my life today.
I look back with fondness on the way God invited me to orient my life fully around God. At the time, it didn’t feel so great to be made aware of my disordered attachments and things that were keeping me from making God the center of my life. But now I see that the uncomfortable transformation back then invites me still today to live with God as my center and to recommit to my relationship with Jesus and to be one of his disciples.
My “yes” back then to answering the Call of the King and to live under the standard of Christ still widens my capacity to discern what Christ’s ongoing calls are in my life. I chuckle to think that I first said “yes” to writing when I made the Exercises almost eight years ago. I had no idea what that call meant for me, but I knew I could not deny it. One of the results was starting my blog. I can guarantee you that I never thought putting words out into the world on a blog would one day lead to me writing a book, but it did.
To live out my call to discipleship through writing terrified me. To be honest, it still does. As my book, Busy Lives & Restless Souls, makes its way into the world, I find myself energized and scared as I seek to embrace the new ways God is asking me to steward my gifts.
But that’s what the Spiritual Exercises do. They transform people by building a deep trust in Jesus, growing the desire to be in relationship with him, and then building our courage to say “yes” to the calls put before us.