The Fruit of Desolation

Years ago, Austen Ivereigh, executive editor of The Tablet made a 30-day Spiritual Exercises retreat when he was a Jesuit novice.  He spent most of the time in a state of desolation. “I grasped the paradox at the core of this desolation: you can only know God through simplicity of heart, yet I could not, by my own means, attain such simplicity.”

But this very difficult retreat had a good end:

I was deeply grateful for an essential lesson that could not have been learned any other way: that my energies, for so long directed at self-preservation and achievement, could not win me God, or, which is the same, love. I had learned that, indeed, all is God’s gift, and over time even my heart would begin to grasp that too. It’s true: I was no longer the same.

Read the whole thing.

About Jim Manney 750 Articles
Jim Manney is the author of highly praised popular books on Ignatian spirituality, including A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer (about the Daily Examen) and God Finds Us (about the Spiritual Exercises). He is the compiler/editor of An Ignatian Book of Days. His latest book is Ignatian Spirituality A to Z. He and his wife live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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