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.