The Closeness of God

The Way to Manresa: Discoveries Along the Ignatian Camino by Brendan McManus, SJ

My immobility after the fall and during recovery showed me clearly how close God was to me. Previously, I was often so active that I didn’t realize this closeness. God waited until I was ready to listen to reveal his patient and gentle presence. I realized how everything I had taken for granted had actually been given to me, and it was God who took the lead. I realized afterwards that it was God who caught me. I discovered compassion and acceptance, not judgment. I realized it was a paradox: I was fundamentally fragile but gifted, and always held in God’s love. Just as with the prodigal son’s journey home, I was given multiple second chances and offered extraordinary forgiveness. Part of being injured was a process of purification: waiting in the silence and the darkness of the long nights, wondering if recovery would ever happen. Alternating between doubt and hope meant praying out of a deep need. Mostly it was about purifying my faith, though, shaking off complacency, shedding expectations, and coming to new understandings.

—Excerpted from The Way to Manresa: Discoveries Along the Ignatian Camino by Brendan McManus, SJ

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  1. Patience is bliss. Lacking a sustainable road map, we are restless, and often confused. Sages say, God is watching patiently.

  2. This extract has particular relevance to me today. ‘God waited until I was ready to listen…..’ After many years wandering in the spiritual wilderness God chose a time and place when I least expected it to introduce a spiritual companion who has accompanied me, helped and encouraged me on my journey in faith. Without him I would still be wandering. Thanks be to God.

  3. compassion and acceptance, extraordinary forgiveness, praying out of a deep need. many thanks, Brendan, for these reminders.


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