[The Jesuits]… expected the manifestation of God’s presence within the soul to be accessible, in some degrees, to all human beings.
Underlying the Jesuits’ pastoral ideals and practice, therefore, were certain assumptions about God and about how the universe was governed. At least some of the more influential Jesuits shared an appreciation of the intimate immediacy and power of God’s presence in the world and in the human soul, an appreciation undoubtedly related to what they learned from the “Contemplation to Obtain the Love of God.”
This appreciation led to conclusions about the efficacious power of the divine presence to conduct an individual in the way of salvation and peace. The Jesuits by and large believed in a world in which God’s grace was abundant. God willed all to be saved and had embraced the world with even greater love because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
John W. O’Malley, The First Jesuits, pp. 83-84
Ever since Paul & I returned from Manresa (Ignatian Immersion Course 2013), my heart, soul, and mind have been focused on all that I discovered in those six-weeks of intense Ignatian immersion.
In Manresa, I grew aware of Ignatius’ early companions and their names have grown more familiar to me. I have just finished a book on Peter Faber (Pedro Fabro, La Cuarta Dimension, Orar y Vivir) and am slowly falling under the spell of this gentle man. I am also reading William O’Malley’s The First Jesuits, where I found the quote above.
My spiritual life seems to want to grow at a glacial speed. Still, every so often, I come across thoughts, ideas, concepts which suddenly illumine my foggy brain and touch my heart in a way which fills it with warmth and joy, bringing tears to my eyes.
I guess it is never too late to realize how much the whole of life is permeated by Godde’s love for it and for each one of us. Basically, Godde’s infinite goodness supports and fills our universe. When this possibility becomes a reality to me, it changes then my own reality. Not only Godde is not after finding faults in what I do and what I am (something I have understood a while back), but Godde wants all that is good for me. If I am graced enough to believe this, then I become open to the divine goodness.
It is so obvious. It becomes so simple.
It also helps me see that Godde’s goodness and grace are available for projects to help others. Instead of fearing the world’s evil forces, I turn then to Godde’s ever-flowing love with infinite gratitude to do Her will where I happen to find myself — there is no fear to have.
Suddenly John’s words (1 Jn 4:18) come back to my mind:
There is no fear in love,
but perfect love drives out fear…
Fear, of course, does not disappear in an instant; the reality of Godde’s love, however, slowly makes fear ‘irrelevant’ and not to be taken into account, or at least be guided by it… Thank you Mr. O’Malley to help me see the reality of Godde’s love and grace.