Sunday, September 21, 2014

Now I feel the sacred flame


21 de septiembre, 2014

An invitation to come and rest. Two weeks ago Cameron sent me this invitation, and it has been whispering in my ear, an invitation.

Be at rest, my soul,
O blessed secret of the true life that glorifies the Lord:
Not always does the busiest soul best serve him, but he that rests upon his faithful word.
Be at rest, let not your heart be rippled,
For tiny wavelets mar the image fair,
Which the still pool reflects of heaven's glory-and this the image he would have you bear.
Be at rest, my soul, for rest is service,
To the still heart God does his secrets tell...
For God is rest, and where he dwells is stillness,
And they who dwell in Him, His rest will share.
And what will meet the deep unrest around you,
But the calm peace of God that filled his breast?
For still a living Voice calls to the weary,
From Him who said, "come unto me and rest."

As I begin Invitations, a path of spiritual formation built on Ignatius’ Exercises, there is a warning by the author Brian Rice. I use the word invitation to this volume of Exercises, for God does invite us to freely choose what He holds to to us. Still, the word invitation may be too “weak” of a word, for God’s invitations often come as summons. A summons has more “weight” and “substance” than an invitation. A summons has the sense of “one dare not refuse to answer” the summons. Perhaps we should understand it this way. God first gives us an invitation. If we resist His invitations, the persistent, sovereign God reissues the invitation to us as a summons that has greater urgency. If we continue to resist His summons, we may soon discover that the summons is now a command that has the promise of blessing and the warning of unwanted consequences should the command be ignored.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner.

Mercy. Mercy looks a lot like a sunlit jungle garden with treetop birds calling back and forth to each other, and Spanish love songs playing dimly in the background. Was it only four days ago that I lay on the bedroom floor sobbing my heart out without hope?

Coming to an end of self.

Spiritual exercises which have as their purpose the conquest of self. Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our LORD. Consequently, as far as we are concerned, we should not prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to dishonor, a long life to a short life. The same holds for all other things. -Ignatius

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner.

What I desire: To have a “largeness of heart” toward my Lord God. To have a strong readiness and wide-openness toward Christ and His purposes.

Prayer: Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given all to me. To Thee, O Lord, I return it. All is Thine, dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and Thy grace, for this is sufficient for me.

My liberty. My memory. Memories. My understanding. My entire will. Take Lord, I return them. All is Thine. Dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. A wide-openness toward Christ and His purposes: That God will do all that He has promised.

This is a disposition of the heart that has enormous trust toward God, strong hope and faith in God and which is willing to make a deep surrender to God.

Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable His judgments and His paths beyond tracing out!
Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been His counselor?
Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?
For from Him and through Him and in Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36

My smart little google brain knows where I am, and all of my searching brings up Spanish.

How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out. Who could have imagined the path begun in the dusty play of Ejido Cuernavaca tracing to this quiet spot in Antigua, Guatemala? And yet. And yet. From the beginning of time, by which He is not bound.

Stand back.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner.

Most of all I am struck by the tremendous mercy of God, reaching into my sinful soul, and ripping out self. What mercy, what grace to be saved from oneself.

All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
And in His presence I will live
I surrender all, I surrender all.