Ignatian Wisdom #5: Participation in God

September 14, 2011

At the end of St. Ignatius’ spiritual exercises is a reflection on the “Contemplation to attain Divine Love (contemplacio)”.  In it it states, “All that I am and all I have are a participation in God”.  The Contemplacio is repeated numerous times in the fourth week of the exercises.  Every time I have prayed with the “Contemplacio” I am struck by those words, “All that I am and all I have are a participation in God.”

At times those words can overwhelm me.  Does that mean all the roles (woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, granddaughter, lay minister) I have in my life are a participation in God?  I believe the answer is “yes”.  Re-framing it in that way, though, calls me to be in relationship with others in a completely different way.  I am faced with answering the question of “How do I love the people I come in contact with and share relationships with as God loves them?”

By loving Chris, Brady, and Abby, I am participating in God’s love for them.  This challenges me especially on those days when my patience is short and my temper flares or on days where I am anything but fully present to the three of them.  How is that participating in God’s love? 

When you read the phrase, “all that I am and all that I have are participation in God,” what comes to mind?
What do you feel called to as you pray and reflect on “participating in God’s love”?

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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