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”?