At the end of the fourth week – after contemplating various post-resurrection narratives – we reach a beautiful and original Ignatian contemplation – often referred to by Jesuits as just The Contemplatio. The goal of this is to know how to love as God loves….. wait a second ….. go back and read that last sentence again….. the goal of this is to know how to love as God loves! If that is not something worth investigating then what is!
Ignatius starts with 2 suppositions…
1) Love shows itself in deeds not in words
2)Love is a constant and generous sharing between the lover and the beloved and vice versa.
Let us recall that Ignatius is famous for the gift of tears. Most of his spiritual notes / diaries were burnt at his request before his death, but what survives of his spiritual diary is full of references to ‘tears’. Tears whislt saying mass, whislt making a discernment, even whilst gazing at the stars. It seems that he frequently and intensively felt the magnificent sense of Gods love. Some of his contemporaries even claim that his face would be luminous at times as though radiating an inner light. Seomething quickkly notice by children on the streets of Manresa, Paris or Rome. So he is worth listening to when he talks about Gods love!
After the presuppositions there are four points of consideration that lead into the Contemplation A) God Gives Gifts
B)You are a guft (God is present in you as well as other gifts)
C) God is dynamic - He is constantly giving and recieving
D) He (She) deisres us to be part of this dynamism – so that we become co-creators
Love is a powerful word – we are limited in English – but this love of God is close to the agape of the Greeks – self giving love (as opposed to eros - the possesive love that is exhausted, philia - friendship, or storge- affection). When we experience this self-giving love we are drawn into responding (not compelled) but this uncondition – self giving love – calls us out of ourselves.
That is definately worth meditating on! How much is this type of love part of my life?