Saturday, August 1, 2009
Letters from Maryland on Ignatian Spirituality
Here is the second part of Jean's letter talking about Margaret Silf and Ignatian Spirituality. I just want to add that we have been using Margaret's book, Inner Compass in my reflection group all year.
If I were to pick my favorite author on Ignatian spirituality it would be Bill Barry, S.J. who has some wonderful books. Maybe I will get Jean to dialogue with me about some of them.
The Exercises are riches that have come down to us from Ignatius and a small group of friends and involve the ministry of companionship. The Exercises are not an end but a beginning.
Margaret Silf also gives concrete suggestions for dealing with consolation and desolation. She points out that to use the tool called discernment we must come to stillness and in the silence of our hearts wait patiently for the compass needle to steady so we can move forward again.
Some concrete steps to take in desolation:
Tell God how you feel and ask for help
Seek out companionship
Don’t go back on decisions you made in Consolation
Recall a time of consolation and go back to it in imagination
Look for someone who needs your help and turn your attention to them
Go back to # 1.
Tell God how you feel and thank him
Store this moment in your memory to return to when things get tough
Use the energy you feel to further your deepest desires
Let the surplus energy fuel the things you don’t like doing and do them
Go back to #1.
Any of her books you can find will be invaluable aids in both understanding and practicing Ignatian spirituality.