Who Is In Charge Here?

paths

Never say never. That is what “they” say. So true, of course but we don’t always pay attention to such sayings as these. In the spiritual life, we often forget who is in charge. I know I do.
I am  a Benedictine Oblate. I felt called to the Benedictine spirituality many years ago and became a Benedictine oblate back in 2000. It was at the monastery where I was attending classes to be certified as a spiritual director.
I have often talked to my directees about the need to listen and to follow the Holy Spirit. The Spirit calls us to follow a certain path and then changes that path many times over. We who have been on the spiritual journey for a long time chuckle over that somewhat. Indeed our paths often go in directions we could never have predicted.
For years I have said that the Ignatian way is not for me. I did not feel drawn to the Ignatian spirituality or form of prayer. I did not feel drawn to Ignatian contemplation. Oh, I love how Jesuits write and speak about finding God in our daily lives. After all, isn’t that what this podcast is all about?
But Ignatian contemplation was a kind of stumbling block to me. I just didn’t feel drawn to it at all. I have been more drawn to Benedictine and Carmelite kinds of contemplative prayer. And monastic spirituality.
Now all of a sudden things have changed. Oh, I am still a Benedictine oblate and will be one forever. That is my lifelong commitment and I am still drawn to that spirituality. But if I thought that my prayer life would be the same forever, well, what was I thinking?
Nowadays I am suddenly drawn to Ignatian contemplation, more specifically the Spiritual Exercises. I found myself drawn to them throughout Lent and now even more so. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on and I am hungry to know more. Really hungry.
Famished, you might say.
Yes, the Lord is up to something. I am being drawn to something. It may just be for me. For my prayer life. Change it up a little.
Or maybe not. Could be for my experience and/or knowledge as a spiritual director and retreat leader.
It is certainly a puzzle and I do not have all the pieces yet.
I don’t know where this path is leading me, but I am confident I will enjoy the trip.
I just need to remember who is leading the way.

6 Responses »

  1. In God’s love affair with us He is always surprising us with the unexpected.

  2. Yes He is! Our God of surprises.

  3. Wonderful reflection, Colleen. I was always a little intimidated by Ignatian spirituality-especially the Exercises, but about two or three years ago, I found myself somewhat immersed in this spirituality without my even realizing it. Everything I read had something to do with the Exercises or was written by a Jesuit (Fr. Michael Gaitley being one of my favorites). So I understand what you have said here perfectly. When we realize that God, through His Holy Spirit, is in charge we stop fighting the promptings and find abundant graces in what God has put before us.
    Thanks for this reminder of Who is in charge.
    PS-love Barb’s comment.

    • Karin, thank you! I love Barb’s comment too! And you are right – when we realize God is in charge, we stop fighting. Why does it take us so long to realize Who is in charge? 🙂

  4. Great article, Colleen. I have to admit I’m a bit of a “spiritual mutt” but this may become clearer with time. Maybe 🙂

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