Thursday, October 06, 2016

Daily word, 06 Oct 16

27th Thursday (06 Oct 2016) Gal 15. 1-11; Ps 118; Lk 2. 33-35
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J. during 40-day Institute, Guelph, Ontario
Trusting Experience
We heard a most exasperated St. Paul. The reason? People denied their experience. Those who had heard his preaching of the cross of Jesus experienced its power within and among them; Paul no sooner left, and in the face of challengers they denied what they had experienced by their faith. The news astonished Paul: he trusted risen Jesus.1 He witnessed they did, too. That the Galatians would deny their experience was foolish—unwise, indeed.

Trust is vital on retreat. I trust St. Ignatius of Loyola. My trust deepened from my first Ignatian retreat. His Spiritual Exercises let me experience our triune God in ways I can access daily. I can’t repeat my experiences, but I do live from them—some days better than others.

You are realizing your desire to make Ignatian Exercises. You have done much to be here; the greater power is God’s: you have cooperated with the gift God has given you. As they empower you, your retreats will challenge you—they challenge everyone. They will reward you, as well. Most challenges people generally do not invite; some are unwelcome. Certain unwelcome challenges profit us immeasurably. Usually we recognize our profit after a while.

On retreat, as in the gospel, Jesus is our friend who challenges. To me a friend’s challenge feels sharper than another’s. At the same time, I feel more secure at a friend’s challenge. During retreat Jesus visits us always as friend. He may visit in the midnight darkness of our soul; still he visits as friend. Opening ourselves to Jesus gains us more than our self-preservation—like the one visited at midnight in his parable. Opening to Jesus is the doorway to our transformation: as individuals in our human relationships; as disciples Jesus called and continues to call to deeper friendship and more effective ministries and lives.

Do let Jesus befriend you these days. Place yourselves in the care of Jesus, his mother, your patron saints. Become absorbed in them and in all sainted people you know and have known. Those are great helps on retreat. Ignatian exercises are another experience of the holy Spirit from heaven2 given to everyone who freely enters them.

Beg for deeper trust.Trust Jesus, his Father and Holy Spirit. Trust St. Ignatius: every moment give yourselves—mind, intentions, deep desires. Trust your spiritual directors guiding you. Especially trust your experience.

  1. Galatians 1.6-12, Monday’s reading at mass.
  2. The Greek also may be translated this way. Also, Luke’s gospel describes Holy Spirit as power from on high (24.49; Acts 1.4, 8; also Lk 1.35). 

Wiki-images: by Pjposullivan of Loyola House, Guelph, Ontario CC BY-SA 3.0; by Thelittlethings Love of Wald im Naturpark Taunus CC BY-SA 3.0

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