Although I am not much given to blogging about the saints, today is the feast day of one of my heroes, Ignatius of Loyola is one of my favourites, and it is his feast day today.
I came across his Spiritual Exercises in my twenties I suppose, and I had no idea of their force or meaning. I have come back to them from time to time and found something more each time.
At the moment (and for the last few years) I have not put them aside and they do indeed seem to me a way of understanding what it means to be Christian, and probably what it means to be human.
They are not a 'secret wisdom' (gnosis) but rather a process of making sure that we take notice of what goes on in our lives.
Ignatius noticed that some things console us and other things desolate us. We may make the mistake of thinking that some things perk us up when in relaity they depress us...alcohol for example.
Ignatius reflected a lot about this process, stopping daily to take notice about what was happening in the course of the day. And living out of that reflection.
This, I think, starts to build up a pattern, of understanding and behaviour change and growth which contributes to the intentional life well-lived.
Perhaps today, you might like to stop for 10 minutes and think "What has brought me life?" and/or "What has brought me death?"and to give some thought abouyt how that might affect the next few hours.Then do it again.
I think this works, it is good for Christians. It also works for others!