Audio Prayer: Revisiting a God moment

There ain’t no good thing ever dies
I’m gonna take it with me when I go

Tom Waits: Take It With Me

I have often talked about ‘repetition’, as Ignatius of Loyola calls it, in these writings, e.g. “Where to start?“, “The Kingdom of Heaven“, and “Repetition“. He invites us to revisit significant moments, “noting and dwelling upon the points where I have felt greater consolation or desolation or greater spiritual relish.” [62] When we do this, we become infused with the graces and insights given to us. This changes us. This is conversion, incrementally, daily.

In particular, because of what’s called “experience-dependent neuroplasticity,” whatever you hold in attention has a special power to change your brain.

Rich Hanson: Pay Attention

Put simply, if we focus on love and trust, we will grow in love and trust. If we focus on fear and resentment, we will foster fear and resentment. Be careful what you pay attention to!

According to Ignatius, times of consolation and desolation come and go in our lives. This is the simple fact of being human. There is no need to congratulate ourselves if we are feeling good, nor do we need to blame ourselves if we are feeling bad. But when we feel good, we can attend to this and store up goodness for when times are hard. When we are struggling we have reserves to draw upon.

When in consolation one must consider how one will bear oneself in the desolation that will follow later, and gather renewed strength for that moment. [323]

In desolation one should keep in mind that by drawing strength from one’s Creator and Lord, one has great power (if grace is enough) to resist every enemy. [324]

Ignatius of Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises

So, here is a fourth audio prayer. While this could be used any time, and frequently, I have recorded this now because it seems important in this time of plague when many people are struggling and in desolation. It is difficult to trust God and to extend love in times of suffering. This prayer is an opportunity to draw on the grace and strength that we have been given at other times so that we may be sustained at this time.

Revisiting a God moment

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These audio prayers are an experiment. Please help me with some feedback, either in the comment section below, or privately using the Contact page.

Sunset over Assisi
Photo: Assisi at sunset, by Julian Maddock

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