St. Ignatius Loyola reminds us that there is no friendship with Christ without making a concrete decision to follow him.
In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius Loyola invites us to walk on a path that helps us order our lives according to God’s teachings. We must choose Jesus Christ as our true foundation. For St. Ignatius, this means letting go of anything that gets in the way of loving and serving Jesus. This could mean my bad habits, my sins, and even time-wasting activities such as excessive social media. Making space in my heart for Jesus means that all of my decisions and actions flow from him.
The Way of the Heart, born in the light of the Spiritual Exercises, takes this proposal of St. Ignatius as a foundational part of our journey.
How does this dynamic impact The Way of the Heart? Throughout the entire process, the pilgrim is invited to enter ever more deeply into a personal friendship with Christ, to configure his heart with that of the Lord, to accept his invitation and to collaborate in a mission of compassion for the world. There is no friendship with Christ that is not embodied in a decision, no matter how small. The Way of the Heart is a 9-step spiritual pathway rooted in the vision of St. Ignatius. In Step 5, I consider how “Jesus calls us his friends and invites us to a personal and intimate covenant of love with him.”
Following Christ is not an abstract decision; rather, it is a response to an invitation. Jesus wants to be my friend. He wants to walk with me; he calls me to be a missionary in daily life, to be “with him” and to labor “like him.”
The Way of the Heart leads me deeper into the Body of Christ, the Church! In particular, I pray for the monthly intentions of the Holy Father with the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network [Apostleship of Prayer]. These intentions are like a compass, centered in the Heart of Jesus and pointing out the needs facing the Church and the world. I pray, and I labor— in my own way, in my local community. It is like offering my own “loaves and fishes” into the hands of Jesus; he can multiply my humble offering to bless and feed many people.
Inspired by St. Ignatius, may we always choose Christ in our decisions, big and small, and walk together on the Way of the Heart.
- Bettina Raed
Regional Director Pope’s Prayer Network Argentina – Uruguay
One comment on “A spirituality of always choosing Christ”
Is the 9-step spiritual pathway referred to in the article, the same as the 9-day retreat? Also, listening to Fr. Joe, i got the impression that he was going to be leading the retreat. Is this correct or will we do out retreat by ourselves?
Thanks, and God Bless
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