Of the many celebrations of St Ignatius to be found on the net yesterday I was most touched by this brief post from the Trappist Abbey of St Joseph in Spenser, MA.
Ignatius was so certain of the Lord’s deep love for each person, that at the conclusion of his Spiritual Exercises he invites the retreatant to ponder: quanto el Señor desea dárseme (how much the Lord wants to give himself to me.) Given this endless loving desire of our God and Lord, our only work minute by minute all day long is to allow the Lord easy access to our hearts.
August 1st, 2014
Campion Hall Chapel – Holy Spirit Baldacchino
Yesterday was my first time preaching for several years. The hearers were a very Jesuit bunch: the summer remnant at Campion Hall, plus 20-odd youngish Jesuits here to study English for a month, plus one or two guests. I had a safety net in that the presider at Mass who asked me to preach was ready to stand in if necessary.
Writing the homily was a joy — slipping back into something I had long enjoyed but recently foregone — and, some fretting aside, the giving of it went well with the reminder of how much I used to love preaching. Later I received plenty of affirmation.
Before I stood up to preach I was thinking ‘why haven’t I done this before now?’ When I sat down I remembered! I had to stay seated through the rest of Mass — palpitations, sweats and shaky legs; dizziness, brain fog, and stomach cramps. The ensuing posh celebration dinner was an enjoyable but hard to stay focussed on. The good news is that this morning I don’t feel particularly bad beyond a fuzzy, hangovery head.
If the repercussions continue to be limited I will repeat the experiment. I have even created a blog category for ‘Homilies|Oxford’.
Update: I spoke to soon!
August 1st, 2014