Beginning Abandonment

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The beginning of the Ignatian Exercises focuses on the fact that despite how you may feel about yourself God loves you here and now--as you are. You don't need to change a thing to be loved. If you are to receive the fruits of that love, things will need to change.

One of the hardest truths of Christianity is that God loves you as you are. The intellectual truth is not difficult--over and over again in the Bible we are told that God loves us. It is almost the breath of scripture--the enduring, abiding, eternal love of God for His wayward chldren. But it is very difficult for that head truth to trickle down to the heart. Few of us feel loved even if we know that it is true. More importantly, few of us feel lovable (and for those who do, they are often insufferable).

The beginning of abandoment lies in understanding the depth of God's love for us. You cannot abandon or surrender yourself to a disinterested party--that way lies disaster. But how do we begin to internalize the reality of God's love for us?

First, we pay attention. To one who is paying the least attention, every moment of every day is a revelation of God's love--in the beauty of the Earth, in the people who surround us, in the things that happen to us. If we trace over the incidents of our lives to our present day, we will see His hand gently guiding us to the present circumstance. Sometimes, that circumstance does not appear to be of the best--it may seem that God's love fails. But is it His Love, or our acceptance of that love? Is it His love or our choices that too often fail?

The beginning of surrender is to know that we are not lovable, and yet, nevertheless, we are loved. This central truth of Christianity must become part of us indelibly before we can become whole. The beginning of surrender is to look at the One who loves you and to acknowledge that you are loved.

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And, perhaps, it is precisely because it is the beginning of surrender that acknowledging that we are loved can be so difficult.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 1, 2005 8:05 AM.

More Texas Questions was the previous entry in this blog.

Urgent Prayers for the Holy Father Needed is the next entry in this blog.

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