Silently Blooming

It’s this time of year, when the nights are long and the days cold and rainy, that I begin to accompany people through the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises Retreat in Daily Life. These retreatants embark on a nine-month journey with Christ, asking that their only desire and one choice would be to want and choose what better leads to God’s deepening life in them. They ask this knowing they have other desires that lead them astray. In their prayers, God gently reveals their inordinate desires. Then, bravely and humbly, they name them when they come to me for spiritual direction.

It’s also this time of year that my Christmas cactus blooms in the room where we meet. The first bud has blossomed, but fifty or more are silently waiting to reveal their glory. These buds remind my retreatants and me that Christ is with us on this journey–already in the womb, growing to full term, about to be born in us. Each new flower reassures us that something beautiful will come of their willingness to be vulnerable.

In the song I Shall Not Want, Audrey Assad names the desires that can enslave us.

 From the love of my own comfort
From the fear of having nothing
From a life of worldly passions
Deliver me, O God
From the need to be understood
From the need to be accepted
From the fear of being lonely

Refrain:
Deliver me, O God
Deliver me, O God
And I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

From the fear of serving others
From the fear of death or trial
From the fear of humility

“Deliver me from these,” I pray. “And these–”

From the fear of feeling shitty
From the love of my own voice
From holding onto manna
Deliver me, O God.
From complacency and selfishness
From my absence to your presence
From indulging guilty pleasures
Deliver me, O God.
Deliver me, O God.

Like my retreatants, I too long for the day when my only desire is what leads to God’s deepening life in me. And that longing comes from God who is silently blooming.

God, you’re not afraid of my feelings
or ashamed of any part of me.
You loosen my grip on security
and listen to what’s under my complacency.
You are present in my absence
and circle back to show me where.

You forgive me seven million times
and more,
and more,
and more.

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
–Psalm 23:1

* * *

Love Mischief for the World

“Audrey Assad is the daughter of a Syrian refugee, an author, speaker, producer, and critically lauded songwriter and musician. She releases music she calls “soundtracks for prayer” on the label Fortunate Fall Records, which she co-owns with her husband. She is also one half of the pop band LEVVwhose debut EP peaked at #17 on the iTunes Alternative chart.” —audreyassad.com

In this video, Audrey Assad shares her journey through dark valleys with God and the healing that has come to her and is still waiting for her. The love mischief she and God do for the world involves creativity, boldness, and vulnerability. Thank you, Audrey.

What love mischief are you and God doing to care for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“Lonely” by R. Halfpaap. Used with permission.
“Early Bud” by Michael.PortrayingLife.com. Used with permission.
Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2017.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2017.  http://www.estherhizsa.com 

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Ignatian Spirituality, Poverty of Spirit, Prayer, Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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