"Our one desire and choice should be what is more conducive to the end for which we are created." St Ignatius of Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises
Even this, Ignatius? When all are in retreat in their homes, when consoling and desolating spirits vy for the attention of every moment, when truth is in short supply and what truth we have is despair,
even now can we catch divine movement behind a face mask, hear the Spirit call beyond garden walls, see will and purpose despite ailing hope, even now can we notice Christ animate the soul though it flags and fails?
As the changing but constant expectations of a year that no-one chose keep knocking and the day of the Lord lingers and tarries from my watch-post, I long
to take this one quietly, on the bench, with Saul and the others who couldn't run the race. No shame in being worn out when the swift themselves are flagging and the flags are all at half-mast or lower. No prizes for laps of honour, least of all in a mask. Preserve breath, preserve what energy you have left, I say.
I say. Though my words burn and I would be better served not to speak but to hear. A voice like a whisper, like fire, like a victor: My yoke is easy. My burden is light. No shoulders strong enough for burdens today; even then, there is grace.
Can I sit attentive to the voice of many waters and yet move, serve, respond?
Can I act, responsive to a world of burning rubble and yet listen, stop and breathe?
Full of many things, I forget to choose the better part. Caught in mindless bustle, I catch eternity in the friction that grinds to a hault. O bless the failure that drives me kneeward. Bless the gravel that stirs up my knees to stretch and rise.