In this time of chaos, we need to find a way of centering in order to discern what is the best direction to take. What are the best actions needed during such times for oneself, those we are directly responsible for and in our community?
In this a long-term testing ( during the pandemic), we are called even more so to be contemplatives in action, in maintaining an external and internal calmness in the midst of these exceptional stress filled circumstances.
In caring for others, we tend to forget that we can only fulfill that role unless we apply that to ourselves in being a servant leader. Action in the right direction is love embodied as wrote St. Ignatius.
" Love is to desire the good for the other, and to do what we can within our abilities and circumstances to help." Pope Benedict
Yet the way we have been designed with finite abilities having infinite desires often brings up a dissonance mosaic of complexities between our affective and cognitive inner worlds. What shall I do? Where am I called? Aligning our heart and head takes an openness and willingness to let both speak and to listen.
Discernment in the Ignatian tradition is a method for seeking that harmony between the heart and head thus providing a reasoned direction on where to proceed for action. Yet it is a process that presupposes one has been developing one's contemplative nature.
The nature of a contemplative is simple, it is a natural built-in mechanism, a way of rebalancing. We have a body and mind connection with our soul.
St. Thomas Aquinas wrote about the 8 powers of the human soul. The 2 governing powers are intellect and will – giving us the ability for knowing and loving – which they are there to perfect and override the mind - body’s negative or overreactions to a stressor. It is to be called into action when our inner conscience speaks, “how can I be more of my better self?”
The discipline of a contemplative is simple –daily set aside time to enter Into the Silence - Prayer of Silent Love - thus allowing for a flourishing and openness of the heart, and a calmness of mind and body to be able to listen to those prompts of the Holy Spirit.
For a contemplative is one who has accepted the gift of being loved by God, and desires to see each moment and every encounter as a gift from God, seeking the grace of gratefulness.
Method of prayer 'INTO THE SILENCE'