What is wonderfully surprising in Ignatian spirituality is the invitation to trust our deepest desire. That desire is God’s unique gift to us, guiding us along the path to God.
Many of us have learned to think of God’s will as something outside ourselves, an external blueprint that we must follow. Nothing is further from the truth; we find God within ourselves when we get in touch with our deepest desire. Of course that doesn’t come easily: we have all sorts of competing desires, and we need to pay close attention to them if we are to sift through them and unearth what is at our core.
There is an ancient legend from India that says that, once upon a time, humans shared in God’s wisdom, but that they so abused it that God and his heavenly court decided to take it away from them and hide it until they were mature enough to appreciate it.
But where should they hide it? One angel suggested, ‘Let us bury it deep within the earth,’ but God said, ‘No, they will dig down into the earth and find it’. Another angel said, ‘Let’s take it to the top of the highest mountain and hide it there,’ while another said, ‘Let’s hide it in the depth of the ocean’. But God rejected both suggestions: ‘They will eventually climb every mountain and explore the depths of every sea’.
‘Then there is nowhere to hide it,’ said the angels. God thought for a long time and then said, ‘Here is what we will do. We will hide it deep within their being; they will never think of looking there’. And since then, the story goes, humans have been searching outside themselves for their deepest meaning, never realising that is buried within them in their deep heart’s core.
The time has come for us to start listening to our deepest self. Ask the Lord to help you.
I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me.
– St Paul
My me is God, I know no other self save in him. – St Catherine of Genoa