To my new dear friend, St. Ignatius,
“If it is meant to be yours, it will seek you.”
This is one of the many lessons you have driven into my mind and heart throughout this retreat, which now looking back, is so very fitting since that is how you and I began our friendship.
I was seeking a deeper love and knowledge of the heart of Jesus in the Scriptures and I was not at all interested in Retreat in Daily Life.
I didn’t know what it was and I was already friends with God, so I thought, “Ohh, that is not for me.”
That is when God laughed, shook His head and kept placing you in my life over and over and over again until I finally said, “Fine! I’ll look into what this retreat thing is all about.”
In July, I was hungry for a deeper relationship with Jesus and God’s Word. In July, I was desperate to create a habit of daily prayer. Because of what you have taught me, I can now say without fear, in July I was being attacked in my prayer by evil spirits. In July, I was desperate to mature my discernment process.
Nine months later, I look at my time with you and feel God’s loving consolation.
The lessons you have shared, your words and your determined faith have been the greatest hospital for my tormented spirit.
The Spirit, through you, has picked, poked and prodded at all aspects of who I am.
God has shown me the good, the bad and the ugly of “me” while, at all steps, gently reminding me of the love He has for me … in my giftedness and brokenness.
We have looked at my pride, my laziness, my control issues, and my overcommitted tendencies. We have dug deep into relationships and the scary truth of my ability to sin horrible sins.
You have helped me realize how badly I need to “take God out of the box.”
You have reminded me over and over again to, “Above all, trust in the slow work of God.”
Then, in God’s perfect timing, you have helped me discern deeper into my vocation.
You have deepened, truly deepened, my love and belief in the Eucharist along the way.
I love being Catholic, I love it. I love it. My dear friend, St. Ignatius, you have taken that love to a level that only makes me hungry for more Catholic.
You have taught me how to read and LIVE in Scripture in a way I never knew existed.
That … that, is one of the most precious gifts you have given me.
Through this you have brought me close to the heart of Our Mother Mary.
You have shown me the importance of spiritual direction and I am overwhelmed with appreciation for its existence.
St. Ignatius, please keep praying for me. Through this process of spiritual growth I see how very far away I am from living like a saint. There is so much more work to do in my heart and I need your prayers.
Copyright 2018 Stephanie Stovall