Having experienced decades of winters here in Minnesota, I really enjoy the vibrancy of spring. The last two months of trees budding, crocuses blooming, and grass greening, shouted, “Life is here!” This spring has been especially life-filled as the winter of the pandemic slowly gave way to the hope of a summer marked by gatherings and travel and face-to-face conversations. It is deeply satisfying to experience this part of life starting again.
This starting again has a spiritual component. It is spiritual in that sense of being connected with something larger than myself while simultaneously being rooted in a meaningful and particular life. In the metaphor of nature, each bloom has its stem and roots that dive into the soil while each bud has its own place along the twig, and all those instances combine to create fields and hillsides of new life. Reflecting on the metaphor of nature and savoring the experience of spring are practices that help me notice my own specific expression of life and come to understand that I am a part of something far beyond me.
Five hundred years ago, a Spanish mystic began his own spiritual journey. Ignatius of Loyola came to recognize the “something larger than himself” was God and that God was active everywhere – in work, relationships, culture, the arts, and each person. This perspective is central to Ignatian spirituality. It is often expressed as finding God in all things.
As the grip of the pandemic loosens and the hopes for summer turn into actual gatherings, I want to bring this sense of spirituality along. Not to preach or convert, but rather to be more attentive, to savor the conversations, to experience life more fully because of a connection with a God who is present and active in the particulars of the moment.
How about you? How might a sense of spirituality be beneficial in your starting again?
Spiritual direction is an ancient practice that creates a space to talk with another person about your experience of connection with something greater in the particulars of your life. At Loyola, our spiritual directors are trained and seasoned listeners. We would be glad to hear your story.