With a grateful heart, I came away from tonight’s session, the first night of the Pentecost Triduum. Yes, we had our first session from Fr. Matthew Linn, SJ and I was. . . truly, GRATEFUL.
It does seem to me that this is a word close to the heart of St Ignatius of Loyola. I first encountered this when I was at a silent retreat many years ago in Chiangmai. There I was, sitting before the Blessed Sacrament. As I remained before the True Presence of Jesus, Lord of the Universe, King of kings and Lord of lords, a strong deep sense of gratitude filled my heart. I wondered to myself. Who am I to deserve this time of peace and silence before Jesus? What have I done to be given this grace? The more I pondered, the more I experienced the deep love of my Saviour. Words could not even begin to describe the immense love that simply overwhelmed me, filling me so fully, so abundantly, so richly!
When I met up with my retreat master, Fr. David, I shared with him my deep gratitude for the fact that I was right there, making a retreat of several days. There I was, in the silence and in the love of my Lord. Meanwhile the world went on with its whirl of frenzy. The world went on with its noise, its pollution, its fair share of trials, tribulations, sorrows and pain. I was there, sheltered for days from the hustle and the bustle. I was there, being healed of my wounds and don’t we all have them in this world?
And Fr. David told me that it was a good feeling that I was having. Gratitude. He encouraged me to cultivate that gift and to keep recalling moments of gratitude. Now I understand. . . that had begun my process of healing in every sense of the word – emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual. Tonight Fr. Linn told us that with a grateful heart, miracles can take place. Miracles! Don’t we all want them?
Let me leave you now and dwell on five good things to be grateful for on this day. . . Alleluia!