Note: Kristin is in the midst of a nine-month “retreat in real life” following the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. She shares her path in The Everyday Mystic blog.
In the third preparatory week of the Exercises of St Ignatius, your focus is on God’s deep desire to forgive you. I call this God’s pre-emptive forgiveness, because God is ready to forgive you even before your actions! To let the depth of this promise sink into your soul is liberating and comforting.
One of the passages that we read is the story of the prodigal son, who squanders his inheritance and comes home to his father, who throws a party for him! Here is what I heard from Source about coming home to the Divine:
“A thousand times a day, in thousands of ways, you turn away from Us. You worry about earthly things, you speak harshly, you judge yourself and others, you question the universe’s great abundance, you lose patience. We feast when you come back to sensing Our presence. We celebrate every time you come home to Us. We rejoice every time you turn your face back toward Us! We throw a party!”
In Isaiah 55, we are assured that God will abundantly pardon and have mercy on us. It was during this time that I began to realize a breakthrough concept: There is nothing you or I can do to earn, deserve or lose God’s love for us. God’s love and God’s forgiveness is constant, like the air we breath. We live in it, are enveloped in it, luxuriate in it.
So, we can lean back and relax, right into God’s arms, knowing that we are preemptively forgiven and forever loved.