Contemplation to Attain the Love of God, pt. 2 – The Heart of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola with Fr. Anthony Wieck S.J.
Fr. Anthony Wieck and Kris McGregor continue this series centered around the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. In part two of our conversation, Fr. Wieck discusses contemplation to attain the love of God.
“I feel like in my own prayer too, I don’t know how to do this well, I don’t claim to have mastered this, but one thing I do know how to do is to ask God for the grace. Help me to let go, help me to open up the pores of my being to be saturated in your love, Lord. I know that I get off track, I know I don’t see well, I know I tend to… But I ask that you clear my soul. I ask that you purify my heart. I ask that you open up every pore of my soul to receive more of you, to bask in that, help me to hold the gaze of you, Heavenly Father. Help me to bask in that. I don’t know how to pray as I ought. And yet, I know that you want to open up these crevices, these shafts within me.
And so, I’m asking you to do exactly that. And as the Lord gives us that grace, we’ll be so grateful to the Lord. We won’t pump our chest about being spiritual and be like, wow, Lord, you’re amazing. I asked this prayer and you’re responding to it. You’re allowing me to surfeit myself in your blessings, to be just surfeited in them, to be overwhelmed in them, to be inundated with your blessings. I don’t think we know how to do that as we ought, and I find that consoling though, that that too becomes a gift from God to allow us to enter into this experience. That was just the first point I’ve only touched on in the contemplation to obtain divine love. That’s worth its own prayer, obviously, but that’s the riches and the depths of this prayer.”
Fr. Anthony Wieck is a Jesuit priest of the Central & Southern province. Sixth of nine children, raised on a farm in Oregon, Fr. Anthony began religious life in 1994, spending his first five years of formation in Rome, Italy, studying at the Casa Balthasar and the Gregorian. The former was under the watchful patronage of Pope Benedict XVI (then-Card. Joseph Ratzinger). Fr. Anthony currently acts as retreat master at the White House Jesuit Retreat in St. Louis, Missouri. He also offers spiritual direction at the St. Louis diocesan seminary for 25 future priests there.