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The Charism and Gift of St. Ignatius – 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. This episode goes into the gift of charism and describes it as the first two parts of a triptych.
An excerpt from the conversation:
“Yes, I think you say it well because you’re speaking about how we’re drawn into that self-giving and self receiving a dynamic. So, I receive the other as a gift and I give myself as gift. So, as the father completely gives himself to the Son and holds back nothing. And the father is all about the Son. And even if you’re going to use technical Trinitarian language, I taught a course on the Holy Trinity at the seminary here. St. Thomas Aquinas says the father doesn’t have a relationship with the Son, the father is that relationship with the Son. It defines his very person as to be the father of the Son. And so, to the Son doesn’t have a relationship with the Father, as if he’s substantial of himself without the Father, but he is that relationship with the Father. All of this in the Holy Spirit, which is the spirit of love, that walls up between both of them.
It’s the spirit of complete self-gift in receiving. The other is gift. So, the Son receives himself eternally and at every moment as a gift from the Father. So, this is the dynamic of receiving oneself of gift, receiving all of creation as gift.
And then I have no greater desire than to do what? To give myself back as a gift, as I allow myself to be overwhelmed with the love of God and the greatness of God and the majesty of God and the ever greater. He loves that phrase ever greater. That ever greater ness of God. This is key to my healthy response of complete surrender and self-gift. Part of that goes back to the Lateran Council IV. It’s a definition in 1215 about what an analogy is. So, what the church defined there in 1215 was that between God and his creatures, within every similarity, there’s a greater dissimilarity. So, God is loving and I can be loving, God is wise, I can be wise to some degree. So, there are similarities between us and God. But within that similarities, there’s an ever greater dissimilarity. That’s a beautiful gift though, and it’s an invitation to love to receive that ever greater love, the divine love, and to live from that divine love and respond in divine love.”
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 White House Jesuit Retreat in St. Louis, Missouri. He also offers spiritual direction at the St. Louis diocesan seminary for 25 future priests there.