Friday, March 6, 2009

"Three Jesuits Speak"

I think I may have mentioned somewhere before that "Three Jesuits Speak" by de Lubac is one of my all time favorite spiritual works. Maybe I just read it at a good time, but every time I return to it, it continues to offer depths of insight that particularly help me affectively, opening my heart to new desires. The following long quote is, I think, a good explanation of the whole point of the Spiritual Exercises, as well as the whole goal of the spiritual life, and definitely the goal of Lent. Maybe it will help you.
“Oh my dear friend, I want to give myself to you in a personal way, I want to enrich you, though I am myself so poor, with what is most truly, most inherently myself. It is not my body that I want to surrender to you but rather my soul. But here is an insuperable problem here: I am irremediably walled up in myself: How could the two of us ever be able to say ‘I’ together? Tell me, are we not spiritually imprisoned? Nevertheless, I want to escape into you. My only way to escape is to take possession of what can be possessed in you. I assume your gestures, your expressions, your voice and make them my gestures, my expressions, my voice. I assume your knowledge, what you have read and experienced, your struggles, your falls; I make them my own. And if I delve into your nature like this, my dear friend, as one digs down into a mountain, it is not through covetousness, nor is it because I want to take possession of what I find or to assimilate you into myself. Rather, I am looking for a passageway. I am digging a trench. Please try to understand what I am doing by the very direction my efforts take. I am going from superficial skin into the depths of your soul. If I therefore try to assume your gestures, for example, it is because I really want to reach your heart. And I want to possess you heart in order to take the measure of your desires. And I want to possess your desires only in order to reach you will. And I want to possess your will only in order to reach the source, your freedom, in other words, your person, hidden there at the source. My dear friend, if ever I should succeed in this, if ever I should touch you, bring me into yourself!” Charles Nicolet, SJ, quoted in "Three Jesuits Speak" by Henri de Lubac
Nathan O'Halloran, SJ

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