In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the Lord: “Remember now, O Lord, I implore you, how I have walked before you in faithfulness with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of your ancestor David: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and defend this city. Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a lump of figs, and apply it to the boil, so that he may recover.”
Hezekiah also had said, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord?” “This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he has promised: See, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps.” So the sun turned back on the dial the ten steps by which it had declined.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
For St. Ignatius, reverence means “emptying of oneself” in order to be filled. In his Spiritual Journal, he speaks of how often he is moved by tears, tears which emptied him of his desires, his pride, and his ego. He believed this was the greatest grace he ever encountered. Like Hezekiah emptying himself on his deathbed, Ignatius knew the way to holiness was in his emptiness. He knew that it was only in losing ourselves and embracing everything else that we could begin to lose ourselves in God. It allows for all spiritual things of this world and the next to live in us, and then become an integral part of us. St. Ignatius knew it was only when we lose ourselves that we can truly reverence God. And it’s only in that reverence that we can begin to meet the true needs of others, to give them our lives filled with God.
How will you empty yourself today? Who needs you more than your busy life needs you today?
—Deacon Chuck Thompson is the Director of Adult Ministry at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.
Most glorious God, bless me today
with Your wholehearted and faithful love,
as I continue to try to live my life in Your name,
I owe you all.
You have saved my life, O Son of David,
I shall not die, but live in You.
I am not perfect, but Your love is.
May I be made perfect in You,
and blessed by our Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
May you be my shield, the light upon my path,
always my source of faith and infinite mercy,
as I make my way through this broken world —
none as broken as me, and none as blessed.
—Deacon Chuck ThompsonPlease share the Good Word with your friends!