My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.
But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Let the believer who is lowly boast in being raised up, and the rich in being brought low, because the rich will disappear like a flower in the field.
For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the field; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. It is the same way with the rich; in the midst of a busy life, they will wither away.
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.
James cautions against doubt and testing. The Pharisees seemed to exasperate Jesus with their questions and agendas. Yikes! How often, if I am speaking to God honestly, does doubt surface in me? “I’ll give you my all, God, except I really need this to work out my way so I’ll just….”
I recall a core maxim of Ignatian spirituality: to see God in all things. But I can zip through the day harried and oblivious to what God has given that day, even my very breath and heartbeat. But St. Ignatius has a brilliant plan: the Examen. At day’s end, and perhaps at midday, he suggests reviewing the day with gratitude, recalling specific events. What am I grateful for? What do I regret? What do I want to savor? And…. what do I ask of God? In doing this, I have been gifted with a growing relationship of love and trust.
—Donna K. Becher, M.S. is an associate spiritual director intern at the West Virginia Institute for Spirituality, Charleston, West Virginia. Her training is rooted in the Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Lord, grant that I may see you more clearly,
love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly,
day by day.
—St. Ignatius of Loyola (Spiritual Exercises #104)Please share the Good Word with your friends!