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The Presence of Jesus 26 Dec 2023

Over the last months I listened to podcasts around the spiritual exercises of Saint Ignatius. This remarkable saint thinks very simple and right in the here and now. I can experience the joy of Jesus or I can not. In the case of the not, an enemy prevents me to experience God's love. Jesus is ever present for the saint. Whether I can experience it or not. I admire this logic.

The Enemy

Let's make things clear. I need to take time to experience the loving Jesus. When I choose to ignore Jesus, I am my own enemy.
When I truly seek to meet Jesus, the church offers sacraments. Again, I do have the choice not to benefit from those, especially the Eucharist and confession. I know by experience, that I need to concentrate on meeting Jesus. I need to open my heart. And when I can not find Jesus in the sacraments of the church, I need to seek help. Jesus recommends: "seek, knock and ask." Do not give up easily. Jesus loves to be found, especially by sinners like you and me. I add a little. To find effective help, I need to be willing to do the work I am advised to do. Else all help is useless. And again, I am my own enemy.
When those things do not help, I need to resist the enemy who blocks the love of Jesus from me. How can I resist a hidden enemy? Saint Ignatius gives 14 rules to resist the enemy. It is like a "seek, knock and ask." For the short term, I need to continue all the good works I had earlier chosen to do. The enemy of Jesus hates good works. In the longer term, I should not struggle alone. I should seek the help of a capable spiritual guide who helps me to get to know the artworks of my enemy. I need to be honest and open to share where I struggle with prayer, sin and Jesus.

Not Almighty

My enemy is not almighty like Jesus. He does not have the authority to withhold the love of Jesus from me.

My biggest enemy might be the sins which I believe I am entitled to commit. Even when God and the church say that it is wrong.

A total block is when I do not seek the love hidden in the honest relationships I am supposed to have.


Jesus, draw me closer.

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