The Exercises made me confront, with highly uncomfortable regularity, the question of what is real. The glory and the great challenge of them was having a regular date with authenticity: a moment each day that forces you to check all the buzz and bluster of your daily momentum at the door, and wait, alone and still, under a gaze that refuses to see anything but what is real. Doing that over and over, it astonished me to discover how much of what preoccupied me was sheer illusion, how quickly every little sprouting bud of my humanity could get lost again and again under a crust of self-absorption. But I also learned that if you wait patiently, in that quiet moment, there’s a chance to know how simple God’s desires for us really are: just to be his child, to know the joys of play and the pains of growth, and to trust our parent’s love and wisdom even when we can’t yet see clearly for ourselves.
John Michael Parrish, Associate Professor, Political Science