The place the Magic Occurs – Ignatian Spirituality

diagram of where the magic happens in relation to comfort zone - drawing by Lisa Kelly

I used to be listening to an audio Spanish lesson once I had a religious revelation. The trainer was encouraging college students to imagine of their means to talk a overseas language. He famous that folks usually quit as a result of immersion requires them to go means past their consolation zones. The perception he provided, although, was that the “magic” of talking a brand new language doesn’t occur far past our consolation zone however moderately proper on the sting of it. If an individual continues to push her or his personal boundaries, little by little, that magic of fluency takes maintain.

I spotted that Ignatian spirituality applies that very same considering to the religious journey. The expertise of God isn’t means on the market. The “magic” of spirituality occurs once we go to the sting of our consolation zone and admit to ourselves and God the truth we face and the will to expertise a life past that actuality.

I skilled discovering the magic taking place on the sting of my consolation zone years in the past, when my husband and I discerned to reside and serve at a Jesuit mission within the Dominican Republic. Going from a suburban Nebraska dwelling and a minivan to a home with out drinkable water and frequent days-long energy outages was positively on the sting of my consolation zone. There have been fears for well being and security and loneliness from being away from household and buddies, however there have been additionally moments of religious depth, pure magnificence, new relationships, and fixed progress.

That have of pushing myself to the sting of my consolation zone—to the margins—made it potential for me to embrace residing and serving in different, extra excessive, developing-world settings. Braveness begets courage. Whereas such a transfer could appear unattainable to some individuals, I used to be solely in a position to broaden that fringe of my consolation zone after years of pushing myself past my consolation zone within the U.S., serving in shelters for individuals with out houses and attending to know individuals in low-resource areas of my group.

The identical holds true to the contemplative aspect of religion. So usually I believed that deep spirituality or connection to the Divine was solely potential with years of devoted prayer, the understanding of a Ph.D. in theology, and mystical practices far past my consolation zone. I believed the “magic” of spirituality was means on the market, the place the saints and the mystics dwelled. As a substitute, to broaden the sting of my consolation zone, I needed to identify my actuality and invite God into it. I needed to admit that I wasn’t snug with sitting alone in prayer for even quarter-hour. Simply discovering the time felt uncomfortable. The sting of my consolation zone was to let go of the fixed strain to be doing and to see prayer time not as a field to verify however as an allowed reprieve from the pressures of the day. I gained’t say it was magic, however I did slowly start to understand a couple of minutes of reprieve day by day. I regarded ahead to prayer time, deliberate round it, prioritized it, and let others know I wanted it.

Lots of the ways in which we’re referred to as to follow our spirituality as contemplatives in action are on the sting of our consolation zones. Difficult injustice, serving marginalized populations the place we don’t slot in, occurring silent retreats, opening as much as a religious director, and even sitting in prayer day by day are probably actions on the sting of anybody’s consolation zone the primary time one tries. That’s the place the magic occurs! That’s the place we meet God in a brand new means by inviting the Spirit into these uncomfortable areas and occasions. We’re referred to as to belief not solely that we’ll get by way of, however that God will broaden that rising fringe of our consolation zone till there isn’t any restrict to the place our religion can take us.

What’s the fringe of your consolation zone? That’s the place you might be being invited to satisfy God right now.

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