The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius include a meditation on the Mystery of the Incarnation, the truth that God not only created the world but continues to be intimately involved in it. The Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote:
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Even more amazing is that God took on our humanity and became man in Jesus Christ. God makes his presence known and calls us to a relationship – where we are and as we are. From Fr. Abe, I came to appreciate that God meets me in my Filipino-ness, within the Asian context I was born. Fr. Tom led me to the realization that God always makes the first move. He loved me first and everything I have is gift from Him, undeserved yet way beyond anything I could have expected. Opening to God in prayer helps me to deepen this relationship with God, to discern His will for me and to direct me in my mission in life. Fr. Ruben showed me how to flesh out and live this mission authentically in my calling to the married life.
Anabelle and I have been Jesuit lay collaborators most of our lives. We met when we were both teachers in Xavier School. After we got married, she would spent the rest of her teaching life at the Ateneo Grade School. And even as I was engaged in the corporate world, I committed myself to teaching at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business. We have been part of many small groups and communities steeped in Ignatian Spirituality. In them, we found many great friends, have been inspired by their lives and commitment and have, in turn also been able to help others in their life journey.
Thank you, St. Ignatius of Loyola, for igniting the fire of God’s love in our hearts.