“Take Lord and receive, all of my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my entire will,” is the opening line of the “Suscipe.” This is the prayer St. Ignatius gives us in the fourth week of the Spiritual Exercises.
For many years I wondered what Ignatius meant by the word “will” in this prayer. I think it is what Jesus is talking about in today’s gospel when he refers to “from within, from the heart.” It is that which I really desire and intend in the depth of my heart. It is up to me to honestly know these things and keep them well-ordered. When they are not such, they result in the litany of evils which Jesus enumerates for the disciples.
Lord, I pray for the grace to honestly look into my heart and know what is most dear to me. Let me rejoice in that which is good and rid myself of that which is bad. I know that hatred, selfishness, and destructive pride are all things within me, not things forced upon me from without. Let me make the treasures of my heart worthy of offering to You.
—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.