I have had a lot of silent conversations with God lately. It was during my Jesuit education days in university that I learned the magical ways of the Ignatian Exercises, and how to make the most of prayer during the mundane times, and that has remained deep within me. It has been my good fortune to continue my spiritual growth with the Jesuits over the years, no matter what country I landed in. So whether I am sitting in the bus, train or my conservatory, it is never a problem to start a conversation with God.
I suppose all my years of working in interfaith dialogue have led me to prefer a dialogue form of prayer rather than the traditional repetitive type. I need to work things out with Him, and saying 10 rosaries is perhaps going to calm me, but isn’t going to help me reach a decision. In any case, I found myself slipping back into my Ignatian roots and striking up a conversation to sort out a few knots of confusion and uncertainty. The dialogue reached the point where I realised I was trying to negotiate with God, to strike up a bargain with him. Hang on, this isn’t part of the Ignatian spirituality anymore, and more like frog theology I thought to myself, but there was something intrinsically familiar about this line of argument that kept nagging me. After careful checking of my old philosophy haunting grounds, I was delighted to reacquaint myself with St. Thomas Aquinas and Fr. Anthony de Mello, SJ (The Prayer of the Frog). By the time I reached home, I felt much lighter, reached a decision, and made a choice.
This morning I pulled my jacket closer as the morning chill greeted me. The Autumn winds are here and with it the most magical light. I was so glad to have my camera in the backpack instead of just the iPhone. I was right in the middle of striking up another conversation with Him, but He interrupted me with this:
Now if that wasn’t a message from a higher power, I don’t know what is! Call it magic, or call it faith, but this was a phenomenal sign of wonderful things ahead. This is what I wrote about the other day, you can pray all you want for signs, but the true prayer should be to recognise the signs when they are right in front of you.