Almost everyone is familiar with St. Paul’s “Hymn to Love” from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:
Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
This was the subject of my meditation exercises from Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s book An Ignatian Introduction to Prayer: Scriptural Reflections According to the Spiritual Exercises. I met Fr. Gallagher when I attended a silent weekend retreat he led two years ago this March and have thoroughly enjoyed using what I learned from him and his books to deepen my prayer life and dive further into the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. What follows are some of the questions posed in the chapter I used this morning. I encourage you to make some time to quiet yourself and your surroundings, read slowly through 1 Cor 13:4-7 and then work through Fr. Gallagher’s questions.
- “patient” And I?
- “kind” And I?
- “not jealous” Am I?
- “not . . . boastful” Am I?
- “not arrogant” What of me?
- “not . . . rude” Am I sensitive to others?
- “does not insist on its own way” Do I?
- “is not irritable” Am I?
- “is not . . . resentful” Am I?
- “does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right” How do I respond to others’ weaknesses?
- “bears all things” Do I?
- “believes all things, hopes all things” Do I continue to hope for growth in others?
- “endures all things” Do I?
If you’re not in a place where you can slow down into a quiet time and place then I suggest you save this entry for a time when you can. It may open your eyes just a little and give you some insights on areas that need attention. It did for me.