March 17th, 2017 by Carl Buffington
To all who are doing the Prayer Book Lenten discipline, you might want to expect the unexpected. Drawing closer can be like walking in the dark, and then when the light comes on, there you are face to face, or at least nearer than you expected, to your Savior.
Below is a quote from an interview by James Martin, S.J., of Andrew Garfield, an actor from the movie SILENCE. (I have included the link in case you want to read more.) Garfield had taken on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to prepare him for his part in the movie. He did not expect what would happen as a result.
Andrew Garfield, pictured here with the director Martin Scorsese
"What was more surprising, what surprises him (Garfield) still, was falling in love.
When I asked what stood out in the Exercises, he fixed his eyes vaguely on a point in the near distance, wandering off into a place of memory. Then, as if the question had brought him back into the experience itself, he smiled widely and said:
“What was really easy was falling in love with this person, was falling in love with Jesus Christ. That was the most surprising thing.”
He fell silent at the thought of it, clearly moved to emotion. He clutched his chest, just below the sternum, somewhere between his gut and his heart, and what he said next came out through bursts of laughter:
“God! That was the most remarkable thing—falling in love, and how easy it was to fall in love with Jesus.”
The interesting thing to me is what spiritual exercises and disciplines can do, even when you are not expecting it! Even our liturgy on Sundays is a spiritual discipline drawing us near.
I haven’t seen the movie and I hear it is rough. I have read the book by Shusaku Endo, which is beautifully written but is still a hard, gruesome, story. It’s based on the true story of some Jesuit missionaries going to Japan in the early 1600s when Christianity was illegal.
I pray for all of us this Lenten season as we draw closer to our Lord through our spiritual exercises, that we too, might be completely caught off guard and blessed out of our socks by the Love of Jesus! Amen!
In His Love,