Back when I experienced the 30-day retreat of Saint Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises one of my Jesuit classmates, Joshua, shared with us a poem he wrote during the First Week of the Exercises. The First Week is time to reflect on God’s love for us despite our sinfulness. It’s the kind of almost ineffable love that overflows boundlessly into our hearts and being, a kind of love that sustains yet recreates. Joshua’s written expression is more than a poem, it’s a psalm because it’s sacred, even prophetic. It expresses just a glimmer of the kind of love our Lover offers us. Can we handle it?
A thanks to Joshua Peters, SJ for letting me share this.

I’m Not Boasting
A psalm from the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises

you may not be aware that I
created the entire world with just
my fingertip.
So imagine my surprise and delight,
when you asked me, just now,
to kiss you.
My dear one, that is like asking
the oceans to be salt free
by Tuesday,
or like having all of Africa
over for dinner.

I’m not boasting.

if I kissed you, your mouth would over-flow
with flowers.
When you opened your lips to speak, nothing but
precious gems would
pour out.
You couldn’t eat because your
fork would be obstructed by
a rainforest.

And if I were just to hug you-
your heart would beat so loud and so fast
that buildings all over the world would collapse…
from sheer excitement.

My sweet,
even if I took you dancing-
the floor beneath our feet would turn to quicksand
and we’d spend the entire evening rescuing people
from its depths.

Or if we said “Ok, just a nightcap.”
The second my liqueur touched your glass you’d
be drowning.

I promised that I’d always be with you, and I never intend to leave
your side.
So turn to me now so that I can see your face.
Ah! You are radiant! You are irrevocably beautiful!
Let’s just enjoy this moment
right here, right now,