Surrendering our liberty
Hedwig Lewis SJ
The Ignatian Suscipe is similar to the Fifth Annotation, which instructs the retreatant to enter the Exercises “with greater magnanimity and liberality, towards his Creator and Lord, offering him all his desire and liberty so that the divine majesty may make use of this person… according to His own most holy will” (SE 5).
What is significant is that we are in full possession of our liberty all through the retreat. God created us with freedom – his greatest gift. Why the Almighty does so remains a profound mystery. But I truly possess MY liberty! I do not suppress but surrender it by the very power given me.
To take away ones liberty is to destroy what is most basic to human nature. Satan tends to do that [SE 23]. Through freedom of choice we fulfil our desires, and have command over all faculties of body, mind and soul. The Exercises enable us to use our freedom in detecting and discarding our “unfreedoms” (attachments), so as to be completely disposed “the better to serve God”.
When we surrender our human liberty, God graces us with: “spiritual freedom” – which empowers us to think and act without external or internal compulsions.