This is a guest post by Jim Manney, Senior Editor at Loyola Press.
I’m delighted to be a guest blogger here while Paul Campbell is away. Paul is a friend of mine and I read this blog every day. (I post frequently at the dotMagis blog on IgnatianSpirituality.com. Check it out.)
I’m on a Bill Barry kick lately. Barry is my current favorite spiritual writer. I talked my parish small group into reading A Friendship Like No Other, and our discussions have been wonderful. The book lays out Barry’s great idea that God wants a relationship of friendship with us. It’s the kind of idea that changes everything, if you let it.
Recently I’ve been reading Barry’s new book, Here’s My Heart, Here’s My Hand. I ran across his comment on the saying, often attributed to Ignatius Loyola, that we should “pray as if everything depended on God; work as if everything depended on you.” Barry thinks that Ignatius never said or wrote anything like this. In fact, the saying is exact opposite of what Ignatius thought. He thought that we should “pray as if everything depended on you” in the sense that it’s vitally important to find the work that God has for us to do in the world. What we do matters greatly. At the same time, we should “work as if everything depended on God” because the success or failure of what we do is out of our hands. “This is what Jesus had to do once he discerned that his vocation called for him to go to Jerusalem and make the final attempt to call his people to repentance,” Barry writes. Like Jesus, we need to trust in God.