Ignatius is writing about the gathering he attended before going to Krakow; do read the rest of his reflection at as a little child !
Everyone smiled and said hello to everyone. And I felt embraced by an inexplicable love. I really experienced the joy of the gospel, and the Kingdom of Heaven.
In the evening, we all learned Hungarian folk dance, and had three hundred of us dancing around the hall in these great circles and lines, soaked in sweat, jumping about, and smiling like madmen. It’s an image of Heaven.
My highlight of the pre-encounter came at adoration. Even amongst such love, I was somehow able to start feeling alone and unlovable again. It wasn’t too strong a feeling, but I did feel cut off…
Then, some of my friends began a beautiful piece of theatre/prayer, centred around mercy and removing masks to be loved. At the end of this, the Eucharist was brought out for a time of adoration. A screen blocked me from seeing Jesus as He began proceeding from the tabernacle, and as I tried to prepare myself to see and adore Him, I didn’t feel any closeness to Him. I didn’t feel like He was really present at all, and I worried what this meant.
Then He came past the screen, I saw Him, and I knew it was Him, right there, in love for me. I felt His loving gaze, and it broke me apart. I cried a lot, and didn’t wipe away the tears, because I didn’t want to lose a thing. I kept repeating ‘Jesus, you love me` and ‘Jesus, I love you`. I desired nothing but to belong entirely to Jesus, to love Him and be loved by Him, at any and all cost.
Detail, Door of Mercy, Zakopane, MMB; Pilgrims at Krakow (Ignatius).