The second half of “Eat, Pray, Love” shows a woman’s middle and ending journey to what is considered her spiritual therapy/quest to find happiness. Her vow from sex, meditation, and references to various Catholic icons show that she is in fact searching for some kind of religious truth even in her writing.
The meditation sections in Indonesia remind me of the Jesuit examen, and the Spiritual exercises that are done on retreats here at Loyola and at the other twenty eight Jesuit schools across the country. When Liz is instructed to “sit and smile” it struck a comment Dr. Miola made in Catholic Poetry when discussing the Catholic martyrs. He made a very funny comment how everyone on retreats now really needs to “SHUT UP”. While the way he said it was very comical, I realized in reading this book for a second time what he means. If we just all shut our traps and listened to what the Higher Power and saints are telling us internally we would have a much easier time than chatting about how we are going to change or follow the Jesuit teachings of Ignatius.
If we could all have one word to describe us, what would it be? That is the usual question you’re asked by a first-summer-job interviewer and nine out of ten of us use a cliché. The fact that Liz ‘finds’ her word in a foreign country, and the fact that it is foreign really struck me. She could have found it in Italy when she started her journey, when she got back home to New York. The fact that she finds it in the middle really shows how she grows emotionally/spiritually as a person. I saw this as sign that she (like most of us) is really waiting for things now. We are all impulsive by nature and we want [insert what you want] now. I can relate truly. When I was in the middle of a Vermont horse I wanted to move up right after the third day and jump higher. When I was in the Hamptons three months later I was still bugging my trainers to let me go up a level. We all want the MOST at that moment and don’t realize that when we get it, it’s never enough or we are disappointed about what it is. Liz thought she had EVERYTHING and realized at the beginning of the book (and journey) that this wasn’t what she wanted. That is the true self-discovery that we as human beings have all the time, and it is divine in nature because God is saying, “Wake up!” Just like she found her word in the middle of her journey, her realization that her life wasn’t the way she wanted happened to start her journey.