Saturday, July 30, 2011

St. Ignatius and I, or Cherchez le Jesuit

As we celebrate the feast day of St. Ignatius, I have to acknowledge that he is the saint who pursues me a bit  like the hound of heaven.  For some reason, almost every major spiritual crisis in my life has somewhere in it had the influence of a Jesuit, whether in person, or through something I read.

In addition, I am extremely visual, and Ignatian meditations on Scripture tend to affect me deeply, because I really can enter the story. For that discovery, I acknowledge my debt to Fr.J. Michael Sparough, SJ, whose leadership of a meditation at a retreat at a key time in my life and subsequent personal advice helped me realize that God was trying to get my attention.  At any rate, I have often found myself in a time of discernment, during which I feel an urge to look around to see where the Jesuit influence is.

What is it about St. Ignatius? The methodology of discernment, I think, along with the working philosophy that God is to be found in all things. He is not an easy saint to follow, certainly. I have an attraction to parts of the Spiritual Exercises, but the idea of finding the time to go through the entire discipline is a little daunting. Still, the impulse is there, in the background, waiting for the right time.

In the meantime, I have to admit that the vagaries of my life journey lately have convinced me of the inevitability of turning my life over to God's will and not mine. My own attempts at achieving goals have been met with mixed success and not a little failure.   The following song pretty much says it. Take a listen, and bring to mind this great leader of the Church, St. Ignatius -- then ask how he may be speaking to you.

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