As part of my recent walking of the Camino, I stopped and prayed at the place in Pamplona where Ignatius Loyola was wounded – this was the beginning of his conversion from ostentatious knight to close follower of Jesus. My photo (above) shows the statue in Pamplona of the event. Diagonally across the street is a chapel where people are praying 24/7.
On July 31, Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and others celebrate the feast of St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits. Ignatius was a Basque who had his own approach to the issues which precipitated the Reformation. He himself was brought before the Inquisition. His spirituality was strongly apostolic, bringing the insights of monasticism further out into the world – contemplative even while active.
by whose grace your servant Ignatius,
became a burning and a shining light in your Church:
Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline,
and may ever walk before you as children of light;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
A prayer of St Ignatius
Lord Jesus, teach us to be generous:
to serve you as you deserve to be served,
to give without counting the cost,
to fight without heeding the wounds,
to work without seeking rest,
to spend our lives without expecting any other return
than the knowledge that we do your holy will. Amen.
A prayer of St Ignatius from his Spiritual Exercises
Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will.
All that I am and all that I possess You have given me:
I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your will.
Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more.
Principle and Foundation from the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius
You are created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save your soul.
And the other things on the face of the earth are created for you and that they may help you as means to the end for which you are created.
From this it follows that you are to use them as much as they help you on to your end, and ought to rid yourself of them so far as they hinder you as to it.
For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things in all that is allowed to the choice of our free will and is not prohibited to it; so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only what is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created.
Ignatius is stressing we are made for God. Church, prayer, liturgy, all else – are means to that end. We so often turn that around, making peace, or money, or whatever our goal – and God the means.