Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Memorial of Saint Ignatius Loyola

Not being a Jesuit myself, I feel somewhat inadequate to preach of this feast of the Jesuit’s sixteenth century Spanish founder, St. Ignatius Loyola. I have to confess that I need to learn more about "Ignatian Spirituality," which has influenced the faith lives of countless people.

However, the little bit of Ignatian wisdom I do know I’ve personally found very helpful. In particular, Ignatius wrote a great deal on how to discern God’s will when making a choice. Three things he recommends I wish to share with you. First, he asks us to consider what advice me might give to somebody else who is facing the same decision we are. Ignatius knew that sometimes we try to wriggle our way out of doing certain things that we would expect or even demand of someone else. Second, Ignatius said we should imagine ourselves at the end of our lives, preparing to meet the Lord, and consider what decision we would liked to have made then, as we explain it to Jesus. Ignatius knew that what sometimes seems to be a decent compromise today, might be something we regret tomorrow. In other words, according to Ignatius, we need to view the "here and now" through the lens of the "hereafter." Third, Ignatius asks us to pay attention to our feelings. Does the thought of doing something leave us feeling peaceful, even joyful? Or does it make us feel uneasy of sad? Feelings can fool us; they need to be judged carefully. But peaceful feelings are often the whisper of God. God does speak through our "gut."

It would be good for all of us to keep his wisdom in mind as we struggle to make good choices in what is a sometimes challenging and confusing world. St. Ignatius, pray for us!

No comments: