Today, the Feast of St. Ignatius, marks the end of the Ignatian Jubilee, honoring the 500th Anniversary of Ignatius’ wounding at the battle of Pamplona. It was during many months of recuperation and healing that God began working on Ignatius’ heart, leading to one of the most epic conversion stories in the Catholic Church.
On the last day of my recent eight day retreat, one of the retreatants asked me a question. “So, just what made this retreat “Ignatian”? Now, I must be honest in saying that the question surprised me. On each day of the retreat, I introduced an Ignatian exercises/concept, such as the First Principal and Foundation, the Examen, Discernment of Spirits, Meditation and Contemplation, etc. I spoke about Ignatius’ conversion and how each of these exercises/concepts were part of his document known as the Spiritual Exercises. How could this connection not have been made by the retreatant? I explained the concepts once again, and I think they “got it” in the second go-around.
Ultimately, I realized that I can always do a better job of explaining these concepts which are part of my daily life now. I’ve had more than a decade now to wrestle with them and integrate them into my life. In the weeks ahead, I hope to write a blog post which has links to trusted resources which will help anyone reading this blog better understand Ignatius and the spirituality which developed out of his lived experience of God, which is still impacting the world today.
Happy Feast Day!