Around the online and social media world of Jesuit and Ignatian folks, we’re all celebrating the feast of St. Ignatius today.
And yes, we know it’s also Harry Potter’s birthday, so we’re celebrating that as well:
There are plenty more of these memes to come, too, so head over to our Facebook page and check them out.
On a slightly more serious note, here are some other Ignatius Day pieces around the web.
Over at TJP-on-Patheos, I wrote a piece about how Ignatius’s confidence in God’s activity has shaped Pope Francis, and may help explain why he’s so willing to speak “off the cuff.”
The reason Francis is so “uncareful” in interviews … might not be some grand master plan; it might not involve a prediction of how this will all turn out. Francis’s hope — and I’ve said this before — is to get us to pay attention to God and to seek him out. Beyond that is God’s business.
As part of “Finding Your Inner Iggy,” our own Paddy Gilger posted about learning to let go of self-sufficiency.
It wasn’t until I began to get desperate that I noticed I’d never even thought to ask—to beg even—for actual help. I think it took those days to realize that prayer, that being a Jesuit, that life, wasn’t something I could do alone. And then it took facing the fact that thought alone was insufficient. I would actually have to ask for help.
From across the pond on Thinking Faith, Philip Endean reflects about what “Ignatius the soldier” really means in light of the near-simultaneous centennial of the beginning of World War I.
In the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius does indeed encourage us to think of ourselves as soldiers, enlisting under Christ as eternal Lord, with the aim of conquering ‘all the world and all enemies’. But just as, in the synoptic gospels, Jesus’s triumphant proclamation of the Kingdom becomes caught up with the mystery of the cross, so in Ignatius what starts as a crusade in the outer world quickly becomes a confrontation with hidden selfishness within, a delicate negotiation of practical options, and perhaps an encounter with painful humiliations. Ignatius, let us not forget, carried his war wounds for life. Ignatius’s achievement depends on something more than exuberant youthful generosity. What made him a great saint was what he did once his soldierhood had gone sour.
And finally, both Robert Imbelli at Commonweal and Brandon Vogt at Word on Fire both point out the importance of Ludolph of Saxony’s Life of Christ to Ignatius’s conversion and style of prayer — which might suggest to the rest of us that we’re reading may be of more importance than we might guess.
So: what are you reading this Ignatius Day? Let us know in the comments.