Waiting on the Spirit

My son is preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation this month. The other day, he came home from school worried because he couldn’t remember all of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit on a quiz. He was secretly wondering if this would affect his Confirmation. I told him not to worry; he simply needed to prepare his heart and ask the Spirit to come. The Holy Spirit would not be delayed by his quiz […]

Four Principles of Pilgrimage

We have taken a rather brisk tour through the life of St. Ignatius during the past few weeks, following the pilgrimage that is his life story. Now let’s glean some general principles of pilgrimage that apply to each one of us. 1. Pilgrimage presents itself, but we decide to go or stay. Ignatius could have responded in other ways to his months of healing from the cannonball incident. He could have set his mind in […]

An Ignatian Pilgrimage Week #4: The Legacy of St. Ignatius

One year after Pope Paul III approved the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits elected Ignatius Loyola to be Superior General of their Society, in 1541. Ignatius tried to reject this appointment, but after he was voted to the position three times, he accepted that this was God’s will for him and the Jesuits. The man who had dreamed first of serving God in Jerusalem and then of spreading the Gospel throughout the world would, for […]

An Ignatian Pilgrimage Week #3: Preparation for a Life’s Vocation

Ignatius Loyola went through a conversion experience while he was recuperating from battle wounds. However, the transformation was not over. In fact, the most critical months were ahead of him—months that would prepare him for the life to which God was calling him. After Ignatius laid down his sword before Our Lady of Montserrat, he traveled down the mountain to Manresa. There, a woman named Inez Pascual, who would remain a friend throughout his life, […]

An Ignatian Pilgrimage Week #2: The Injury That Changed Everything

Ignatius Loyola became a soldier, and in 1521 he found himself and his small group of fellow warriors defending the fortress of Pamplona against the French. They were seriously outnumbered, and a more prudent—and less zealous—leader might have negotiated a surrender, but Ignatius was not the type to do anything halfway. They were roundly defeated by the French, and during the battle a cannonball ripped through Ignatius’s legs, leaving a mangled mess. Because Ignatius was […]

An Ignatian Pilgrimage Week #1: The Place Where a Person Begins

As you probably know, Loyola Press, the host of this blog, is a ministry of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. And this society is the legacy of St. Ignatius Loyola, who formed it 500 years ago with a few companions who, with him, wanted to help souls and change the world. Over the next few weeks, we will follow Ignatius’s life story and use key moments in it to prompt reflection […]

When You Think Someone Is Wrong

I’ve been thinking about Ignatius’s Presupposition lately. This is a ground rule for the Spiritual Exercises that he puts right at the beginning of the book. It’s about the relationship between the spiritual director and the person making the retreat. To assure better cooperation between the one who is giving the Exercises and the exercitant, and more beneficial results for both, it is necessary to suppose that every good Christian is more ready to put a good interpretation […]

Cardoner Vision

In 1522, not long after his conversion, Ignatius sat praying on the bank of the Cardoner River near the village of Manresa in northern Spain. In his Autobiography, he describes an extraordinary vision: He sat down for a little while with his face to the river—Cardoner—which was running deep. While he was seated there, the eyes of his understanding began to be opened; though he did not see any vision, he understood and knew many […]

Five Tips for Beating Loneliness from St. Ignatius

A recent study revealed an epidemic of loneliness in America. Loneliness and social isolation isn’t limited to America, though; it’s a global scourge that Pope Francis has addressed: There are no longer close personal relationships. Today’s culture seems to encourage people not to bond with anything or anyone, not to trust…At the root of so many contemporary situations is a kind of impoverishment born of a widespread and radical sense of loneliness. Running after the […]

10 Reasons to Choose Ignatius

I was delighted to learn that St. Ignatius Loyola is among my son’s top three choices for his Confirmation saint. Of course, I wanted him to make an educated choice, so, in all fairness and with no partiality or favoritism, I directed him to my favorite Ignatian books and websites and procured a copy of the 2016 film, Ignacio de Loyola. As we sat down to watch the film, both of my teens aired their […]

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