When we speak of indifference, when we speak of the odd ball, or when we speak of against the norms or traditions-when we speak of congregations, all we have in mind is the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits. The life and spritiual quest of St. Ignatius can be decribed as tremendous and daring. St. Ignatius, the founder of the latter wants us to draw closer to God in an unconventional and in a deeper sense of faith. St. Ignatius has all its means to live a life that offers comfort and yet he chooses to be lowly. He shares what he has and act to help the needy. Even at the point of physically exhausting his self to surrender everything to God and not giving up to the demons’ destructions. Living in a tremendous condition set Iñigo’s desire to follow God aflame with burning passion to suffer what Jesus’ had suffered. To fully understand the life of St. Ignatius, one must dare to listen and obey to the one you truly love like his bows to protect Princess Catalina.
Today, I had the opportunity to watch the movie Ignacio de Loyola, a Filipino-produced film under the supervision of Jesuits Communication. It was indeed a great movie and an eye opener to everyone who watched the film. It was indeed, a standing ovation worthy. The cast, the movie effects, the sequence of the story, all are well and wonderful. With this, I concluded three key points that St. Ignatius wants us to do:
1. To feel: Despite the earthly possessions they have, Iñigo chooses to be among the beggars, the crippled, he joins the poor and the needy. He truly fulfill his bow of poverty. To be poor, you must surrender everything you have, and to give without counting the cost. St. Ignatius dares us to be in the peripheries of life- to feel the lives of those who seemed to be forgotten by our societies. How would you feel Christ in the heart of crisis? How would you see Christ in the midst of starvation? Of how would you touch Christ in the wounded. Ignacio de Loyola truly draws us closer to God in these kind of situations.
2. To free: One of my favorite part of the movie is the encounter of St. Ignatius and the Our Lady of Montserrat at the altar. In this scene, Ignacio bows to obey and listen to God. His desire and discernment started when he read a book of saints and started to wonder why St. Francis of Assisi reach out to the poor and gave his wealth to the needy? Since then, St. Ignatius thinks that life is meaningless if we do not have faith. That faith requires total surrenderness, to free whatever you have. When you have nothing, you will truly know who is God. When you have nothing, you will truly understand who is God. And when you free yourself and seek God, you will truly know who you are. Just obey and listen to the Lord and all will fall into their respective places.
3. To fear not: St. Ignatius was also tempted by demons. Like Jesus in the bible, Ignacio encountered the same ordeal-tested and urged by evil. But like Jesus Christ, St. Ignatius stands firm to his faith. He defy his own fear and defeated the evil that is teasing him. If we have faith in God, it will lead us to the right directions of life. Going to the right directions requires bravery and strong faith. The bow of chastity, to omit the earthly calling and heed God’s calling is Ignacio’s evident confessions of how strong is his desire to follow God’s journey. When he encountered God, he uttered these words that is now declared as his prayer:
To recapitulate all, St. Ignatius is a true Knight of God- who always ready to listen and to obey.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us!