|Memorial of St. Ignatius
Psalm 84:3, 4,
5-6, 8, 11
Today, the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), is a
very special day here at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.
Creighton along with all other Jesuit colleges and universities throughout
the world celebrates Ignatius as the founder of the Society of Jesus, the
Ignatius was born into a wealthy family of northern Spain. As a young
man he was full of romantic chivalrous ideas and ideals. He was captivated
by the romance novels of the day. His wander lust, imagination and
devotion to the cause filled him with the desire to rid the world of evil
and win the hand of a lovely maiden! As he was recovering from a serious
leg wound sustained in battle his reading fluctuated from the romance novels
to the lives of the Saints. And gradually his chivalrous devotion focused
on Mary, the mother of Christ.
Ignatius never lost his romantic nature nor his vivid imagination.
As always he was captivated by stories. He came to listen to the stories
and secrets buried deep in the hearts of the ordinary men and women with
whom he journeyed. He recognized in each one the adventure, struggle,
valor, and victory associated with journeying with the Lord. He was
an attentive, kind and gentle companion for fellow pilgrims.
In today’s reading from Exodus, we read about the presence of God in the
form of a cloud covering the tent in which is held the tabernacle.
“For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in
the cloud by night.” The Israelites followed the movement of the cloud,
the Lord. “Whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, the
Israelites would set out on each stage of their journey.” And so it
was with Ignatius, he became a spiritual companion to many – helping others
to notice the movement of the Spirit within them, so they too could move
on in their journey with the Lord.
Some days, we readily notice the Spirit in the lightness of the clouds
around us. Other days, we may struggle to find the Lord in the dark
and heavy clouds that suffocate us. Other times, we instantly recognize
the Spirit in the fire of the challenge. God is not hiding from us.
God wants us to notice God’s faithful presence in the lightness as well as
in the darkness.
Today, on this the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, I invite you to seek
out your spiritual companion and be with each other as you notice God with