“Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given all to me. To Thee, O lord, I return it. All is Thine, dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and thy grace, for this is sufficient for me.” – St. Ignatius Loyola
Julie shared a page to me in Facebook; it was called Ignatian Spirituality. I believe that was the second time I chanced upon St. Ignatius – the first probably when we were still in elementary school, reading our books about the Saints.
The third was when I was introduced to the writings of Fr. Jett Villarin, the current President of Ateneo de Manila University, because of a blogger I followed on Tumblr before who posted excerpts from Fr. Villarin’s homilies. If I remember correctly, the first ones I’ve ever read of his writings were Startle and Feathers.
Because I was moved by his writings and reflections, I came upon his book “Startle: Gathering Light from the Word of God” online. When I went to a local bookstore one time, I was glad to have found it, sitting comfortably in between other books.
I’ve underlined, highlighted, wrote on the margins and in between lines of this book, and I’ve written my favorite lessons on my brown journal so I wouldn’t forget. I gave my copy as a Christmas present to my cousin Paffy last 2014. I hope that he has learned from Fr. Villarin’s writings too, as much as I did.
Fr. Villarin, again, if I remember correctly, mentioned of St. Ignatius crying under the stars. I was re-introduced to this image again when I bought a copy of Fr. James Martin’s book entitled “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.” I’ve only read up to around 50-70 pages, then stopped for a while, thinking that I may have to read this on a more appropriate time.
Although it has been a long while since I last opened that book and read, I’ve come to understand more of Ignatian Spirituality. I had learned that its core is about finding God in everything, in every aspect of our lives. He isn’t just in Sundays within the Church, because He is a living and active God. He lives and thrives in our daily routines, in our chores, in our work, in our family relationships, in school, in friendships, in marriages – everything.
Because of this book, I got to learn more about St. Ignatius too, about how we was once a soldier of valor and of worldly pursuits, then he was injured in battle. This humbling and painful event in his life led him to read upon the saints like St. Francis of Assisi, how he and other saints gave away what the world branded as important and turned to a life of poverty and self-giving.
St. Ignatius was inspired by the lives and virtues of these saints and hoped to imbibe within him the same values. After much reflection and sharing of God’s revelations to him, St. Ignatius continued on his studies, then later on founded the Society of Jesus, or what we commonly know as the Jesuits.
And that’s what I knew of this Saint whom they call the Saint of Second Chances. I knew little of him still and of the Spiritual Exercises he had shared to others.
Then came the day I saw the trailer of Ignacio de Loyola.
I knew more of him through this film, about the man whose tears reflected the stars above him.