From the Pastor's Desk
Fr. Dan White, S.J.
July 27, 2014
Thursday is the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola. There is a statue of him in SLU’s Quad entitled The Pilgrim. He was certainly a pilgrim in the classic sense of being on the move. In a time when most Europeans never left their village, Ignatius was an exception. His early years were spent in various courts throughout Spain. His conversion experience set him on track to travel all over Europe, the Holy Land, and ultimately to Rome.
Ignatius’ pilgrimage was not the pampered jet-setting of today. Nearly all of it was done by walking the difficult roads of his time, or by dangerous voyages on the Mediterranean Sea. The importance of “being on the go” became an essential part of his expectations for the Society of Jesus. He envisioned a religious order free to go anywhere at any time to proclaim the Good News.
The importance of being a pilgrim was not, however, restricted to an exterior action. Ignatius sought to be a spiritual pilgrim even more so. This meant having the freedom and detachment to be led by the Spirit. He sought the grace to put oneself completely at the disposal of God.
The Pilgrim spent almost the last twenty years of his life in Rome. He directed the growth and expansion of the Jesuits from his small office. Ignatius stopped traveling but he remained on pilgrimage. His desire to respond completely to whatever God asked of him never diminished.