Recently I read the account of St Ignatius’ St. Paul-like conversion to a Christian way of life. The image conscious and fame seeking man suffered a devastating injury to his legs in battle leaving him rather unable to pull off the trendy tight leggings of the royal courts in that time. His vanity got the better of him and he decided on a cosmetic surgery, quite elective for the time, to fix his legs. While he lay there healing for months, he read Vitu Jesu Christi and Flos Sanctorum among others. His conversion thereafter was actually rather unlike St. Paul’s in quickness but similar in significance and completeness from start to finish. It’s as if a small seed was planted upon those readings in Iñigo’s heart, one that first needed to grow strong roots before any blossom could come forth. St Ignatius went on to be the author of Spiritual Exercises, the founder of the Jesuits and a teacher, both by example and word, of Christianity. Inspired by his faith he spread the Word of God.
It’s no small thing to do but as my Christian faith has so far taught me, it’s an ultimate example and representation of oneself. Reading of his conversion I wondered what work of the Holy Spirit struck with him and drove out the darkness in his soul to take on such a dramatic change. I wondered and longed for the same connection in Christ to live Christianity. I feel silly dreaming of being a saint and trying to find some common ground there. In truth I don't dream to be a saint. The common ground is only that we were both made in the image and likeness of God and born with Original Sin. Our times, our opportunities, our minds, are all different. But just as Christ lives, so does the burning desire in our souls to find Him in our hearts. I share that desire with St. Ignatius and I believe that others living now do too. The philokalia is to act as my itinerary in guiding me towards that consciousness with Christ. I’m inviting my readers (or lone reader I fear) to join in prayer for this journey of mine and the journey’s of others who have yet to be lead toward Christ or are in the current moments of doing so now. It’s epic. And I’m happy to share my struggles and successes here.