Monday, August 20, 2012

Spirituality: Ignatius at the Cardoner (Autobiography)

While Ignatius was still at Manresa, he had an experience on the banks of the river Cardoner that proved to be a decisive moment in his life.

He was going out of his devotion to a church a little more than a mile from Manresa; I believe it was called St. Pauls. The road ran next to the river. As he went along occupied with his devotions, he sat down for a little while with his face toward the river which was running deep. While he was seated there, the eyes of his understanding began to be opened; though he did not see any vision, he understood and knew many things, both spiritual things and matters of faith and of learning, and this was with so great an enlightenment that everything seemed new to him. Though there were many, he cannot set forth the details that he understood then, except that he experienced a great clarity is his understanding. This was such that in the whole course of his life, through sixty-two years, even if he gathered up all the many helps he had from God and all the many things he knew and added them together, the does not think they would amount to as much as he had received at that one time.

(Olin and O'Callaghan, Autobiography, pp. 39-40)