Monday, October 8, 2012

Spirituality: Ignatius' surrender

When the moment arrived for Ignatius to turn his life over to God, to dedicate himself to Christ, he emulated Esplandian, who kept a vigil of arms before the statue of the Blessed Virgin before being invested as a knight. Ignatius described his own moment of surrender:

Ignatius went on his way to Montserrat, thinking as always about the deeds he would do for the love of God. As his mind was full of ideas from Amadis de Gaul[a] and such books, some things similar to those came to mind. Thus he decided to watch over his arms all one night, without sitting down or going to bed, but standing a while and keeping a while, before the altar of Our Lady of Montserrat, where he had resolved to leave his clothing and dress himself in the armor of Christ.... After arriving at Montserrat, he said a prayer and arranged for a confessor.... He arranged with the confessor to take his mule and to place his sword and his dagger in the church on the altar of Our Lady.... On the eve of the feast of Our Lady in March in the year 1522, he went at night as secretly as he could to a poor man, and stripping off all his garments he gave them to the poor man and dressed himself in his desired clothing and went to kneel before the altar of Our Lady. At times in this way, at other times standing, with his pilgrim's staff in his hand he spent the whole night.

(Olin and O'Callaghan, Autobiography, pp. 31-32)