Life of Ignatius – Day 12

Ignatius and the Moor

12. A discernment of sorts

Travelling to Barcelona over the great plains of Aragon Iñigo fell into conversation with a Moor. During their conversation they talked about Mary, the mother of Jesus. To Iñigo’s Catholic ears, the Islamic view of Mary seemed to be lacking in due dignity and honour. The Moor, who presumably had a faster steed, bid farewell, went on ahead and up to a nearby town.
Iñigo was left pondering on the imagined slight to Mary he had heard. Should he avenge the honour of Our Lady by killing the Moor, or should he let him go? He couldn’t make up his mind. So, when reaching a fork in the road leading to the town he let go of the reins and let the mule decide the direction.
Happily, the mule carried on the main road, so the Moor was spared.

Iñigo : Story and Songs – Music
Iñigo : Story and Songs – Narrative

I rode along, my thoughts with Mary,
When a Moor came by my side
He cast a lying sneer upon her,
would not hear me in defence.
I made to fight to put his thoughts right,
wished to draw my sword at once,
But being near a village crossroads
changed my mind to make new plans.

I thought, ‘Lord, we must let the donkey
show us how to settle this,
If he rides on I’ll have to leave him
to his sins without a fight.
As we drew near the village crossroad,
his dark on ahead;
Still angry and in inner turmoil,
I turned down the village road.

Then that song began to swell in my inmost heart:
It cast a doubt, I had to think again;
I heard his gentler sound, I felt my inner ground
Break up and pray, another way: forgive, let be.

You must not always fight, to put the world to right,
A greater love, breaks from above — his better way.
so let the Moor ride on, now let my rising song,
Break through your heart, forgive, restart;
ride now Christ’s way.

A thought to ponder

Sometimes making a choice can be difficult. In the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius suggests that we shouldn’t act in desolation, when we feel down. We should wait until we are in consolation – when we feel good about the next move – before taking the plunge.
Before making changes in life it is always good to have a positive move ahead that we feel would be right for us.
Do you have decisions to make at the moment?
Are you clear about the alternatives available?
How do you feel about these alternatives?

Scripture for the Day

As a way of praying today’s Scripture we suggest, Lectio Divina

1 Corinthians 2:6-15 NRSVACE

Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But, as it is written,
‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
what God has prepared for those who love him’—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything,
even the depths of God.

For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within?
So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God.
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God,
so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.
And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.

Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are discerned spiritually.
Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny.

Music for Today

Hidden Things, from Sounds of the Eternal by Philip Newell sung by Suzanne Butler
(Lyrics: I will show you hidden things you have not known.)

Purchase more of the books and music of Philip Newell