Life of Ignatius – Day 19

Student in Barcelona

19. Learning Latin in Barcelona

Iñigo returned to Barcelona and to the house of Inés Pascual. At this time he also began to learn Latin, the prerequisite in those days for further education. His main enthusiasm now was trying to encourage people to put God at the centre of their lives. He was no preacher, but rather would listen to people’s stories and then encourage them through teaching about virtues and vices to choose the former and eschew the latter. He appealed to the consciences of each individual and encouraged them to be in touch with the way their actions affected them; getting them to notice how the ways of God brought consolation to a good soul and the ways of the evil one brought them desolation.

Once he was badly beaten by a man who resented his trying to convert the sisters of a local convent to a more pious life. The practice of sending young women who had broken certain social conventions to live in convents meant that there were many in convents who had no vocation to be a nun. And so, unsurprisingly, lives were often lived that brought scandal to the Religious Life. Iñigo encouraged reform: he tried to inspire religious sisters with a desire to follow Christ by living lives of poverty, chastity and obedience.

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

Retrace my steps, go back to where
the crossroads pointed here;
Go back to Barcelona; learn to be a learned man.
Learn how to tell, which way to hell,
the learned doctors teach;
With their degree, I’ll then be free,
to teach what God taught me.
Retrace to learn; repeat to find
the deeper way he’s leading me.
Retrace to learn; retrace to seek
which way, which way to go.

A thought to ponder

Looking at your local community and at society across the country,
do you see people who are rejected and isolated?
If we were to love everyone, what changes would we have to make?
If you are to love everyone, what changes would it be good for you to make?

Scripture for the Day

1 John 3: 18-24 NRSVACE

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

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them.
And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

Music for Today

The Love of my Lord is the Essence written by Estelle White


Purchase another version of the Love of My Lord with James Kilbane

Barcelona old city

The narrow streets of Barcelona trod by Ignatius both before and after his journey to the Holy Land.

Photo: DWB Ignatian Pilgrimage