In his book, The Resilient Pastor, Glenn Packiam tells the story of Inigo, who lived in the 16th century Spain. When he was young, he only cared for two things: the pleasure of the world and fame. He went on to become a soldier but injured himself during war, which required multiple surgeries and long recovery. It was then, while in recovery, in his family castle in Loyola, he read a book on the lives of the saints. The following year, after his recovery, instead of chasing after the pleasures of the world, he pursued God in deep prayer. Later in 1534, bound in a “communal vow of poverty and chastity,” he and several friends formed Compania de Jesus, the Society of Jesus. He also changed his name to Ignatius. Ignatius of Loyola.
There are those who believe that there is no God. There are those who believe that there is God, but that His one and only role is to create this vast universe therein. Since then, He has left us alone. There are also those who believe that there is God who created this universe and out of love sent His Only Son to die for our sins. But He is not involved in our day-to-day life, because His main concern is our salvation. The Bible tells us that not only did God create us and save us, but He also is actively involved in our every day’s life.
And God is involved through a variety of means; in the life of Inigo, it was through an injury. God stopped him and kept him to Himself so Inigo would know and love Him. Because it’s only after he knew and loved God, could he, then, hear and heed His call to service.
The Jesuits’ way of service is to be present in the world, to be in action, to lead others to God in all things, and one of the things is people, like you and me. In the words of Dallas Willard, “We know Christ in others.” Many only know or hear about Christ through songs or words uttered by others. Only a few know Christ through us—when they see Christ in us. So, be sure to abide in Him.