July 31, 2021

FEAST DAY OF ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA

Over the past few years, I’ve come to appreciate the life and teachings of St. Ignatius, especially through participating in the Nineteenth Annotation of his Spiritual Exercises.  From May 20, 2021, the 500th anniversary of St. Ignatius Loyola’s injury during the Battle of Pamplona, which ultimately led to his conversion from soldier to saint, to the Feast of St. Ignatius, July 31, 2022, is being celebrated as The Ignatian Year.

To commemorate my completion of the nine-month Ignatian journey in 2019, my spiritual director Kathy presented me with this beautiful wooden artwork handcrafted by her husband William. These three brief words sum up so much of what I learned and I cherish this visual reminder on my living room wall 

Two years ago, just a few months after I’d completed the Ignatian exercises, I decided to prepare a special meal of Spanish food and invite guests to celebrate the Feast Day.  It was fun to research recipes and prepare the food.  Although I thought everything was delicious, the dessert—Spanish almond cake or Tarta de Santiago– was my absolute favorite and unlike anything I’d ever made or eaten. The cake was rich with ground almonds and moist with lemon.  I placed a stencil of a St. James cross on top and then dusted the rest with a dusting of powdered sugar. Perhaps I can be forgiven for mixing my saints as Santiago is associated with St. James and not St. Ignatius!  At least it was a Spanish recipe.

This photo shows the full menu for the dinner.  Kathy and her husband William were special guests, as well as my friend Betsy.  We had a lovely evening sharing stories and the meal, interspersed with reading some quotations from St. Ignatius that were less familiar to us.  One was: “Beware of condemning any man’s action. Consider your neighbor’s intention, which is often honest and innocent, even though his act seems bad in outer appearance.”  Another was: “The sharper you are at noticing other people’s failings, the more apt will you be to overlook your own.”  Over the past two years, these two sayings seemed even more relevant.  

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