By Valeria Méndez de Vigo
Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat
“Seemingly small things matter.” Just as the cannonball wounded Ignatius, his worldly dreams were shattered to make him start living out God’s plan for him. In doing so, he changed the course of his life and the world. “Because God’s dream for Ignatius was to help souls, to go out into the whole world, accompanied by the poor and humble Jesus.”
These inspiring words of Pope Francis were for me one of the highlights of the Global Ignatian Prayer “Pilgrims with Ignatius” held last May 20. It was a global prayer event to begin the Ignatian year, which commemorates the conversion of St. Ignatius of Loyola, some 500 years ago. This prayer gave us the opportunity to live and pray together as an Ignatian family, from the very start of the year. It also gave us the chance to unite thousands of people across five continents, and though there were great differences in age, nationality and cultural heritage… still everyone felt united, interwoven as a common apostolic body in the same universal mission. In the first few hours alone we had almost 30,000 views, which demonstrates its scope and potential.
Furthermore, beyond the numbers, global prayer is a beautiful time to unite ourselves through Ignatian spirituality and to strengthen our sense of belonging. In prayer, we are confronted with moments of silence, messages, testimonies, images, music, and the possibility of interacting with each other and expressing ourselves, and we feel united by the challenge of answering such profound questions. “Seemingly small things matter”.
The whole prayer was a call to conversion, just as Ignatius had experienced it. As the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa, pointed out, “this Ignatian Year should be an opportunity for an experience. We want to invite people to live an experience of conversion (…) it is about knowing Christ more clearly (…) We want this celebration to be a spiritual experience”. An invitation “to see all things new in Christ”. But conversion does not happen once and for all, insisted the Pope and Father General. Because Ignatius was converted day by day, throughout his life, by putting Christ at the center.
As Pope Francis pointed out: “On this pilgrimage that is the world, we meet others. God speaks to us through them and through situations.” “Seemingly small things matter.” Conversion is carried out in dialogue with God, with others and with the world. Because “no one is saved alone. Either we are saved in community or we are not saved at all”. Prayer also unites us as an Ignatian family in this pilgrimage, in this journey that we’re taking together. Seemingly small things matter. May we, like Ignatius, be prepared to follow God’s dream for us.
Pilgrims with Ignatius