|St Ignatius of Loyola|
|Tuesday, July 31 2012|
Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola
God calls each of us for a special purpose:
And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God's will. We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:27-28, NAB
Have you ever wondered what God's purpose is for your life? It can be very difficult to figure out. Discerning God's will can be quite a challenge, but St. Ignatius of Loyola, through the Spiritual Exercises, has helped to shape Catholic thought on how to accomplish this.
I have taken a detour from the normal Daily Bible Verses to honor St. Ignatius of Loyola on his feast day, because his life and writing have had a major impact on my life. It began before I knew much about him, or any saints for that matter, when it came time to choose a saint for my Confirmation through the RCIA process.
Choosing a saint for Confirmation was not an easy task; I knew very little about any of them. I scoured books and websites on the saints - looking for one that represented my life. Eventually, I stumbled upon the story of St. Ignatius, and I saw how my life paralleled his.
As a veteran, I admired his military service. As an adult student going to college, I identified with his return to school as an adult. But most importantly, as a convert, I was in awe of his ability to make an impact through his writing and teaching - something that I hoped to accomplish myself, one day. These were all great reasons to choose him as my Confirmation saint, but the story doesn't end there.
For those that have followed this website for awhile, you may know this story already (I apologize), but it was an impactful part of my conversion. Becoming Catholic was not an easy, natural thing to do for me, and I still had many doubts and fears. Like many people, I was looking for a sign or signal from God that I was on the right path. While we do not always receive that sign, mine was brought through St. Ignatius, and I will never forget it.
As I said before, I knew little about saints. Long after I had chosen St. Ignatius as my saint for Confirmation, I learned about feast days, and how some Catholics celebrate that day in place of their own birthday. Curious, I decided to look up St. Ignatius's feast day. Lo and behold, it was July 31st - my birthday. To me, this was the sign I was looking for. I had inadvertantly chosen a saint whose feast day was my birthday - one more way for me to connect with St. Ignatius.
Some may not see this as a big deal. Some will chalk it up to chance. But out of 365 days in a year, I stumbled upon a saint that shared a special day with me. God's signs may not come for all of us as visions of the Blessed Mother. For most of us, God points us in the right direction using the little miracles of life, and little miracles are more than enough for me.
Back to today's verse. We can all see God's purposes and intentions for our lives. He had a plan for my life that included the Catholic Church - something I never expected. Over time, I recognized that call. Can you recognize what God is calling you to do? Can you see Him working in your life? If you're looking for a sign, stop looking for bright lights and bold letters, and start looking for the little miracles that come along your path.
As an added bonus, read my review of God's Voice Within - my recent review of the book that focuses on Ignatian discernment.