Ignacio de Loyola
I want to continue my series of posts on the people that I value and be grateful for with Ignacio de Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. I was raised protestant and never went to church except in early years of mandatory church attendance, but for a then unexplainable reason I always had great interest in the history of the Jesuits. When I was living 5 years in India I went several times to Goa, a former Portuguese enclave and saw the relics of St Francis Xavier and it made a great impression on me.
St Xavier was one of the first students of Ignatius and went alone to India and China to spread his message 500 years ago.
2 years ago I came to start coming in contact with John of God http://www.energy-medicine.info/john-of-god.html and I was touched to find that the main guiding informational matrix that is manifesting through him is that of Ignacio de Loyola.
This gave me some reason to study the teaching of Ignatius more in detail and I see it resonates a lot with me despite the Christian terminology. The spiritual exercises that he developed are truly superb examples of someone who understands the principles of the science of information and how to use them to make lasting changes in a persons life. His own life is full of examples of how he used DLE to sustain his spiritual transformation.
He was a son of a noble Spanish family and a proud soldier. In one battle in 1521 he was wounded and given not much chance to survive, but he did and this experience turned him into a spiritual seeker that would culminate in the establishment of the Jesuit order which reformed the catholic church and brought the value of learning to the middle ages and the new continents discovered at that time.
I want to give you a few examples from his autobiography of what Faith/Believe means for someone who wants to discover / develop it and not only to be a follower. For most people believe begins where they don’t find any expert anymore that can sell them a good sensible explanation for something (like how the CoRe system works ) and it begins there where they don’t see any more possibility to secure their life any further by their own efforts. So in short most of the time Believe/Faith is a last resource to squeeze some comfort and feeling of security out of the common believe that “God will not let me alone when I need him”, when my insurance company does not pay or the most learned doctors don’t have a cure for me, I still have a last hope under my sleeves.
Believe on the level of someone of the caliber of Ignatius is the opposite it is not a last resource for more security but it is based on the allowance of many DLE situation that would be avoided by all others. After he was wounded he was first in bed for almost a year and only was given two books “The life of the saints” and “Imitation of Jesus Christ” that inspired him so much that he decided to change his life and all the DLE examples that follow are from only one year that followed his year of re-convalescence.
When he was leaving Barcelona he made the company of a stranger and they talked. The stranger told him that he believed that the virgin had been a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus but he did not think that she kept being a virgin afterwards. This might seem like an irrelevant detail for us today but for that time it was a very offensive idea. This hurt Ignatius so much that he was unsure if he should follow the stranger and strike him or let him alone. Eventually he decided that if at the next crossroad his mule would turn right he would make every attempt to find the stranger again and to punish him or if it turned left to let him alone. The way the mule turned was then very instructive to him and a source of the growth of his faith.
Shortly later he decided that he wanted to do a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and he still had some money from his noble family. But he decided that it would be a sign of lack of faith if he kept this money to secure his journey and so he gave it away. But through some unexpected circumstances he got again some money just at the time he wanted to start his journey and to allow this DLE gave him much new inspiration and remained vivid in his memory until he dictated his autobiography 25 years later.
On this trip he had to pass through Venice where ships for Jerusalem started, but because of the then current fear of pestilence the city authorities only let those people enter the city gates that had a health permit (just like I was asked if I had one of swine flue symptoms when I was transiting through Mexico last month… by some modern day naïve health officials). He decided that his health was so bad that he would never get a health permit and that it was a lack of faith that he thought he would need one but not get one if he was supposed to go to Jerusalem. When he went to the gates unexpectedly nobody asked him for the permit.
He was so confirmed that he gave all them money that he had received unexpectedly for his journey again to the poor, certain that if it was the plan to go to Jerusalem he would get it again from somewhere…. And he did a second time and this was the basis of teaching about allowing DLE moments that would inspire thousands that followed his example to go to far away unknown lands and thus further their own connection to the spirit through all the DLE situations that this inevitable would bring.
“Experience shows that the most frequent contradictions are followed by the greatest fruit.”