Coping with change, the Ignatian way
CHANGE has been all around us, much of it enforced, since the coronavirus pandemic upended our old 'normal' way of life last year.
If nothing else, it has perhaps emphasised that change is an essential, unavoidable feature of our lives; how we cope with change, adapt to new realities and embrace a different future can tell us a lot about ourselves.
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the conversion of Iñigo López de Oñaz y Loyola, known to us today as St Ignatius of Loyola.
He was a soldier with a penchant for violence, vanity and pride when he was struck down in battle. Badly injured, he emerged from the rudimentary surgery of the time with one leg shorter than the other and his military aspirations dashed.
During his recuperation he underwent a spiritual conversion, wholly changing the direction of his life.
Later, he went on to help found the Jesuit order and his Spiritual Exercises remain widely influential.
Cork Jesuit Patrick Corkery SJ has set out the process of St Ignatius's conversion in this handy and readable booklet, Saint Ignatius of Loyola: A Convert's Story.
There are lessons here for the reader in how to manage unexpected and difficult change within our own lives.
The author highlights acceptance of change, acknowledging the supports offered to us and making time for contemplation in our lives as lessons that can apply equally well in 2021 as they did for Ignatius 500 years ago.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola: A Convert's Story, by Patrick Corkery SJ is published by Messenger Publications, £4.50.