We are celebrating the Ignatian year – a commemoration of 500 years since the conversion of St. Ignacy Loyola. It turns out, however, that in Spanish this anniversary sounds a bit different, because it’s the 500th anniversary of “the wound” of St. Ignatius. It has been 5 centuries since the founder of the Jesuits was wounded by a cannonball during the defence of Pamplona. This was, indeed, the beginning of his conversion, because reading the lives of the saints during the convalescence pushed him into giving his life completely to Jesus, but nevertheless this “wound” matters. Sometimes you has to travel 2,500 km to discover such a simple truth.

I have received a gift from God to celebrate the feast of St. Ignatius in Pamplona, ​​where it all began for him. This is also where I started my retreat, which was a time of healing wounds and regaining spiritual strength before the long journey that awaits me (if I follow Ignatius’ footsteps, it will really be a veeery long way). Jesus’ feet also accompanied me. Those that walked many miles on earth, were anointed by a friend from Bethany, carried the weight of the cross… and then were immobilised by sharp nails, but only for a short time, just to walk the earth again very soon. This time different, converted, resurrected. Still hurt though.

We all have wounds inside of us. Sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller. But never so great that God could not turn them into glorious scars. This is what Cristóbal Fones SJ sings about, in this song (my translation below):

At the end of our life we will arrive
with the wound turned into a scar

Love will take its toll.
The road will leave us a thousand footprints.
We will stumble over the same wall.
Any disappointment will make a dent in us.
But we are children of a God that is in love.
Thirsty seekers of answers.
We are pure ambition that You sowed,
so that your kingdom would flourish.

We will fight to death with the ego.
We will feel that time is pressing on us.
We will hold on to our defeats.
We will lose the music and the life.
And yet, we will continue dancing.
Because that’s how we are, humans that belong to you.
Bearers of an unquenchable fire.
Believers in a world without borders.

We are excited about our fragility,
dreamers who do not despair.
We will never give up tomorrow
although today the storm touches us.
And if the motives crack
for having chosen your flag,
we’ll keep walking cracked,
because your Gospel is now our land.