Some of my friends in the spiritual/blogging life are observing this entire month as a conclusion to the Ignatian Year, marking five centuries since Ignatius’ conversion after an injury ended his military career and thrust him into a life of discipleship.
Today, a favorite prayer from the Spiritual Exercises:
Take, Lord, all my liberty.
Receive my memory,
my intellect, and will.
Whatever I have or hold
you have given to me;
so I return them to you
to be used according to your will.
Give us only your love
and your grace,
and with these we are rich enough
and ask for nothing more.
It seems an expression counter to what Americans, or even American Christians would adopt. Liberty is something we rightly value, but we offer it in freedom to God. Memory, intellect, and will: these things we lose in variants of dementia and it is frightening to see it tormenting loved ones, not to mention our own selves.
What is left for us? According to Father Ignatius, love and grace. That’s enough, he counsels.