Ignatian Wisdom #6: Reading and Ignatius’ Conversion

September 20, 2011

Re-reading the A Pilgrim’s Journey: The Autobiography of St. Ignatius of Loyola is enlightening in many ways.  However, I am most struck this time by Ignatius’ conversion story, and how it all began with reading.  “For it was through that reading that God began to act on his soul and draw him to a conversion of life”.  Suddenly, Ignatius found himself devoting more and more of his day to God.  His focal point was God, and he spent “his entire day in prayer, reading and writing”.  It was not without struggle, though, as Ignatius continually battled being pulled to his old way of life, his military career, his family’s respect, and his inheritance. 

As I read the first two chapters, Pedro Arrupe’s poem “Falling in Love” kept coming to mind–specifically, the part that says, “what you are in love with…will affect everything.”  Ignatius experienced the very thing that Arrupe captured in his poem.  Ignatius fell in love with God, and it changed everything. 

Ignatius’ conversion story is like so many of ours– it began with something small.  Reading was Ignatius’ invitation into life with Christ.  

What was your invitation? 

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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