Monday, July 28, 2014

Thoughts on St. Ignatius and the Middle East

I had read something that St. Ignatius Loyola had written and it had to do with making decisions. It went something like this: If you find yourself in the wrong path, you have to turn back to the point where it was the right path. You have to go back before the fork in the road.

I can't find his exact words, but I'm fairly certain this idea came from St. Ignatius. I had been impressed by the statement's truth and simplicity. And the remarkable thing about it, is that the rule did not just apply to life but also to writing.  When a story makes a wrong turn, you need to go back to the point before things started going wrong.

The reason I remembered this Ignatian thought is because my head has been in a muddle over events in the Middle East. So much has gone on there:  death, destruction, evil, manipulations, double-dealing, shifting alliances as to make one crazy in trying to figure out what is right or wrong, what should be and what should not be.

Then last night, as I read the news about Gaza and about Syria having the deadliest week ever, this Ignatian thought slipped into my mind. I have not teased out the connections as of yet, but my fledgling ideas have to do with the rightness or wrongness of matters, of leaders, of choices. It has entered my head that choices cannot be based on what is the "lesser evil" because Evil is Evil. For instance, Assad is not really the right choice just because ISIS seems to be the "greater evil."

And the notion of where God is, in all of this mess, is another important question. Where is God in the midst of War and Death? Is God there, even as Evil is there? I know that He is there, but it is difficult to see Him in the image of a kid whose head has been half-blow off.

I don't have the answers but I'm trying to imagine how to get back to the point before the wrong turns were made in the Middle East.

Read also
Muslims Condemn ISIS
Ignatian Spirituality
Discernment: Recognizing God's Voice
Syria, Iraq War: Australian Jihadist and Filipina Girlfriend Arrested in Cebu, Philippines
Syrian Revolutionary Poem 
Syria's Assad accused of boosting al-Qaeda with secret oil deals

Tags: Middle East, St. Ignatius Loyola, Ignatian, war, Syria, Iraq, ISIS, ISIL, Assad

This is all for now,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From Paul J. Durano Gorre: It is called "Examen," rules of the discernment of spirits. Salamat kaayo, Cecilia, for your sincere insights. Very timely because his feastday is in three days, July 31st. St. Ignatius Loyola is one of my fave saints!

from: Louie Nacorda: There is a very nice book written by a Jesuit priest entitled "The Jesuits Guide to Almost Everything." The Examen method is clearly explained there, among others.

from: Millicent Dypiangco: FYI, the book referred to above is written by Fr. James Martin, SJ. He has a new book called Jesus: A Pilgrimage. He also has a FB page.

from Astrid Barros: Good resource for Ignatian spirituality and the July 31st Feast of St. Ignatius