Ignatius of Loyola is the founding father of the Jesuit order in the Roman Catholic Church. As a young man, he was, in his own words, "a man given over to the vanities of the world, and took a special delight in the exercise of arms, with a great and vain desire of winning glory."
After serious injury, sustained during a battle, he was forced to convalesce for months. During this time he daydreamed of romance and glory - but strangely was left somewhat restless by these daydreams. He then began to imagine he was like one of the early saints of the church - and discovered that these types of daydreams didn't leave him restless - but calmer and more peaceful.
That was the start of his explorations into Christian spirituality - and into himself. If you want to read more about his life, it's told very readably at www.jesuit.org.uk.
Jesuit spirituality continues to have a profound effect on many Christians - lay and religious, Catholic and non-Catholic, old and young.
Here is one of Ignatius' prayers.
Prayer for the Disturbed
O Christ Jesus,
when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love
and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You,
we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.
St. Ignatius of Loyola
The words, '...when all is darkness and we feel our weakness and helplessness...', echo in my heart at the moment, as an immediate family member faces imminent death. When in a position of loss and helplessness, God can be our protector and strength - even when our own strength seems to be giving up. We have only to turn our face to God, open our heart and surrender our will - or, as Ignatius says, 'live close to You'.
I pray that you too will be blessed by this prayer. Grace and peace to you all.
You can read other prayers by Ignatius here:
Prayer for Generosity
Prayer of Surrender