One of my friends is a particularly fine party-thrower. She’s hosted classy cocktails, delicious brunches, and her last birthday was a bash to beat the band. She also has been known to throw parties on the feast of her confirmation saint, Ignatius of Loyola.
A few years back I celebrated St Ignatius Day with Jesuit educators from around the world at the International Colloquium on Jesuit Secondary Education. I led an ad hoc choir for a festival liturgy and we concluded with a delicious meal and dessert of cookies bearing St Ignatius’s face.
There are so many things I love about my faith tradition and community. I love that I’ve worked somewhere with a snack bar named “Pedro’s Place” after Pedro Arrupe. I love that I have bobble head Ignatius and even a stuffed Jesus on my desk. I love that there is a lightheartedness in my tradition. I think that this might be what we call joy.
I can see how some might find this disrespectful, but what can I say? It’s simply not. It’s a desire to bring the peculiarities of our spiritual ancestry into our every day. It’s a desire to mark certain days, year after year, that remind us of the best parts of our history.
So today is St Ignatius’s day, and for many of us who strive to find God in all things or do all things for God’s greater glory or to show love in deeds more than in words, it is a day we remember not only one Basque soldier but all of those who have had carried his sanctity into the contemporary world.
Our world is broken and life can be hard and even ugly at times. Yet still, we pause to feast, to remember what unites us and to remember what is good.
Keep rejoicing in the feast, whenever and however and whoever you choose to celebrate.