WARNING: WRITER OF THIS BLOG IS IN A REALLY WEIRD MOOD. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Ignatius Loyola was Spanish. (Yes, Spanish. Not Latin American who speaks Spanish--that is not a Spanish person; it's a person that speaks Spanish. This guy is actually from Spain. Sorry--pet peeve. ) You could say that's why I chose to do my blog on him this week. We all know about Luther by now, why not add a nice Hispanic (Hispanic=of Latin American OR Spanish decent) guy to the mix? Sounds good to me. I'm a big fan of diversity, even though the Spaniards weren't the nicest of people during this time. Perhaps my Spanish class will tie into this! We shall see. So Loyola, he was a soldier, but then he got hurt in battle, so then he kind of had nothing better to do than reflect and educate himself, because nobles don't really work, as we all know. He started the Society of Jesus, which is also known as the Jesuits (I already knew this! There's a Jesuit school in Chicago called Loyola! Fun fact!) . The Jesuits were the leading missionaries of the church in that time (this gives me a bad opinion of him already, given that we are talking about the conquest of Latin America in Spanish class.) Loyola sees salvation as something a person can get with a combination of God's grace and human free will. In the reading, he talks about how to use that human free will as a way to serve God, in order to answer the questions of the era: "To what particular work is God calling me?" and "How can I serve God through family life?"
Loyola has two methods for making a decision in a time of tranquility. A "time of tranquility" is when "the soul is not agitated by diverse spirits, and is freely and calmly making use of its natural powers" (side note: a comma is not needed there because there is no second subject, yet the book uses one. I don't like reading old things with old grammar rules.) I choose to focus on the first method that Loyola uses, which has six steps:
1. Put the thing that the choice regards in his mind. In other words, think about it!
2. Focus on keeping the choice unbiased and all for the glory of God.
3. Pray that God shows which choice will promote His praise and glory.
4. Weigh the advantages against the disadvantages--kind of like we did a risk:benefit ratio in our project forms we turned in last week.
5. Consider what sounds most reasonable.
6. Pray that God will accept the choice that has been made.
I would like to think I use this method already. Sure, I didn't know this exact method, but I do have similar steps involved in my decision-making process. Sometimes it's easy to figure out what God wants me to do, but most of the time...it's not that easy. There's not always an obvious answer to our problems, or the obvious choice that we should make. Although I like Loyola's method, I think that God has a little bit of a different idea for us. The reason why these choices can be so hard to make are because he wants us to make our own decisions. That's how we grow. And when we make mistakes...that's when we grow the most, in my opinion. Right now, I'm trying to decide what to do this summer (job-wise, or maybe there's something else God wants me to do). Needless to say, things aren't magically falling into place. I really do think that God wants me to make my own decisions and learn from them, no matter what. However, some of the hardest decisions I make are with what to fill my time. I do think that God put La Oportunidad in my life last year, and that the reason why other places I've served in the Twin Cities haven't worked out was because he has a plan for me. I wish I could stay there forever....maybe He can make an intern position for me for later!
What a cool hat!