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Reaction Paper on Ignacio De Loyola

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Reaction Paper on Ignacio de Loyola

The film Ignacio de Loyola chronicles the life of Ignacio de Loyola starting from his life as a nobleman to his life as a servant of God. The first scene of Ignacio as an adult showed him with a prostitute–whom he seems to be a regular customer of–indicating that his life was mostly hedonistic. He was a soldier then of the Spanish Army, who were looking to fend off the advance of the French Army. The night before the war, he was also appointed as a personal knight by Lady Catalina in private. In this war, his leg got hit, rendering him bedridden. During his recovery, he read books about the lives of saints such as St. Francis of Assisi which lead to a spiritual conversion. Since then, he started a new life as a soldier, not of man, but of God. He went on a journey to Montserrat shrine where he gave up his life as a soldier and then to Manresa where he lived a life of poverty while serving the poor and those in need while developing his Spiritual Exercises. In Alcalá, he was tried for heresy but was soon judged to be innocent. He then went on to pursue formal studies in theology and established the Society of Jesus.

It can be inferred that Ignacio lived through the period of the Spanish Inquisition. During this time, the Church held a lot of power and they tried a lot of people who they think is heretic. One of these was Ignacio, because he was preaching even without an education on theology and that his Spiritual Exercises, his method of teaching the word of God, were too different from the usual teachings of the Church. Thankfully, everything it contained was found in Scripture and several testimonies of his good deeds allowed him to be judged innocent.

For me, the first conversion moment was when he swore to be the knight of Lady Catalina. Before the accident, his life was easygoing – he just did whatever he wanted such as availing the services of prostitutes but after that, he found a lady to protect and this started his life of dedication. It was soon followed by arguably his biggest conversion moment, his spiritual conversion from a soldier of man to a soldier of God after reading about the lives of saints. Instead of dedicating his life to Lady Catalina, staying as a soldier and killing people, he became devoted to God and helped people. It started his journey of spiritual salvation which not only dealt with his struggles in life, but also culminated in the founding of the religious order of the Jesuits. Along the journey, he has had a lot of small but important conversion moments which helped shape his spirituality. The first was in Montserrat, where he gave away his nobleman’s garments and donned a poor man’s robe. It signaled the start of his life of humility and generosity. The second was in Manresa where he begged food for sick people as well as caring for them in a hospital. This is where he started being a man for others. Lastly, his writing of the Spiritual Exercises freed him from his struggles wherein he beat his inner demon, and was thus able to come closer to God.

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