Yesterday, in a hotly contested matchup, Pandita Ramabai made it past William Wilberforce 55% to 45% to claim the second spot in the Faithful Four. She joins Martha of Bethany and awaits two more companions as we move ever closer to awarding the coveted 2019 Golden Halo.
On tap today we have Ignatius of Loyola vs. Gobnait. To get to this point, Ignatius made it past Tikhon of Zadonsk and Marina the Monk, while Gobnait defeated and Hrotsvitha and Paula of Rome.
Also, in a move of largesse reminiscent of the recently defeated Nichols of Myra, the Supreme Executive Committee has devised a method for giving away (yes, for free!) the last three remaining France Perkins Golden Halo mugs. Rather than donating them to the Lent Museum, they will be given away at random to three lucky winners. Click here for details. And if you gave up Facebook for Lent or for Zuckerberg, add not being eligible to your list of crosses to bear. Alas, it's Lent.
Ignatius of Loyola
Leo Tolstoy quite famously did not write in Anna Karenina that “tasteful saintly goods are all alike; every kitschy saintly good is kitschy in its own way.” But he should have – because it’s true. Year after year, Lent Madness digs for Saintly Kitsch, and you’d think, after ten years, we’d run out. You might begin to think that the jig is up, the game is run, the kitsch is kaput! Never fear, dear reader, never fear. When you have a saint as popular as Ignatius of Loyola, you’ll never be wanting for kitsch.
Perhaps you’ve seen the portraits of Ignatius from previous rounds and thought, “you know, he seems ok, but I don’t know I like the cut of his jib.” Well, for the low price of $9.00 on Etsy, you won’t have to look at Ignatius’ jib at all – because this Ignatius’ jib is covered with a BIG BUSHY BEARD! To be clear, while Ignatius did have a beard, and Ignatian spirituality does ask you what you desire, Ignatius is not Santa Claus. Sorry.
Maybe you’ve read Ignatius’ works, and know well that Ignatian spirituality centers in finding God in all things. But as you search for where God is moving in your life, you find yourself frustrated because you can’t peg down what Ignatius would think in a given situation. Oh, beloved, don’t worry. For a limited-time, you not only can peg Ignatius down, you can have Ignatius on a peg! ($25.91 on Etsy; void where prohibited; tax, title and license extra.)
If you’re trying to chase down Ignatius, then exercise is important. Physical exercise does the body good and leads to healthy living; the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius help us examine our desires, discern the movement of God in our lives, and find God in all things – giving us spiritual health. And thanks to the good folks at Zazzle, for $34.85, you can let folks know you’re working through the spiritual exercises as you do your physical exercise, with this snazzy “Exercising with Ignatius” tee-shirt.
The t-shirt shows our hero sitting happily with a cup of coffee. After all, if you’re going to find God in everyday life, you need to be sure to have your caffeine fix as you begin the day. Luckily, an Ignatius of Loyola knitted coffee cozy can keep your coffee hot and your hand cool! It’s only $16.95 on Etsy, and includes a quote Ignatius supposedly used with members of the Jesuit order – “Go forth and set the world on fire.” Just make sure your coffee isn’t fire-hot. That would be painful.
Ignatius sought to develop contemplatives in action – but even contemplatives in action need to rest. So as you wind down your day, pray your examen, and resolve to respond to God again tomorrow, you can nest your head one person’s paraphrase of Ignatius’ spirituality. Rest well. Tomorrow, there’s work to be done for the Greater Glory of God – AMDG!
Saint Gobnait is one of the national saints of Ireland – her story is tied to the place where she waits for her resurrection. What a great reason to travel – a pilgrimage to picturesque Ballyvourney, in County Cork.
What better way to remember Gobnait than to make a home for her beloved bees! Remembering that saving the bees is saving God’s creation, why don’t we make more hives shaped like churches – reminders of the holy work of caring for creation.
If you provide a home for Gobnait’s bees, you will also want to provide them with food. As you plant you plant a bee-friendly garden, say prayers of intercession for those in need of healing and for our world.
Beeswax is often associated with Easter, as we light the new fire of the paschal candle. But with an artistic eye we could weave the wax form Gobnait’s bees into remembrances of every season, including Christmas.
Whether you make a pilgrimage to Ballyvourney, stay home and plant a bee garden, or fashion beautiful devotional art from beeswax, show your support for the Gobnait every day.
Ignatius of Loyola vs. Gobnait
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