Seek the face of Ignatius wherever
he is: often sick, always happy,
always writing, sometimes fierce;
he never leaves the eternal city.
Glance at his tears of joy whenever
he recalls the Lord’s gifts at Manresa;
that face teaches us how to live, and love
ad maiorem Dei gloriam.
Seek his face as he journeys everywhere:
In pain from Pamplona; at Montserrat;
at the Cardoner, paused, for the last time;
calm in sea-storm towards the Holy Land;
sent back to Spain; waiting for the others
near Montmartre; and reaching Venice again;
moving inside La Storta, and outside;
on the way always to Rome: see that face.
He is so exercised in the life of prayer
that his eyes flicker with heartshifts, heartcalm;
his voice is a quiet petition for light;
he leans to hear the colloquies of love.
Always here, he looks as if somewhere else:
on or near the Holy City, the Lord close,
everyday a Friday or a Sunday;
in our company he’s more himself than ever.
Walnuts at table stirs his memories of home.
He’s brightened our faces with a Basque dance.
Hidden from us at Mass, we cannot see
his face. For the greater glory of God
throughout the world he has started something small.
His body breaks under the Lord’s love.
He limps about this his final city
barely seen or known. The look on his face
is beyond words, or poetry, or song.
Andrew Bullen SJ, Ignatius the Pilgrim: Poems and Prayers, 2013