I wonder how St. Ignatius and his first companions felt on this night in 1541. They were on the cusp of making a major commitment. The next day, they would walk across Rome to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the Walls, where they would profess their solemn vows as Jesuits.
We often hesitate at the thought of making permanent commitments, especially ones that reconfigure the whole of our lives, such as getting married or entering a religious vocation. Our culture feeds this anxiety, telling us freedom comes in having unlimited options available to us.
For St. Ignatius, freedom meant something different. It was found not in having many options, but instead in pursuing one option wholeheartedly, namely, the option for God and the will of God as it is made known to me in my life.
What commitment is God asking me to make that will bring me into a deeper freedom?
—Vincent Strand, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Wisconsin Province, is studying theology in preparation for priestly ordination at the International College of the Gesù in Rome.