As we age, we grow increasingly aware of how vessel-like our bodies are: they ache, break, and malfunction. We could spend much time, money, and energy trying to restore the vessel to how it used to be. But Paul’s words take us in a different direction entirely. Our bodies—our very lives—are meant to carry Christ’s life. We become incarnations of the divine through Christ’s dwelling in us. We carry God’s glory in these bodies, but we also carry the suffering that accompanies love.

Ignatius of Loyola was forced to relinquish pride in bodily beauty and strength when a cannonball marred and disabled him. Yet those close to him in the long years of his ministry noted how joyful he was, how humble, and how grateful to be put to God’s service. He knew that suffering and love were intertwined.

Can we accept the pain with the glory?

—Vinita Wright serves as Managing Editor, New Product Development at Loyola Press, Chicago, IL. Click here to enjoy Loyola Press’s “31 Days with St. Ignatius,” a month-long celebration of Ignatian spirituality in honor of St. Ignatius’ Feast Day on July 31. Content includes articles, blog posts, and videos to help you learn about and apply the principles of Ignatian spirituality.