5. Consolation and Desolation



Hope_in_a_Prison_of_Despair5. Consolation and desolation

When Ignatius dictated his reminiscences towards the end of his life, he spoke at some length of the process of his conversion. After being wounded at a battle in Pamplona, Ignatius had to spend a long time in bed, and though he would have preferred his normal fare of tales of chivalry, the only available books were a life of Christ and the lives of the saints.

He used to pass long periods daydreaming, sometimes of his future exploits to win the heart of one of the noblest women in Spain, and sometimes of repeating the heroic actions of the great saints. He realised that these different thoughts gave rise to different feelings:  while the former often turned to a sense of dissatisfaction, the positive feelings experienced when he imagined performing big exploits for God stayed with him for a long time.

He says that this…

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