From the wound a lovely flower grew

Br. Curtis Almquist SSJE writes this morning in “Brother, Give Us a Word” about Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.

Ignatius of Loyola had his life’s quite-vain ambitions completely dashed by a mortal wound. Through that wound he found a kind of healing for his soul: an experience of love, freedom, and clarity to attune his desires to what God desires.

I can’t help hearing echoes of a song by Sting called “The Lazarus Heart”:

He looked beneath his shirt today
There was a wound in his flesh so deep and wide
From the wound a lovely flower grew
From somewhere deep inside

While Sting is also referencing the myth of the Fisher King — the sickness of the land is visible in the king’s body, and his healing saves the land — Br. Curtis points to the cross-shaped life that Ignatius embodied.

From a powerful fall, a crippling wound that should have ended his military usefulness, Ignatius became something new, a soldier for Christ. His discipline and ferocity were transmuted into rigorous prayer and daring service.

Each of us will find in our own falling, in the “wound in our flesh so deep and wide,” the seed of new life in Christ — if we wish to flower.

Though the sword was his protection
The wound itself would give him power
The power to remake himself
At the time of his darkest hour
She said the wound would give him courage and pain
The kind of pain that you can’t hide
From the wound a lovely flower grew
From somewhere deep inside


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