by Margaret Silf
These might not be the first words that would come to mind if you were bidding farewell to a dear friend, with little hope of ever seeing him again. But these were Inigo’s parting words to his friend Francis Xavier as he sent him on mission to the Far East.
Just eight little words, but they speak volumes – about the inner freedom that allows us to let others live out their dreams, however hard it may be for us to let them go – and about the vision that fired Inigo and his friends through and through … the dream of setting the world on fire with a vision of what could be, if we really were to follow in the steps of Jesus of Nazareth.
I always smile when my computer spellchecker offers its alternative suggestion, ‘ignition’ in response to my attempt to type ‘Ignatian’.
To live the Gospel spirit that underpins the Exercises would indeed be explosive. It would have the transformative power of Pentecostal fire. Inigo knew that. He lived it.
And today, 500 years after he sent Francis Xavier forth, his challenge to us to set our own world on fire is no less compelling.
Fire is kindled by striking one small match. Is there any small first step you might take yourself, to kindle Gospel light in your own personal world?
Nelson Mandela declared that the freedom of the South African people was a dream he was determined to live for and, if necessary, willing to die for.