Loyola Institute of Ministry Extension - an unplanned invitation to a retreat with a brilliant Jesuit priest, an imaginative Ignatian meditation on scripture that knocked me out of my mental boat, a period of discernment (using Ignatian tools) that led eventually to seeking a ministry position out of town - yes, there was all that.
More recently, there has been the challenging influence of that continually fascinating Jesuit Pope...
In the past several years, there has been the invitation from Loyola Press to write first for their (now-defunct) DRE Connect blog, and more recently for Joe Paprocki's popular Catechist's Journey, all of which I truly believe has been part of the Holy Spirit's plan for me to use my charism of writing.
For a long time, it has been my conviction that St. Ignatius has somehow chosen me - indeed pursued me, on God's behalf. He has been, as near as I can tell, my appointed hound of heaven.
My personal vision of church is also very Ignatian - I am not hard-wired to be one to sit on the sidelines, but want to be practical, working and acting on behalf of Christ. In this Jesuit joke I would be with the Jesuits:
The Benedictans, Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits were having a big meeting that went well into the middle of the night. Suddenly all the lights went out in the meeting room. The Benedictans immediately started chanting Psalms glorifying God, the Franciscans took out their guitars and sang songs praising all creation, and the Dominicans began preaching about the metaphysics of light and darkness; meanwhile the Jesuits went to the basement, found the fuse box, and reset the breaker. (Fr. Felix Just, SJ)
So today, on St. Ignatius's feast day, I want to join my fellow Ignatian Minions and say, "Hail Iggy! Bring it on! A.M.D.G.