This is a story about St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.
Shortly after his conversion, the ex-soldier and courtier Ignatius was riding down a dusty road in Spain in the company of a Muslim Moor. They were discussing religion, and, not surprisingly, they disagreed on a few points. The Moor angrily ended the discussion and rode off. As a parting shot, he made some insulting remarks about the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Ignatius was outraged. He thought it might be his knightly duty to defend the honor of Mary by killing the Moor, but he wasn’t sure that would be consistent with his new faith. He left the decision up to the donkey he was riding. They were approaching a crossroads. If the donkey took the road that the Moor took, Ignatius would follow and kill him. If the beast took the other road, he would let him go. The donkey took the other road.
~ Ignatian Spirituality.com
The irony of this story is that St Ignatius was a man who was a spiritual master, renowned for his teachings on discernment – the art of making judgement. And in his anger and frustration he allowed himself to be led by a donkey!! Thankfully, for him, his donkey seemed to be wise 😉
The story was recorded by St Ignatius himself, perhaps to show how easy it is to allow our feelings to cloud our judgement.
I too have often allowed myself to be led by emotions. In the process, I have forgotten to take the time to really get in touch with my motives and to make decisions based on sound judgement. I allowed my ‘donkey’ to lead me down the wrong road……
Do you too allow your donkey to take you for a ride?
May you be inspired – everyday!