How to achieve true freedom?

“Walking with Ignatius”

Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ - 11 May 2021 - Aula of the General Curia of the Society of Jesus

Good afternoon and welcome to the presentation of “Walking with Ignatius”.

How to achieve true freedom is the question that opens this presentation and the reflection that accompanies it.

An unexpected and long experience of collective and global health measures, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has revived the yearning and the question of freedom.

To live in freedom is the greatest aspiration of every human being and of Humanity. Reality contradicts this aspiration in many ways. Life in freedom encounters obstacles of all kinds: personal, family, cultural, economic, social... As humanity, as a people and, many times, as individuals, we are far from a life of freedom. However, we are convinced that it is possible to achieve freedom, which is why the question of “how” is so pertinent.

An important aspect of the answer is that it is a “way”, a process... Freedom is not achieved “in a flash”, suddenly. It is not the fruit of an act of magic, nor of utopian ideologies, nor a gift from some populist messiah who offers it just like that. To achieve freedom is, therefore, to travel a long and complex path of liberation.

The wound received by Ignatius of Loyola in the battle of Pamplona, five hundred years ago, was a crucial moment in his path of liberation. With his leg shattered, he became a pilgrim, a wayfarer towards true freedom. He freed himself from the illusions he had built up from his family experience and in the royal court, to pursue the ideal built from the personal encounter with Jesus of Nazareth, which allowed him to discover the essence of freedom: the love that leads to the surrender of one’s own life so that others may have life.

On his path of liberation Ignatius discovered that one does not walk alone towards life in freedom. Following Jesus Christ, one walks with others, in the community that has gathered around him, which is the Church. Within the ecclesial community Ignatius found other companions on the way with whom he founded the Society of Jesus to collaborate in the march of humanity towards life in freedom.

Remembering the pilgrimage of Ignatius encourages us to continue on the road to freedom opened up by Jesus’ gift of his life for the life of the world. The book is inspired by this image of the pilgrim who gathers many to walk together towards life in freedom.

At this stage of humanity’s journey of liberation, in which the Society of Jesus wants to collaborate, we need to look at the world and history with the gaze of the Lord. We have chosen as the motto of this Ignatian Year 2021-2022 “to see all things new in Christ” because it is not a question of looking back, nor of exalting the figure of Ignatius of Loyola. Inspired by his experience, we seek to identify ourselves with the person of Jesus Christ, the only Lord, in such a way that we may be in tune with the endearing gaze of the one who gave his life for all human beings so that we may show the way to life in freedom.

In the book we are presenting we offer some of the ingredients of the path of liberation that, as Society of Jesus, we are traveling. I say “we offer” because it has been the fruit of a long and wide-ranging conversation in the form of an interview with Darío Menor, completed with points of reflection by Sister Jolanta Kafka in the prologue and Cristian Peralta, SJ, after each chapter. Enriched with illustrations by various Jesuit artists, chosen by Pierre Belanger, SJ. Not forgetting the editorial coordination work of John Dardis, SJ, Jesús Zaglul, SJ and José María Bernal, SJ.

A path inspired by the pilgrim Ignatius is traveled with a Church that seeks to grow as the People of God on a synodal journey, contemplates the world with its lights and shadows, evidenced in a clear way by the global pandemic, and recalls the guidelines that as Society of Jesus we have for the journey.

We walk with so many other people collaborating in a mission of reconciliation and justice. We walk with the discarded of the world, accompanied by young people, sensitive to the deterioration of the environment and encouraging better care for the Common Home. We walk and show the way to God through discernment and the Spiritual Exercises that we inherited from Ignatius of Loyola.

As Society of Jesus we want to renew our commitment to walk, together with the Church and so many other people of diverse cultures, creeds and geographical locations, the path of liberation. This book is an invitation to walk with energy and discern the path from the gaze of the Lord Jesus in order to find the direction of life in freedom for all human beings.

Arturo Sosa, SJ
11 May 2021

Where to buy it

Publisher Language Geographic Area Website
Grupo de Comunicación Loyola Spanish Spain + Latin America Link
Loyola Press English USA Link
Messenger (Ireland) English Europe + Asia Pacific + Africa Link
Éditions Jésuites French Francophone Link
Apostolato della Preghiera Italian Italy + EUM + DIR Link
Ediçoes Loyola de Brasil Portuguese (Brazilian) Brazil Link
Apostolado da Oraçao Portuguese Portugal Link

* Some of the publishers will make available the book starting on 11 May. The list will be updated regularly.

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Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles public relations.

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