Placed with the Son: The Vision of Ignatius in the Chapel of La Storta
The life of Ignatius and the long line of Jesuits who have been faithful to their calling can be summarized into what happened to Ignatius during his prayer in the abandoned chapel of La Storta. Here he had a vision that puts to a halt everything that the Society has stood for beginning from the life of her founder up to the present age. Hugo Rahner, S.J. puts the details of the vision well. I quote,
His heart was wholly filled with the one desire: to obtain through the intercession of the most holy Mediators that grace for which he had prayed such long years: to be placed completely with Christ, to be received – he and his friends in the Lord – under the standard of the poor and suffering Jesus… The mystical grace was made manifest in a perceptible “transformation of his heart”… And in this state, he perceives interiorly how the Father has heard his prayer: the sentence the eternal Father speaks to him: “Ego ero vobis Romae propitious” is impressed on his heart.
This certainty that the Father has heard his prayer and granted it then develops like picture before Ignatius’ soul. He sees the Father and the cross-bearing Jesus, with whom he so longs to be placed. Again, the Father speaks: “I want you, my Son, to take this man as your servant.” And now Jesus manifests himself, and this manifestation is the “operation of the Father” – Jesus as Mediator and Revealer of the Father speaks only what the eternal Father has desired and granted: “I want you to serve us”… the little company of Jesus is placed forever with the cross bearer.
What abides in him as a lasting possession is only the powerful awareness: we have been placed with the Cross bearer, the Father is favorable; we are forever servants of Christ. Whether this will be revealed by a bloody death – Ignatius does not know. But he can go to
1 Hugo Rahner, S.J., The Vision of St. Ignatius in the Chapel of La Storta, (Rome: Centrum Ignatianum, 1975), pp. 64-65.