After convalescing from a war injury, St. Ignatius spent some time at the Benedictine Monastery in Montserrat and then went to nearby Manresa, where he took up residence at a hospice for the poor. While there he discovered a small cave in the hills on the outskirts of town. It became his second home; he spent countless hours and even days at a time, withdrawn, secluded, praying. Near the cave was a swift-flowing stream called the River Cardoner, where Igntaius would spend hours by the water, observing nature and starting to see God’s creative hand in everything around him.
I think of Ignatius sometimes when I spend some days hiking, as I am doing this weekend. It is impossible to walk the trails I have been walking without being acutely aware of God’s presence – at the moment of creation and in every moment thereafter. Impossible not to be filled with gratitude at the beauty of God’s handiwork.