Since I have become Catholic over three years ago, the Lord continues to remind me of the little "touches of Catholicism" that were in my life for the past 30 years when I was a full blown devout non-Catholic Christian. On this special feast day we remember St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus in 1534. He helped to kick off the Counter-Reformation. He is known for his Spiritual Exercises and one of his most well known prayers is this:
“Receive, Lord, all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. You have given me all that I have, all that I am, and I surrender all to your divine will, that you dispose of me. Give me only your love and your grace. With this I am rich enough, and I have no more to ask.”
When I read it last year on the feast of St. Ignatius, this prayer was so strangely familiar to me, but I couldn't remember where or when I had heard it before. It was like a whisper in my mind but I knew not who had spoken it. Suddenly it dawned on me. I played this as a song over 30 years ago! In 1975, my brother and I were in a little band with a group of three young women singers from an independent charismatic church. I played mandolin, brother was on the upright bass and the three young gals sang three part harmony and played acoustic guitars.(one was the pastor's wife) We were doing some original and some contemporary praise stuff and a song called "Receive." None of us knew where it came from at the time but had we known the words were from St. Ignatius, I don't suspect it would have made it on our recording. We practiced almost nightly one hot summer and then coughed up some cash and went to a professional recording studio in Morristown, NJ to record our album.
I have no idea where the original tape is now but I remember it was pretty intense, no overdubs, and the first take had to be right since the timer was clicking away.
At the end of one song, everyone started to sing and pray in tongues and I was mortified, but the engineer just kept the tape rolling and it ended up being on the finished tape. I was the only non-tongue speaker in our band and you would think I would have gotten the hint that this wasn't where I was supposed to be. Well, Israel took 40 years to finally get out of the desert and it took me 31 years to find my way back to the Catholic Church......could have been worse.
St. Ignatius, pray for all those who leave the Church. Intercede to the author and finisher of our faith to bring those home who left without knowing Who they were leaving.