Loyola: From the Place of Mud

by | Sep 8, 2022

 “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.” – John 9:15

I imagine it this way:

He bends down.

His fingers carve out a small section of soil–

that patch of earth comes – palm up

to lips –

tongue, teeth,

all working together —

and in one fully whole, human action:

discharges saliva,

                          making mud in the bed of his hand.


His spittle.

And applies it to the blind man’s eyes.

Loyola means “from the place of mud.”

We come from the place of mud–


           St. Ignatius.




           That sightless, blind-from-birth-beggar --

Now healed.

           [Those Pharisees, too.]

From that which is unclear,


earthen —

a sacred unfolding,

an opening


Maybe His spit landed square in the bedrock – below His garments.

At the toe of his sandal — the earth transformed.

Not unlike that bread and wine –

The mundane became something new:

An instrument of grace, healing, an invitation to wholeness.

We are sent [blind and muddy-eyed]

To wash and see anew.

We come from the place of mud.


A poem written by Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Spiritual Director, on the occasion of Loyola Spirituality Center’s 45th anniversary, inspired by founder Dick Rice, sharing the meaning of the word, “Loyola.”


My prayer for each and every reader this day is to know the grace and truth of companionship in the mud. At Loyola we offer a loving and compassionate spirituality for all of life. As listeners to your sacred stories, we are steeped in the knowledge of Spirit rising above the mud, affirming goodness, and moving with us to see anew. May your sight and steps know God’s sacred touch.