S. Ignatius of Loyola| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Ignatius of Loyola
The founder of the Jesuits was on his way to military fame and fortune when a cannon ball shattered his leg. Because there were no books of romance on hand during his convalescence, Ignatius whiled away the time reading a life of Christ and lives of the saints. His conscience was deeply touched, and a long, painful turning to Christ began. Having seen the Mother of God in a vision, he made a pilgrimage to her shrine at Montserrat (near Barcelona). He remained for almost a year at nearby Manresa, sometimes with the Dominicans, sometimes in a pauper’s hospice, often in a cave in the hills praying. After a period of great peace of mind, he went through a harrowing trial of scruples. There was no comfort in anything—prayer, fasting, sacraments, penance. At length, his peace of mind returned.
It was during this year of conversion that Ignatius began to write down material that later became his greatest work, the Spiritual Exercises.
He finally achieved his purpose of going to the Holy Land, but could not remain, as he planned, because of the hostility of the Turks. He spent the next 11 years in various European universities, studying with great difficulty, beginning almost as a child. Like many others, his orthodoxy was questioned; Ignatius was twice jailed for brief periods.
In 1534, at the age of 43, he and six others (one of whom was St. Francis Xavier, December 2) vowed to live in poverty and chastity and to go to the Holy Land. If this became impossible, they vowed to offer themselves to the apostolic service of the pope. The latter became the only choice. Four years later Ignatius made the association permanent. The new Society of Jesus was approved by Paul III, and Ignatius was elected to serve as the first general.
When companions were sent on various missions by the pope, Ignatius remained in Rome, consolidating the new venture, but still finding time to found homes for orphans, catechumens and penitents. He founded the Roman College, intended to be the model of all other colleges of the Society.
Ignatius was a true mystic. He centered his spiritual life on the essential foundations of Christianity—the Trinity, Christ, the Eucharist. His spirituality is expressed in the Jesuit motto, ad majorem Dei gloriam—“for the greater glory of God.” In his concept, obedience was to be the prominent virtue, to assure the effectiveness and mobility of his men. All activity was to be guided by a true love of the Church and unconditional obedience to the Holy Father, for which reason all professed members took a fourth vow to go wherever the pope should send them for the salvation of souls.
Luther nailed his theses to the church door at Wittenberg in 1517. Seventeen years later, Ignatius founded the Society that was to play so prominent a part in the Catholic Reformation. He was an implacable foe of Protestantism. Yet the seeds of ecumenism may be found in his words: “Great care must be taken to show forth orthodox truth in such a way that if any heretics happen to be present they may have an example of charity and Christian moderation. No hard words should be used nor any sort of contempt for their errors be shown.” One of the greatest 20thh-century ecumenists was Cardinal Bea, a Jesuit.
Ignatius recommended this prayer to penitents: “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.”
Patron Saint of:
Offer It Up:
Now that Christ has defeated sin and death, our own sufferings, joined to his, do indeed have meaning. Any pain can be offered to God in union with Christ's passion. And thus we are privileged, as members of his body, to save souls along with him.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Thank the Lord and be very glad that in the midst of an unholy nation, generous souls are not lacking, all intent on loving Jesus.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Three: 189-236
We continue now to the third notebook that Saint Faustina filled with messages of Mercy from our Lord. As you enter into this notebook, pause and reflect upon all that you have read so far. Has it changed your perspective on life? Has it changed you? If it has, then continue down that same path and trust that the Lord will continue to do great things in your life. If it has not, reflect upon why!
Sometimes we need more than the words we read. We also need true prayer, deep prayer and what we may call “soaking prayer.” Consider this as you read through the reflections flowing from this notebook and allow the words to not only enter your mind, but to also enter deeper. Read them prayerfully and carefully. Speak to our Lord as Saint Faustina did. Read some more of her actual diary in addition to these reflections and learn from her humble and childlike faith.
The Lord wants to do great things in your life! Open the door, through prayer and reflection, and let Him in!
Reflection 212: Overcoming Doubt
What is “doubt?” To doubt is to lack faith, and to lack faith is to lack trust in the perfect revelation and plan of God’s Will. First and foremost, a doubt, resulting from a lack of faith, means you are not listening. When we doubt God, His plan and all that He reveals to us, we are left on our own. But when we listen, hear, understand and believe, we are covered in the protection of His Mercy on account of the faith that we manifest. Faith means that we know with certainty all that God says and wills. Faith is not just believing in something we hope is true, it’s knowing and believing all that is true (See Diary #1101).
Do you doubt at times? Or do you have faith? This is an exceptionally important question to ponder. Begin by asking yourself these questions: Do I listen to the Voice of God? Do I hear God speak to me and do I comprehend all that He says? Without these first steps, faith is impossible. Hearing Him speak can only come through prayer. And the form of prayer we need could be called “soaking prayer.” Soaking prayer is a form of prayer by which we allow ourselves to daily become immersed in the Voice of God revealing His holy Will. He speaks to us all day, every day. Little by little we listen, comprehend and respond. This produces the gift of faith and that faith will lead your life. Reflect upon this process in your life and renew your commitment to start at the beginning so that the Lord will lead you one step at a time.
Dear Lord, I desire to hear You speak to me. Help me to open my ears to hear so that I may know You and discern Your perfect Will for my life. I desire to be led each day only by You and to trust in the gentle guidance of Your holy Will. Jesus, I trust in You.