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Pope Francis’ Homily on the feast of St Ignatius 2013 – Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Pope Francis honours Ignatius, calls us to more faithful life in Christ
Pope Francis’ Homily on the feast of St Ignatius 2013 – Wednesday, 31 July 2013

“In this Eucharist in which we celebrate our Father Ignatius of Loyola, in light of the Readings we have heard, I would like to propose three simple thoughts guided by three expressions: to put Christ and the Church in the centre; to allow ourselves to be conquered by Him in order to serve; to feel the shame of our limitations and our sins, in order to be humble before Him and before the brothers.

The emblem of us Jesuits is a monogram, the acronym of “Jesus, the Saviour of Mankind” (IHS).   Every one of you can tell me – we know that very well!   But this crest continually reminds us of a reality that we must never forget –  the centrality of Christ for each one of us and for the whole Company, the Company that Saint Ignatius wanted to name “of Jesus” to indicate the point of reference.

Moreover, even at the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises he places our Lord Jesus Christ, our Creator and Saviour (Spiritual Exercises, 6) in front of us.   And this leads all of us Jesuits and the whole Company, to be “decentred,” to have “Christ more and more” before us, the “Deus semper maior”, the “intimior intimo meo”, that leads us continually outside ourselves, that brings us to a certain kenosis, a “going beyond our own loves, desires, and interests” (Sp. Ex., 189).
Isn’t it obvious, the question for us?   For all of us? “Is Christ the centre of my life? Do I really put Christ at the centre of my life?”   Because there is always the temptation to want to put ourselves in the centre.   And when a Jesuit puts himself and not Christ in the centre, he goes astray.is christ the centre of my life - pope francis - 31 july 2013

In the first Reading, Moses forcefully calls upon the people to love the Lord, to walk in His ways, “because He is your life” (cf. Deut. 30, 16-20).   Christ is our life!   The centrality of Christ corresponds also to the centrality of the Church:  they are two flames that cannot be separated:  I cannot follow Christ except in and with the Church.   And even in this case we Jesuits and the whole Company, are not at the centre, we are, so to speak, “displaced”, we are at the service of Christ and of the Church, the Bride of Christ our Lord, who is our Holy Mother Hierarchical Church (cf. Sp. Ex. 353).

To be men routed and grounded in the Church, that is what Jesus desires of us.   There cannot be parallel or isolated paths for us.   Yes, paths of searching, creative paths, yes, this is important: to go to the peripheries, so many peripheries.   This takes creativity but always in community, in the Church, with this membership that give us the courage to go forward.   To serve Christ is to love this concrete Church and to serve her with generosity and with the spirit of obedience.to serve christ is to love this concrete church - pope francis - 31 july 2018

“Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it . . . If anyone is ashamed of me . . .” (Lk 9:23).   And so on.   The shame of the Jesuit.   The invitation that Jesus makes is for us to never be ashamed of Him but to always follow Him with total dedication, trusting Him and entrusting ourselves to Him.   But looking at Jesus, as Saint Ignatius teaches us in the First Week, above all looking at Christ crucified, we have that very human and noble feeling that is the shame of not reaching the highest point;  we look at the wisdom of Christ and at our ignorance;  at His omnipotence and our weakness;  at His justice and our iniquity;  at His goodness and our wickedness (cf. Sp. Ex. 59).

Ask for the grace of shame;  the shame that comes from the constant dialogue of mercy with Him;  the shame that makes us blush before Jesus Christ;  the shame that puts us in tune with the heart of Christ who is made sin for me;  the shame that harmonises our heart in tears and accompanies us in the daily following of “my Lord”.   And this always brings us, as individuals and as a Company, to humility, to living this great virtue.   Humility that makes us understand, each day, that it is not for us to build the Kingdom of God but it is always the grace of God working within us;  humility that pushes us to put our whole being not at the service of ourselves and our own ideas but at the service of Christ and of the Church, like clay pots, fragile, inadequate, insufficient but having within them an immense treasure that we carry and that we communicate (2 Cor. 4:7).ask for the grace of shame - pope francis - 31 july 2018

It is always pleasant for me to think of the sunset of the Jesuit, when a Jesuit finishes his life, when the sun goes down.   And two icons of the sunset of the Jesuit always come to me:  one classical, that of Saint Francis Xavier, looking at China.   Art has painted this sunset so many times, this ‘end’ of Xavier.   Even in literature, in that beautiful peace by Pemàn.   At the end, having nothing but in the sight of the Lord; it does me good to thing about this.   The other sunset, the other icon that comes to me as an example, is that of Padre Arrupe in the last interview in the refugee camp, when he told us – something he himself said – “I say this as if it were my swan song: pray.”   Prayer, the union with Jesus. And, after having said this, he caught the plane and arrived at Rome with the stroke that was the beginning of so long and so exemplary a sunset.   Two sunsets, two icons that all of us would do well to look at, and to go back to these two.   And to ask for the grace that our sunset will be like theirs.

Dear brothers, let us turn again to Our Lady, to her who bore Christ in her womb and accompanied the first steps of the Church.   May she help us to always put Christ and His Church at the centre of our lives and of our ministry.   May she, who was the first and most perfect disciple of her Son help us to allow ourselves to be conquered by Christ in order to follow Him and to serve Him in every situation.   May she that answered the announcement of the Angel with the most profound humility:  “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word” (Lk 1:38), make us feel the shame for our inadequacy before the treasure that has been entrusted to us, in order to live the virtue of humility before God.   mary mother of god - pray for us - 10 may 2018

May our journey be accompanied by the paternal intercession of Saint Ignatius and of all the Jesuit saints, who continue to teach us to do all things “ad majorem Dei gloriam.”st ignatius and all jesuit saints pray for us 31 july 2018

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Thought for the Day – 31 July – The Memorial of St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

Thought for the Day – 31 July – The Memorial of St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

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 of Loyola 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.”  ( Fr Don Miller, OFM)

St Ignatius pray for us!st-ignatius-pray-for-us-31 july 2017 LOVE

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Quote/s of the Day – 31 July – The Memorial of St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

Quote/s of the Day – 31 July – The Memorial of St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

“If our church is not marked by caring for the poor,
the oppressed, the hungry, we are guilty of heresy.”if-our-church-st-iggy-31 july 2018

“Be generous to the poor orphans and those in need.
The man to whom our Lord has been liberal
ought not to be stingy.
We shall one day find in Heaven as much rest and joy
as we ourselves have dispensed in this life.”be generous to the poor orphans - 31 july 2018

“If God gives you an abundant harvest of trials,
it is a sign of great holiness which He desires you to attain.
Do you want to become a great saint?
Ask God to send you many sufferings.
The flame of Divine Love never rises higher than when fed
with the wood of the Cross, which the infinite charity
of the Saviour used to finish His sacrifice.
All the pleasures of the world are nothing compared
with the sweetness found in the gall and vinegar offered to
Jesus Christ. That is, hard and painful things endured
for Jesus Christ and with Jesus Christ…..If God causes you
to suffer much, it is a sign that He certainly
intends to make you a saint.”

St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)if-god gives-you-st-iggy - 31 july 2017

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 31 July – The Memorial of St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

One Minute Reflection – 31 July – The Memorial of St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

My brothers, I implore you by God’s mercy, to offer your very selves to him: a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for his acceptance, the worship offered by mind and heart………Romans 12:1romans-12-1 - my brothers I implore you by God's mercy - 31 july 2017

REFLECTION – “We must speak to God as a friend speaks to his friend, servant to his master – now asking some favour, now acknowledging our faults and communicating to Him all that concerns us, our thoughts, our fears, our projects, our desires and in all things seeking His counsel.”…St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)we must speak to god - st ignatius - 31 july 2018

PRAYER – Almighty God, grant that the example of Your saints may spur us on to perfection, so that we who are celebrating the feast of St Ignatius, may follow him step by step in his way of life to reach You in heaven. St Ignatius, pray for us, amen.st-iggy-pray-for-us-2-31 july 2017

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Our Morning Offering – 31 July – The Memorial of St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

Our Morning Offering – 31 July – The Memorial of St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

Teach Us Good Lord
By St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

Teach us, good Lord,
to serve You as You deserve;
to give
and not to count the cost,
to fight
and not to heed the wounds,
to toil
and not to seek for rest,
to labour
and not to ask for reward,
except that of knowing
that we are doing Your will.
Amenteach us good lord - st ignatius loyola - 31 july 2018

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, SAINT of the DAY

31 July – St Ignatius Loyola!

Today, 31 July, the Church liturgically recalls for us, one of the Master’s of the spiritual life, Saint Ignatius of Loyola.   The Pilgrim died in 1556 and was the author of the Spiritual Exercises and founder of the Society of Jesus.  Saint Ignatius of Loyola, a man who’s path to be a soldier for Christ and His Church, was started by a cannonball injury.

For the life of St Ignatius here:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/saint-of-the-day-31-july-st-ignatius-loyola-founder-of-the-society-of-jesusthe-jesuits/

murillo - st Ignatius
Esteban Murillo

 

From the life of Saint Ignatius from his own words by Luis Gonzalezst-ignatius-best-pic-ever-my-snip.jpg

Ignatius was passionately fond of reading worldly books of fiction and tales of knight-errantry.   When he felt he was getting better, he asked for some of these books to pass the time.   But no book of that sort could be found in the house, instead they gave him a life of Christ and a collection of the lives of saints written in Spanish.

By constantly reading these books he began to be attracted to what he found narrated there.   Sometimes in the midst of his reading, he would reflect on what he had read.   Yet at other times he would dwell on many of the things which he had been accustomed to dwell on previously.   But at this point our Lord came to his assistance, insuring that these thoughts were followed by others which arose from his current reading.

While reading the life of Christ our Lord, or the lives of the saints, he would reflect and reason with himself:  “What if I should do what Saint Francis or Saint Dominic did?” In this way he let his mind dwell on many thoughts, they lasted a while until other things took their place.   Then those vain and worldly images would come into his mind and remain a long time.   This sequence of thoughts persisted with him for a long time.

But there was a difference.  When Ignatius reflected on worldly thoughts, he felt intense pleasure; but when he gave them up out of weariness, he felt dry and depressed.   Yet when he thought of living the rigourous sort of life he knew the saints had lived, he not only experienced pleasure when he actually thought about i, but even after he dismissed these thoughts, he still experienced great joy.   Yet he did not pay attention to this, nor did he appreciate it until one day, in a moment of insight, he began to marvel at the difference.   Then he understood his experience – thoughts of one kind left him sad, the others full of joy.   And this was the first time he applied a process of reasoning to his religious experience.   Later on, when he began to formulate his spiritual exercises, he used this experience, as an illustration to explain the doctrine he taught his disciples, on the discernment of spirits.Sant_Ignazio_di_Loyola_F

SCULPTURE OF ST. IGNATIUS PART OF EXHIBIT ON SPANISH SACRED ART AT NATIONAL GALLERY
The upper portion of the sculpture “Saint Ignatius Loyola,” by Juan Martinez Montanes and Francisco Pacheco.

“After we experience the great peace of knowing God’s love for us, which quiets our anxieties and insecurities, we find another deep desire stirring within us.   We desire greatness, because we are made for greatness.”

Milanese School, Saint Ignatius Loyola Receiving a Vision of the Crucified Chri
Milanese School – St Ignatius receiving a vision of Christ
Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 31 July – St Germanus d’Auxerre (c 378 – c 448)

Saint of the Day – 31 July – St Germanus d’Auxerre Bishop of Auxerre (c 378 – c 448) , Lawyer, Missionary, Reformer, Exorcist, Miracle-Worker – born in c 378 at Auxerre, France – died on 31 July 448 at Ravenna, Italy of natural causes.   Patronages:  Patronage – Auxerre, France. st germanus baptising

He abandoned a career as a high-ranking government official to devote his formidable energy towards the promotion of the church and the protection of his ‘flock’ in dangerous times – personally confronting, for instance, the barbarian king, “Goar”.   In Britain he is best remembered for his journey to combat Pelagianism in or around 429 and the records of this visit provide valuable information on the state of post-Roman British society.   He also played an important part in the establishment and promotion of the Cult of Saint Alban.   The saint was said to have revealed the story of his martyrdom to Germanus in a dream or holy vision and Germanus ordered this to be written down for public display.   Germanus is venerated as a saint in both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, which commemorate him today  31 July.

The principal source for the events of his life is the Vita Germani, a hagiography written by Constantius of Lyon around 480 and a brief passage added onto the end of the Passio Albani, which may possibly have been written or commissioned by Germanus. Constantius was a friend of Bishop Lupus of Troyes, who accompanied Germanus to Britain, which provided him with a link to Germanus.StGermanus

Germanus, according to appearances, was not of outstanding piety during his youth, though of noble birth, his forebears were lords of the county of Auxerre in Gaul in the 5th century.   He studied eloquence and civil law in Rome and practised law there with distinction.   He married a Roman noblewoman and became known to the emperor Honorius, who made him general of the imperial troops for his native province.

Returning then to Auxerre, he indulged his passion for hunting and when advised by Saint Amator (344-418 – Memorial 1 May) the bishop of Auxerre, that his habits were not edifying, paid no attention to the admonition.   But God made known to this holy bishop his forthcoming death and that Germanus was destined to succeed him.   Saint Amator, therefore, went to see the Prefect of Gaul and asked his permission to have this soldier as a member of his clergy and the permission was granted.   He then tonsured Germanus and clothed him with the ecclesiastical habit, taking him by surprise during an assembly of the faithful and informing him there that he was destined to be his successor. Germanus dared not resist, fearing to oppose the Will of God.   He was consecrated soon afterwards, in the year 418.

st germanus - snip

He immediately became another man and making over his lands to the Church, he adopted a life of humble penance.   He rapidly attained high perfection and the gift of miracles was given him.   He attempted to conceal it but it became known when he obliged the demon, during a public exorcism, to reveal the place where stolen money was concealed.   Afterwards there was never a time when all the roads leading to his residence were not filled with crowds of sick persons, waiting to address the bishop and beg his assistance.   Many possessed persons were also delivered.   Invariably his modesty caused him to attribute the multiplying prodigies to the relics of Saints which he wore around his neck, or to the sign of the Cross, or to the holy water he sometimes used, or to oil which he blessed.   The furious demons tormented him with temptations and terrifying apparitions but found themselves powerless to disturb his peace.Germanus_von_Auxerre

At that time the Pelagian heresy was laying waste the British Isles and Germanus was chosen by the reigning Pontiff to go and deliver the Britons from the snare of Satan.  With Saint Lupus (383-478) he preached in the fields and highways throughout the land. Eventually he met the heretics face to face in a public conference, where each party was given an opportunity to speak.   When the heretics had defended their position, the two holy bishops answered with such force that their adversaries were reduced to silence and the faithful rejoiced in the triumph of the Catholic faith.   Immediately after the debate with the Pelagians, Germanus gave thanks for his victory at the grave of Saint Alban, which was likely in some sort of tomb or basilica.   That night, Saint Alban came to him in a dream, revealing the details of his martyrdom.   When Germanus awoke, he had the account written down in tituli, possibly to be engraved on the walls or illustrated placards at a church site.  Germanus then deposited some of the bones of continental saints in the basilica and took a sample of the earth at the site of Alban’s martyrdom, which still bore the marks of the martyr’s blood.

He also led the British people to their famous alleluia victory over the Saxons.Illustration of Saint Genevieve with Saint Germain of Auxerregermanus snip

Germanus visited England a second time to combat the Pelagian heresy which was still sowing its errors.   On this visit, he established public schools in Great Britain, which afterwards alleviated the ignorance of the people and preserved them from error.   He ordained priests and established an archbishop and many Saints were formed in the schools which his successors continued to found.   After pursuing his good works on behalf of the peoples of both his adopted and his native land, he died while in Italy, where he had succeeded in appeasing the anger of the emperor against some rebels in Britain.   Miracles had accompanied him all along the route of his journey.   His holy death occurred at Ravenna in the year 450, the 31st of his episcopal office.

Saint Germanus’s tomb continues to be venerated in the church of the Abbey of Saint-Germain d’Auxerre.  There is a tradition of a panegyric on the Sunday nearest to or preceding his festival in July.   His  body was interred in the Oratory of Saint Maurice, Auxerre, France but later re-interred in the church of Saint Germain that was built by Queen Clotilda on the site of the Oratory.  His body was found incorrupt when it re-located in the church several centuries later.   In 1567, the Huguenots desecrated the shrine and threw out the relics.   There are relics in Saint Marion abbey which are reported to be Saint Germain’s but this cannot be proven.Saint Germain of Auxerre in Paris, Francegermanus and genevieveP1010345_Paris_Ier_Eglise_Saint-Germain_l'Auxerrois_statue_Saint-Germain_reductwk