July 31, 2008

Ignatius of Loyola

Category: Communion of Saints — Micah @ 12:00 am

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Good day, and welcome to Communion of Saints from stjeromeschapel.org. I’m your host, Micah Jackson. Today is July 31st, 2008: the feast of Blessed Ignatius Loyola.

I hear a lot of people tell their stories about how they first became convinced that God was calling them to a life of service. These stories are sometimes dramatic and some even come with tears and shouting at God. But few have a story as dramatic and painful in the coming as the man we remember today, Ignatius of Loyola.

As a young nobleman in the early 16th century, he grew up having a “special delight in the exercise of arms with a great and vain desire of winning glory.” When he fought in the Battle of Pamplona in 1521, an act of bravery caused him to be wounded. His leg was smashed, and he was forced to spend a lot of time in the hospital recovering from his injury. If you’ve ever been sick for a long time, you know there’s not much to do, and all Ignatius could find to read were spiritual books. Inspired by these writings, he could feel God calling him to something, and after a long and difficult retreat in a town called Manresa, he determined to go make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He came to understand that to do the work God was calling him to do, he would have to study theology and be ordained a priest. While in school in Paris, he and six of his friends founded what would become the largest order in the Roman Catholic Church, the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits. Their motto is Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam, “To the Great Glory of God.” Surely, he was inspired to adopt this motto from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, in which he writes, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31-11:1)

Ignatius’ life was very dramatic, and full of adventures, both before and after his conversion, but he never thought that adventures were necessary. Ignatius would tell you today that God should be sought in all things, small and great, and that in so doing, you will be fulfilling the purpose for which you were created.

Let us pray: Almighty God, from whom all good things come: You called Ignatius of Loyola to the service of your Divine Majesty and to find you in all things. Inspired by his example and strengthened by his companionship, may we labor without counting the cost and seek no reward other than knowing that we do your will; though Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

Thank you for listening to Communion of Saints. Please join us tomorrow at stjeromeschapel.org for the feast of Blessed Joseph of Arimathaea. I’m Micah Jackson. May God be with you.

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