S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Pilgrim named IGNATIUS

The Universal Church celebrates the memory of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, every July 31st. When we honor the Memory of St. Ignatius, we thank the Lord for the gift of his person to the Church and to the world.

Perhaps it is helpful if we reflect on St. Ignatius' greatest gift to the Church. As a young Jesuit, I would personally say that his greatest gift to all of us is his Spirituality (often referred to as Ignatian Spirituality) en fleshed in his obra maestra the Spiritual Exercises. And for me, Ignatian spirituality in a nutshell is simply this: "Finding God in All Things." We often hear this phrase from both Jesuits and non-Jesuits, but if we reflect on it more deeply, then we will realize how simple, yet powerful that phrase is. St. Ignatius would say that the finger of God, His Divine Presence, is very much active in our life. Hence, God is present in all events, places, persons, even our emotions and dispositions. All we need to do is open our eyes and hearts to feel the gentle and loving presence of this God. And the realization of how active and near this God is to us fosters a deeper and more intimate relationship with this God. I believe that this realization brought about Ignatius' deep devotion to and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

The interior of the Church of San Ignacio in Intramuros before it was destroyed during the Second World War

As we celebrate his memory then, let us ask the Lord to give us the grace to be like St. Ignatius. That even in the midst of the busyness of our day, the good and not so good things that happened to us, the many good and not so good people we meet and work with, we may truly find Him and feel His gentle and loving presence. For indeed, the world is filled with the grandeur of God!

San Ignacio de Loyola,
Pray for us.


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