This past week we celebrated the feast of St Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuit Order(formally called the Society of Jesus) in 1570. His order, which is the largest religious order in the world today, serves primarily in parishes and education in 112 nations around the world.
More than the impact he has had on our church for the last 450 years, he also had a major impact of St Anthony Mary Claret, who at one point in his life spent time in the Jesuit novitiate which left a lasting influence on him. Two of St Ignatius’ admonitions give us our way to transfigure ourselves, as Jesus did in the Gospel today.
The first Ignatian admonition worth adopting was his guidance to “find God in all things.” If God is in all of creation and Jesus told us, “seek and you will find,” then we are meant to look for God in all things. Too often we think God is too hard to find, too high above us, because He is divine and we are not. Ignatius knew if we want to find God, we must not just look for Him in the easy places, but we are to look for Him everywhere. With persistence, we will see Him where once we did not.
The second admonition Ignatius gave us was “to be men [and women] for others.”
St Ignatius reminds us of our core identity, that we are not in this world for ourselves, we are social beings that are put on this Earth to do some good for others. Just as Jesus gave His life for others, we too are called to live for others, to serve others, to help others. This is not solely the call of religious priests, brothers, and sisters, it is all our calls. If we are true to who we were made to be we will use the gifts God gave us for the good of others.
So many men and women have done this in our parish most recently through our garage sale these past two weeks, especially the ladies of Heart to Heart, as well as our shelter for the homeless, our PSR program, our liturgical ministries, and hopefully in our upcoming Festival of Nations. In some sense, one admonition leads to the other, if we become men and women for others, we will see God in all things. Ignatius wrote a beautiful prayer that can guide us in our process of transfiguration I’ve included here for your prayer this week.
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will, All I have and call my own, you have given all to me, to you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.
AMDG (to the greater glory of God),
With a heart for Mission,