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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Saint Ignatius of Loyola - July 31

Saint Ignatius of Loyola 
July 31 

Saint Ignatius was born in 1491 at Loyola in Cantabria. As a soldier defending the Spanish border fortress of Pamplona Ignatius was hit in the leg by a cannon ball.  During his convalescence he read books on the lives of the saints, which brought about his conversion and led to his founding of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits.

Between March of 1522 and February of 1523, Saint Ignatius recorded his spiritual exercises which became the basis of retreats given at Jesuit retreat houses.  In one of these exercises he invites us to imagine ourselves in front of Jesus on the Cross and ask ourselves three questions:  What have I done for Christ?  What am I doing for Christ? What will I do for Christ? 

These "Exercises shove the searcher [you and me] into the center of the Gospel and leave him alone there with Christ, with the triune God who speaks to him...confronts him, nose to nose...the call becomes a turning point in one's life...What is supposed to happen is the same thing that happened long ago on the bank of the Jordan. "As Jesus was passing by," and Ignatius emphasizes that Jesus is not stationed somewhere but rather is always passing by, "John looked at him and said, 'Behold the Lamb of God.'  The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.  But Jesus turned around and, seeing them following him, asked them, 'What are you seeking?'"  When they reply, "Rabbi, where are you staying?"  he answers, "Come and see." (John 1:36-39)  Make up your mind to come, which means "drop everything." (Luke 5:11), and you shall see." (Father Hans Urs von Balthasar)

For items related to the Catholic Church
Please visit Lynn's Timeless Treasures 
Saint Ignatius Vision at the Chapel of La Storta - Icon by Father William McNichols 

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