Saint Ignatius Loyola, Memorial
This reflection/meditation is divided into two parts. The first will focus on Saint Ignatius, and the second will look at the day’s gospel.
There is a wonderful paperback book that some of you may have already discovered. It is by James Martin SJ, entitled My Life with the Saints (Loyola Press, Chicago, 2006). I want to share a few gems from that book that may be helpful for our spiritual journey. On page 81, the author writes: “Ignatius was a mystic who loved God with an intensity rare even for saints; he wasn’t a renowned scholar like Augustine or Aquinas, not a martyr like Peter or Paul, not a great writer like Teresa or Benedict, and perhaps not a beloved personality like Francis or Thérèse. But he loved God and the world, and those two things he did quite well.” May this brief paragraph serve as a powerful reminder that the holiness of life is particular to each of us. We can and should admire the saints who have walked this earth before us, but to be encouraged by their example does not require that we imitate them. Holiness is tailored to each one according to each one’s gifts and struggles – this is an old truth of the spiritual life that we need to be reminded of occasionally.
And for those who want everything clear and distinct, we have today’s gospel in which Jesus speaks in parables about the Kingdom. He says the Kingdom of Heaven is like… That kind of statement is enough to drive most of us crazy in a culture that constantly seeks to determine everything with scientific precision. We want to be able to predict and to plan – to be in control. Our spiritual journey does not quite function this way. Thank God that God is in control. Often it takes a lifetime to acknowledge and accept this truth of our spiritual journey. The saints have done it. And so can we.
Let Us Pray:
Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous; teach me 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 labor and not to ask for reward save that of knowing I am doing your will. (Prayer of Saint Ignatius of Loyola)