July 31

Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Reflection

St. Ignatius of Loyola founded the Jesuits, a religious order that has had a profound effect on education and preaching within the Catholic Church.

“The peace of our Lord is something interior, and it brings with it all the other gifts and graces necessary for salvation and eternal life. This peace makes us love our neighbor for the love of our Creator and Lord, and because of this same love we observe all the commandments of the law, as St. Paul says: “He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8). He has fulfilled the law because he loves his Creator and Lord and loves his neighbor for his Lord’s sake.”
St. Ignatius of Loyola

Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory,
my understanding, and my entire will.
All I have and call my own.
Whatever I have or hold, you have given me.
I return it all to you and surrender it wholly
to be governed by your will.
Give me only your love and your grace
and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more.
St. Ignatius, from the end of the Spiritual Exercises

Action

Consider reading a modern interpretation of  the Spiritual Exercises. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola are a month-long program of meditations, prayers, considerations, and contemplative practices that help Catholic faith become more fully alive in everyday life.

Suggested Reading

Love ought to manifest itself in deeds rather than in words…. love consists in a mutual sharing of goods, for example, the lover gives and shares with the beloved what he possesses, or something of that which he has or is able to give; and vice versa, the beloved shares with the lover. Hence, if one has knowledge, he shares it with the one who does not possess it; and so also if one has honors, or riches. Thus, one always gives to the other.
St. Ignatius of Loyola

Go forth and set the world on fire.
St. Ignatius of Loyola 

Act as if everything depended on you; trust as if everything depended on God.
St. Ignatius of Loyola

Love is shown more in deeds than in words.
St. Ignatius of Loyola

Laugh and grow strong.
St. Ignatius of Loyola

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 any reward,
save that of knowing that we do thy will.
St. Ignatius of Loyola

All the things in this world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully.
St. Ignatius of Loyola

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