July 31

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Reflection

The goal of our life is to live with God forever.
God who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows
God’s life to flow into us without limit.
All the things in this world are gifts of God ,presented to us so that we
can know God more easily and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we appreciate and use all of these gifts of God
insofar as they help us develop as loving persons.
But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
they displace God and so hinder our growth toward our goal.
In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance
before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice
and are not bound by some obligation.
We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,
wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or short one.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
a deeper response to our life in God.
Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better leads to the deepening of God’s life in me.
                     
St. Ignatius, from the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises

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

 If you have not already done so, considering reading 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 the everyday life of contemporary people. It is set out in a brief manual or handbook: sparse, taciturn, and practical. It presents a formulation of Ignatius’ spirituality in a series of prayer exercises, thought experiments, and examinations of consciousness—designed to help a retreatant (usually with the aid of a spiritual director) to experience a deeper conversion into life with God in Christ, to allow our personal stories to be interpreted by being subsumed in a Story of God.

 

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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