+ Our saint for today is one of the greatest in Church history because of the transformation that he gradually allowed to take place in himself, until at last the original person was nowhere to be seen. St. Ignatius of Loyola experienced the Gospel passage today to the maximum: he gave up family to become a disciple of Christ; he carried his own cross of physical injury to continue to qualify as a disciple of Christ; and he renounced all he possessions to become a disciple of Christ. The proof of the depth of his discipleship can be heard in his own prayer: Give me only your love and your grace, O Lord, they are enough for me! Take, Lord, receive everything about me; my mind, my memory, my understanding, my will, my body – and do with me only what is your will! Give me only your love and your grace! Ignatius meant that – and he was loved and graced by God – and the religious community that he founded in the 16th century – The Society of Jesus - was an enormous instrument in the spiritual renewal of the Church of the time. For Ignatius obedience was the surest sign of self-denial: the death that is required in order to obtain the life of resurrection: the model, for him, was always Jesus, who was "obedient to death, even death on a cross."
As St. Paul exhorted the Corinthians to do everything, absolutely everything, for the glory of God – eating, drinking, whatever – for the greater honor and glory of God – so too did Ignatius exhort and encourage members of his own community!
Of course, the "Jesuits" are well known for their Spiritual Exercises and also their great learning. In our day and age we pray that all Jesuit Universities and educational facilities at any level: stay true to the true teachings of the Catholic Church, true to the spirit of St. Ignatius.
What led Ignatius himself to Jesus was a thirst for the root of knowledge, a thirst for truth, a search for the Person of Jesus Christ who is Truth in the Flesh! We pray today that we either increase or begin a deep spiritual hungering that will lead us to not only the great spiritual classics, such as The Imitation of Christ, and the Spiritual Exercises, and even other contemporary writings which are excellent and good and true, but also to the PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST WHO IS THE SOURCE AND FOUNTAIN OF ALL THAT IS GOOD, HOLY, AND TRUE! He will satisfy our longing here and hereafter where we will sit at his feet and feel that waters of the fountain of his truth, and goodness and peace flowing over us forever – from his heart to ours!
Let us bless the Lord at all time – when we seek him – he answers us and delivers us from all our fears!