“When you have tried to do your best, you can leave everything else to the One who has the power to accomplish all that He wants.” St. Ignatius of Loyola
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola (July 31, 2021): LV 25:1,8-17; PS 67:2-3,5,7-8; MT 14:1-12
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During his prolonged convalescence, he was given books on the lives of Christ and the saints. They had a profound affect on him. He confessed his sins and spent nearly a year in solitude...
Today we celebrate St. Ignatius of Loyola, whose influence has been felt around the globe through the generations of members of the Society of Jesus. Born in 1491 to a noble Basque family in Castile, Spain, he became a courtier and soldier. He took his own honor and the ideal of chivalry seriously and was known for living a worldly, even extravagant lifestyle until he was almost thirty. Then a ricocheting cannonball almost destroyed his right leg. During his prolonged convalescence, he was given books on the lives of Christ and the saints. They had a profound affect on him. He confessed his sins and spent nearly a year in solitude during which he began to formulate his Spiritual Exercises. These are a series of meditations and prayers that have continued to influence priests, religious, and laypeople over the centuries, especially in discerning their way of life and commitment to our Lord. He eventually began a ten year period of intense study of Theology and Latin, culminating at the university of Paris where he met several others interested in devoting the rest of their lives to Jesus and His Church. In 1540, the formation of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, was approved by Pope Paul III. In addition to vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, the members took another of service to the Pope.
Ignatius spent the rest of his life in Rome as the head of the order, directing the work of his fellow priests, particularly in missionary work from Asia to the Americas. He also assisted in providing for the care of orphans as well as helping catechumens and penitents find their way closer to Christ. St. Ignatius wrote: “When you have tried to do your best, you can leave everything else to the One who has the power to accomplish all that He wants.” He died in 1556. The Jesuits today serve in more than 100 countries and number among their thousands of members, Pope Francis.