Friday, March 11, 2011

+Vigil of the Canonization of Ignatius & Xavier

Tomorrow, the Church and the Society of Jesus celebrate the 389th anniversary of the canonization of Saints Ignatius Loyola and Francis Xavier. Ignatius was beatified by Pope Paul V on July 27, 1609 and canonized with Francis Xavier and others by Pope Gregory XV on March 12, 1622. The Catholic Church only canonizes or beatifies those whose lives have been marked by the exercise of heroic virtue; and does so only after this virtue has been proved by common repute for sanctity and by conclusive arguments.

The prayerful devotion to any saint can lend a powerful assistance to living a Catholic life in our troubled world, (war, poverty strife, etc.). Our Catholic belief in the “Communion of Saints,” points us to our God in Heaven by the holiness they exhibited here on earth. These men and women have experienced God and are now permanently recognized by the faithful for offering that glimpse of God at work in and through God’s people.

As we recognize with the Church the heritage of our Founding Father Ignatius and his friend, Francis Xavier, and as we strive to live in the spiritual charism they left us, may we first imitate their humble faith, and have the conviction to inspire it in others.

St. Ignatius Loyola & St. Francis Xavier, Pray For Us!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

On the Feast of St. Claude la Colombière

Today the Church and the Society of Jesus celebrate the feast of St. Claude La Colombière, the spiritual guide who recognized in St. Margaret Mary Alacoque the Heart of Jesus. He served in faith, hope and love, attempting to help Margaret know and see God through her prayer experience. Claude’s humility and listening heart gave him the insight to know grace in his midst.

My friends, listening can be hard to do in our culture; listening with heart can be even harder. The listening heart requires a selfless setting aside in order to hear Jesus at the heart of the matter. Our Ignatian tradition richly calls us to that composition of place necessary to hear Christ in others and around us. I encourage you today to imitate St. Claude; place yourself into the Heart of Jesus; hear, see, feel, and know His all-encompassing immense love that offers us the window into the Divine. Then in awe, act on behalf of that blazing heart in the world around you.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ordinary Time!

Tempus per annum –literally "time through the year" translates for us Roman Catholics on the Liturgical Calendar into Ordinary Time. Yesterday completed the full grandeur and magnificence of the Christmas Season. And so now that the tree lights are boxed, the decorations all wrapped up and back in the attic, and the manger scene put away after the extensive celebration commemorating Jesus’ Birth, we now return to the tempo of "Ordinary Time." The Church asks of us that from today through Mardi Gras, or the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, to focus on the life of Jesus, on his daily routine, his teachings, his friendships, his challenges, his struggles, and the living out of His call as “Son of God.”

Ignatian Spirituality very much implores a retreatant during the Second Week of the Spiritual Exercises to come to know, to love, and to serve the person of Jesus. My friends, what more can one ask than to be loved by Jesus? What more can one ask than to come to know “love” in its greatest expression? Take this “Ordinary Time” to bolster that love. See, feel, experience Jesus in your daily routine, you won’t be disappointed. You will know your truest self when you know Jesus in the Ordinary. How will you respond to that?