Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

Arch Bishop Ralph Vendegna S.O.S.M.A.

Spiritual Reading


  • Friday 31 July 2020

    Saint Ignatius Loyola, Priest 
    on Friday of week 17 in Ordinary Time


    Spiritual Reading

    Your Second Reading from the Office of Readings:

    Saint Ignatius Loyola, Priest

    St Ignatius as a soldier. French School, 16th century.


    From the acts of Saint Ignatius in his own words, taken down by Luis González
    Put inward experiences to the test to see if they come from God

    Ignatius was passionately fond of reading worldly books of fiction and tales of knight-errantry. When he felt he was getting better, he asked for some of these books to pass the time. But no book of that sort could be found in the house; instead they gave him a life of Christ and a collection of the lives of saints written in Spanish.
    By constantly reading these books he began to be attracted to what he found narrated there. Sometimes in the midst of his reading he would reflect on what he had read. Yet at other times he would dwell on many of the things which he had been accustomed to dwell on previously. But at this point our Lord came to his assistance, insuring that these thoughts were followed by others which arose from his current reading.
    While reading the life of Christ our Lord or the lives of the saints, he would reflect and reason with himself: “What if I should do what Saint Francis or Saint Dominic did?” In this way he let his mind dwell on many thoughts; they lasted a while until other things took their place. Then those vain and worldly images would come into his mind and remain a long time. This sequence of thoughts persisted with him for a long time.
    But there was a difference. When Ignatius reflected on worldly thoughts, he felt intense pleasure; but when he gave them up out of weariness, he felt dry and depressed. Yet when he thought of living the rigorous sort of life he knew the saints had lived, he not only experienced pleasure when he actually thought about it, but even after he dismissed these thoughts, he still experienced great joy. Yet he did not pay attention to this, nor did he appreciate it until one day, in a moment of insight, he began to marvel at the difference. Then he understood his experience: thoughts of one kind left him sad, the others full of joy. And this was the first time he applied a process of reasoning to his religious experience. Later on, when he began to formulate his spiritual exercises, he used this experience as an illustration to explain the doctrine he taught his disciples on the discernment of spirits.


    ________

    The ferial reading for today:


    Friday of week 17 in Ordinary Time

    From St Ignatius of Antioch's letter to Polycarp
    For the sake of God we must endure all things, so that he will endure us

    From Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to Polycarp, who is bishop of the Church of the Smyrnaeans, or rather has God the Father as bishop over him, together with the Lord Jesus Christ:
    I was struck by the godliness of your mind — anchored, it seems, on immovable rock — and I rejoice that it was granted me to see your blameless face (may God give me joy of it). I exhort you to press forward on your journey in the grace with which you have been clothed; and you should exhort all men to gain salvation. Perform your office with all diligence of body and spirit. Strive for unity, for there is nothing better. Help all men, as the Lord also helps you; suffer all men in love (indeed, you are doing this). Pray unceasingly. Beg for wisdom greater than you already have, be watchful and keep the spirit from slumbering. Speak to each person individually, just like God himself, and like a perfect champion bear the infirmities of all. The greater the toil, the greater the gain.
    It is no credit to you if you simply love the good among your disciples; seek also to tame the more troublesome by your gentleness. Remember that not all wounds are healed in the same way — where the pain is acute, apply soothing poultices. Be prudent as the serpent in all things but always harmless as the dove. This is why you are both body and spirit — so that you can deal tenderly with the things which appear visibly and pray that the invisible things may be revealed to you. Thus you will lack nothing and abound in every gift. These critical times have need of you, as a ship needs a helmsman and the storm-tossed sailor needs a harbour. Be strict with yourself, like a good athlete of God. The prize is immortality and eternal life, as you know. I offer myself up as a sacrifice on your behalf — myself and these chains which you yourself have kissed.
    Do not be caught off balance by those who plausibly teach perverse doctrines. Stand firm as an anvil under the blows. The task of great athletes is to suffer punishment and yet conquer. But especially must we endure all things for the sake of God, that he also may endure us. Increase your efforts and watch for opportunities. Look out for the one who is above time and has no need for opportunities: the Invisible who became visible for us, the Intangible who is above suffering and yet suffered for us, who in every way endured for our sake.
    Make sure that the widows are not neglected. Make yourself their protector, deferring only to the Lord. Let nothing be done without your approval, and continue to do nothing yourself without God. Be steadfast. Hold services more frequently and call everyone to them by name. Do not be haughty to slaves, either men or women but do not let them be proud; rather, let them endure slavery to the glory of God so that God may give them a better freedom than man. Let them not enslave themselves to their own longings and demand to be set free at the Church’s expense.


    Copyright © 1996-2020 Universalis Publishing Limited: see www.universalis.com. Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. Text of the Psalms: Copyright © 1963, The Grail (England). Used with permission of A.P. Watt Ltd. All rights reserved.

     

0 comments