Feast of Saint Mark, Evangelist
While it may be daunting to be faced by the roaring lion (the Devil), a believer should gain confidence from the underlying support that the Christian community can provide (I Peter 5:8-9). The writer of this letter recognizes that resisting can be overwhelming and asks the reader to “cast all [our] worries upon Him because He cares for you” (I Peter 5:7). At various times, especially when work is overbearing, family life is rupturing, or there seems to be no hope, we must remember that we always have an Advocate who yearns to have a relationship with each one of us. Today, try to take even ten seconds, to present your worries and anxieties to God.
As Jesuits, the road is often our home, meaning that wherever a Jesuit is, he is called to proclaim the Gospel to each person. This belief stems from Jesus’ opening command in the Gospel to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Yet, this is not just a Jesuit charism, but is a call for each Christian. As we are assisted by our Christian communities to resist the tricks of the Devil, it is the Lord who can provide us with strength to proclaim the Word of God.
Grace: An intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.
Reflection: In the meditation upon sin, we made reference to Dante’s vision of hell, a cold, desolate place where the fire of love has been extinguished and all lies in a spiritual torpor. This is the perfect image of the heart grown cold to the stirrings of love which God places within it. At the opposite end of Dante’s journey lies a vision that perfectly encapsulates the final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. From the lowest reaches of the spiritual universe, Dante ascends to the heights of heaven, where he views “the love that moves the sun and the other stars.” At the heart of the universe lives the Trinitarian God, whose perfect love draws all being into an ordered symphony of praise. Dante feels himself drawn into this harmonic vision through the enflaming of his passions and desires. No one with eyes to see can sit impassively at the vision of God’s love. From the disordered state in which Dante had fallen at the beginning of the poem, he becomes progressively cleansed of his disordered affections through the grace of God and the intercession of Beatrice until finally he is able to pass through the heavens and stand in the presence of God. But notice that Dante only sees God’s depths after he has been interiorly transformed.