The Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

The readings from the Jesuit Lectionary use the gospel which identifies Jesus wanting to light a fire on the earth. Of course Jesus was not an arsonist, his words meant the fire of his love which would “burn” and therefore transform the hearts of men and women towards the love of God.  One his maxims became the energizing motto for many Jesuits: Ite Inflamante Omnia go and set all on fire.  

The “all:” for the Jesuits included the newly discovered lands of North and South America, India, Africa, and eastern Asia. It also included working with the poor of Rome and the starving of Naples. Ignatius saw that the “all:” that needed to be consumed by the fire of God’s love embracing every dynamic of human existence. Barriers that once divided the “spiritual:” from the mundane were consumed by these flames and Jesuits took from the flames the bricks from the old walls and made bridges between the secular and the spiritual and by doing so attempted to create a world inspired by the singular goal of moving all to the Greater Glory and Honor of God. 

We may look at our humble means, our lack of time, and our age and wonder if we can even strike a match. Such talk never entered the mind of the saint whose feast we celebrate today. One did what one could and constantly looked for means to do just a bit more, knowing that God judges us on direction not distance.

July 31st, 2014