Saturday, July 30, 2016

Seek What is Above

Feast Day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

By Philip Russell

"Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!" Ecclesiastes 1:2

"If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God."   St. Paul to the Colossians

"Teacher, tell my brother to share his inheritance with me."  Luke 12:13

Suscipe by St. Ignatius of Loyola

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

"Think of what is above, not of what is on earth."  St. Paul to the Colossians

 "If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint."  St. Ignatius of Loyola 

As I spend (waste) time in Cleveland and Philadelphia listening, pondering (maybe even) worrying and watching this earthly exercise, I have to put then to death the things that I think and even say, and TRUST the LORD in "All things are vanity!"   It really isn't about the barns we build. I pray the prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola: 

Lord, teach me to be generous,
Teach me to serve as you deserve,
To give and not count the cost,
To fight and not to heed the wounds,
To toil and not to seek for rest,
To labor and not to ask for reward.
Save that knowing that I do your will.  Amen.

Saint Ignatius (1491-1556) is the founder of The Society of Jesus (Jesuits).  In the beginning of his life, he was a gambler, killer, soldier and lady's man until he was seriously wounded by a cannon ball in 1521 while at the Battle of Pamplona against the French.  While injured, he became a devout Christian. 

In 1539, he formed the Jesuits with companions. By 1540, Pope Paul III approved the Society of Jesus and the next year, Ignatius was elected General of the Society of Jesus. The Spiritual Exercises were approved by Pope Paul III eight years later and remain an active spiritual process to this very day.

St. Ignatius died of Roman fever, a type of malaria. At the time of his death, the Society of Jesus was sixteen years old and included about a thousand men with Jesuit houses in one hundred locations.  He was beatified by Paul V in 1590 and canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1620.  Three hundred years later, Pope Pius declared Ignatius patron of all spiritual retreats. 

"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of the heart."  Psalm 90

"Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry."  St. Paul to the Colossians

"LOVE consists of sharing what one has and what one is with those one loves.

LOVE ought to show itself in deeds more than in words."  St. Ignatius of Loyola

"Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions."  JESUS (Luke 12:13-21)

"Every Saint has a past and every sinner has a future."  Oscar Wilde

And lastly I would just like us to add a simple prayer:  
Saint (my words) Joe McCloskey, SJ, Pray for Us.   
(Fr. Joe was Spiritual Director of the 91st Men's Cursillo of Arlington at Missionhurst when I made my Weekend.)

Fr. Joe shared with us that weekend that he learned the power of the Name of JESUS When a man held a gun to his head.  Fr. Joe prayed: The Name of Jesus, the man dropped to his knees and dropped the gun.  Fr. Joe, never forgot the power of the Name.  I have never forgotten Fr. Joe or the powerful lesson he taught us in that Spiritual exercise of my Cursillo! 

What's IN your barn?   Jesus: " You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you: and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?" Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matter to God."  Luke12:13-21

And again I say:  "What's IN your barn?"


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