Tag Archives: St Ignatius of Loyola

Saint Ignatius of Loyola


Loyola.jpgToday’s second reading for the 18th Sunday through the Year coheres with Saint Ignatius of Loyola‘s liturgical memorial we would have celebrated had it not been a Sunday. Saint Paul sets our sights on the fact that nothing can be a barrier to Christ’s Love for us. But do we believe this? Do we live on the edge of Love or in Love’s center? Listen again to the famous passage from the Apostle to the Gentiles and think of the spirituality of Loyola: 


Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
tribulation or distress or persecution, or famine or nakedness or peril or
sword? No, in these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved
us. I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor height, nor
depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of
God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:30-39)

Easter 470 years later

Ignatius Loyola detail2.jpg470 years ago on this date, another Easter Sunday, Ignatius of Loyola and his first companions elected Ignatius as the first superior of the new group, a year following the Church’s approval of the society. Just two days before his election, the companions went to the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the Walls to profess their vows.

With these events, Loyola had more concrete points in following God’s will in forming a new society of priests aiming to reform Christian culture under the Roman Pontiff.

Confronting the Devil– one of the Church’s greatest needs

With last the announcement last week about a study session of the new Rite of Exorcism seemingly many peoples’ interest in the devil and evil soared. But I wonder if we all know the implications of having an interest in the “devil and evil” means. What it means is that we are in a spiritual battle with evil, a fact that is being spoken of more and more.


The Servant of God Pope Paul VI addressed the issue in a General Audience on November 15, 1972. What he said in 1972 remains so very true today:

What are the Church’s greatest needs at the present time? Don’t be surprised at Our answer and don’t write it off as simplistic or even superstitious: one of the Church’s greatest needs is to be defended against the evil we call the Devil.

The papal address is not long and it covers topics of a Christian’s vision of the universe, the mystery of evil, seeking answers to our questions, the biblical witness to evil and the Devil, the Devil’s ability to tempt us, the peril of ignoring the Devil, the presence of diabolical actions and what our defense against the Devil means. Read what Pope Paul said.

Two Standards Loyola.jpg

In his meditation of the second week of the Spiritual Exercises Saint Ignatius of Loyola presents to us “On the Two Standards” telling us we are faced with making a choice: “The one of Christ, our Commander-in-chief and Lord; the other Lucifer, mortal enemy of our human nature.” Loyola places in front of us the choice of how we are going to live our lives, either for Christ or against Christ, either for good, or for evil. Why sell our soul for money, power and fame when the Lord offers us a life that’s attractive and beautiful through the virtues of spiritual –and possibly in actual poverty, contempt for worldly honor and humility against pride? Poverty, whether spiritual and/or actual, obedience and humility are virtues that lead to all other virtue and everlasting life in Jesus Christ.


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Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola.jpgTo your Name’s own greater glory,
In the midst of worldly strife,
Came Ignatius called Loyola,
Building up your Church’s life.
That the gospel of the Savior,
With its news of endless grace
Might be brought by his companions
Unto ev’ry land and race.

Once a warrior for earth’s kingdoms,
Gravely wounded, he became
Soldier for the King of heaven,
Limping forth in Jesus’ name.
Once in Paris, he found others
Who alike heard Jesus’ call;
Soldiers, poor and chaste, obedient, 
There they gave to Christ their all.

In his living and his dying,
He has shown to ev’ryone
What it means to lose one’s own self,
How to live for Christ the Son.
May his love, which scorned all travail,
Teach us how to follow you;
May our love, in his example,
Be to Christ forever true.

To the Father, life’s own author,
To the Son, who sets us free,
To the Spirit, voice of prophets,
Three-In-One, all praises be!
From the mouth of Saint Ignatius
Comes a song of matchless praise;
All the Church, on earth, in heaven,
Joins, as now this hymn we raise.

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2009, World Library Publications
87 87 D; IN BABILONE, HOLY MANNA

What am I doing for Christ right now?

Crucifixion with saints AdelCastagno.jpg

Thinking about the life-saving cross of Jesus, I am
recalling what Saint Ignatius of Loyola taught in his Spiritual Exercises about God’s unconditional love for humanity: no talk of the mercy and love is reasonable without kneeling before the cross. This was evident to me as I walked into the chapel this morning for Lauds and forced to navigate in the
middle of the aisle a cross with relic of the True Cross before it. I knelt for a moment of prayer and kissed the relic. It is striking to do this pious gesture because it brings home to the heart, the Christian reality that the cross is so very central to our life of faith; it is the altar on which we are saved; and it is the cross that is the key which unlocks the door to the Father’s house; it is the love that kills and transcends all sin.

Loyola offers a meditation

Imagine Christ our Lord suspended on the cross before you, and converse with him in a colloquy: How is it that he, although he is the Creator, has come to make himself a human being? How is it that he has passed from eternal life to death here in time, and to die in this way for my sins?

In a similar way, reflect on yourself and ask: What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ What ought I to do for Christ?

In this way, too, gazing on him in so pitiful a state as he hangs on the cross, speak out whatever comes to your mind.

A Colloquy is made, properly speaking, in the way one friend speaks to another, or a servant to one in authority – now begging for a favor, now accusing oneself of some misdeed, now telling one’s concerns and asking counsel about them. Close with an Our Father.

(Spiritual Exercises 53 and 54)

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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