Sunday, July 31, 2011

St. Ignatius of Loyola

If today weren't Sunday, we'd be celebrating the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556). With three years of fine Jesuit theological education under my belt--and at their flagship university, no less--it seems only right to pay some tribute to their holy founder.

Among the many riches left us by St. Ignatius is his Suscipe--a prayer he wrote (or at least promoted) which sums up so well his approach to the spiritual life:

Receive, O Lord, all my liberty.
Take my memory,
my understanding,
and my entire will.
Whatsoever I have or hold,
you have given me;
I give it all back to you
and surrender it wholly
to be governed by your will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
and I am rich enough
and ask for nothing more.

The 27th successor to St. Ignatius as Father General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Pedro Arrupe (1907-1991), left a rather similar spiritual testament in more contemporary language:

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.  It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything."

If only the Jesuits could have taught me in the classroom how to live that way...

1 comment:

Savvy Joe said...

One of the more interesting Jesuits was Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who died in 1955. He was a geologist who made fascinating finds in his other area of expertise paleontology. Also very controversial! Thanks for the post.