Responsorial Psalm69:5, 8-10, 14
R. (14c) Lord, in your great love, answer me. Those outnumber the hairs of my head who hate me without cause. Too many for my strength are they who wrongfully are my enemies. Must I restore what I did not steal? R. Lord, in your great love, answer me. Since for your sake I bear insult, and shame covers my face. I have become an outcast to my brothers, a stranger to my mother’s sons, Because zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me. R. Lord, in your great love, answer me. But I pray to you, O LORD, for the time of your favor, O God! In your great kindness answer me with your constant help. R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
REFLECTION: Lord, in your great love, answer me. But I pray to you, O LORD, for the time of your favor, O God! In your great kindness answer me with your constant help.
We will always remember when we had a personal encounter with God. Maybe we have had several. The point, though, once God comes into our lives, our conversion story begins. And in His great love He answers us where we are.
St Ignatius Loyola was born Íñigo López de Loyola in 1491. He was a proud man given to the vanities of the world. During his deployment in military undertakings he was injured and his leg was shattered from a cannon ball injury.
St Ignatius of Loyola had his first encounter with God while recuperating from this accident. There was no literature to be read except for a life of Christ book and lives of the saints. He began a slow, long, painful turning to Christ. The version of the lives of the saints profoundly moved and attracted Ignatius. He resolved to imitate the holy austerities of the saints in order to do penance for his sins
He spent three days in confessing the sins of his whole life, hung his sword and dagger near the statue of the Virgin Mary. He abandoned his ambitions, and, clothed in sackcloth, spent the night in prayer. The next day he went to Manresa, a town close to Barcelona, where he lived as a beggar, ate and drank sparingly, scourged himself, and for a time neither combed nor trimmed his hair and did not cut his nails. He attended daily mass and spent hours in prayer, often in a cave outside Manresa.
His eyes began to open with understanding, and, he understood and knew many things spiritually and things of faith. At Manresa he wrote the book of Spiritual Exercises. During his lifetime Ignatius used to give spiritual retreats to others, especially to his followers. The booklet is an adaption of the gospels for such retreats.
Ignatius referred to himself as “pilgrim”. And though he decided to prolong his studies before becoming a priest, he and his many followers founded the Society of Jesus. The Society of Jesus developed rapidly under his hand. They were missionaries in Europe, India, Brazil, the Congo and Ethiopia to name a few. Eventually the Roman College was established and the Jesuits became a teaching order.
He died in July 1556 and was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622.
Reading about the saints is very important. Many were sinners and when God entered their lives, their lives changed. "Lord, in your great love, answer me. But I pray to you, O LORD, for the time of your favor, O God! In your great kindness answer me with your constant help." And give me today the graces needed to remain steady in your love and your work.
God Bless You