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Ignatius of Loyola

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July 31 Saint of the Day

July 31 Saint of the Day

Founder of the Society of Jesus, Ignatius of Loyola, like Francis of Assisi, had a conversion experience while recuperating from a serious illness. Being a military man, the Rule of Life that Saint Ignatius wrote for his followers shows the discipline and rigor of a soldier, but a soldier of faith with the mercy and compassion of the Gospel.

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Ignatius of Loyola

Who is St. Ignatius of Loyola and why does the story of this former soldier, and founder of the Jesuits continue to inspire the Church today? In response to a listener question, we discuss the history and the spiritual gifts of this Spanish saint as we carry on this pilgrim's journey, this week on Thinking Faith!
St. John Paul II observed that for people of faith there are no coincidences, only aspects of God’s providence that we have not yet fully understood. Another way of putting it is to say that there are no coincidences, only God-incidences. Among these God-incidences, one of the most remarkable is the story of St. Ignatius Loyola. For the world would be very different indeed if a cannonball had not struck him at the Battle of Pamplona in 1521, shattering his leg and confining him to bed for the next 6 months. During his convalescence, the young Spaniard had ample time to reflect about the meaning of his life, about time and eternity, and, above all, about God. And more than his leg was healed. By the time he recovered he had decided to live no longer for himself, but for God, and the echoes of his choice appear in the motto forever associated with his name: “For the Greater Glory of God.”
It was a particular joy for me to visit the sites associated with St. Ignatius of Loyola on a recent film trip. But the most moving locale was a little church in Manresa built around the cave where the young Ignatius spent about nine months preparing himself spiritually for his life’s work. What he learned at Manresa is that our attachments to various created goods—money, power, pleasure, and honor—stand in the way of our responding to God’s will for us.
This episode is the first session of the four-part series Jung’s Commentary on the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola with Thomas Patrick Lavin, PhD. Using as a focal point Jung’s private notes from his 1939–1940 lectures on the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, Dr. Thomas Patrick Lavin discusses the role of imaginal work in the quest for spiritual and psychological growth. The Spiritual Exercises is viewed as an initiation rite in which a Christian form of active imagination is presented. It was recorded in 1988. The series is divided into the follow four topics: 1. Seeing Jung and Ignatius in Their Historical Contexts, 2. Active Imagination and the Ignatian Methods of Prayer, 3. The Anima Christi and the Fundamentum, and 4. Ignatius the Psychologist and Jung the Theologian.
Decisions, decisions... Life holds a lot of options and it's often hard to know which way to go, especially when it comes to serious, life-changing matters. Thankfully, we've got help. St. Ignatius of Loyola penned his famous Spiritual Exercises to enable people to discern the spirits - discern God's will for their lives. And the great thing is that's it's not pie-in-the-sky. It's super practical and down-to-earth. In fact, understanding his Exercises can save you a lot of headache and heartache. So join me and one of the most intelligent and holy priests I know, Fr. Aaron Pidel, SJ, for an in-depth discussion of St. Ignatius and his guide for our lives. We're covering: 1. A bit of the (wild and wooly) background of St. Ignatius, 2. His massive conversion, 3. An overview of the famous Spiritual Exercises, 4. How Ignatius allows feelings to come into play without them taking over, 5. The massive role of consolations and desolations, and 6. Practical discernment of God's will.

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From the life of Saint Ignatius from his own words by Luis Gonzalez

Put inward experiences to the test to see if they come from God
Ignatius was passionately fond of reading worldly books of fiction and tales of knight-errantry. When he felt he was getting better, he asked for some of these books to pass the time. But no book of that sort could be found in the house; instead they gave him a life of Christ and a collection of the lives of saints written in Spanish. By constantly reading these books he began to be attracted to what he found narrated there. Sometimes in the midst of his reading he would reflect on what he had read. Yet at other times he would dwell on many of the things which he had been accustomed to dwell on previously. But at this point our Lord came to his assistance, insuring that these thoughts were followed by others which arose from his current reading. While reading the life of Christ our Lord or the lives of the saints, he would reflect and reason with himself: “What if I should do what Saint Francis or Saint Dominic did?” In this way he let his mind dwell on many thoughts; they lasted a while until other things took their place. Then those vain and worldly images would come into his mind and remain a long time. This sequence of thoughts persisted with him for a long time. But there was a difference. When Ignatius reflected on worldly thoughts, he felt intense pleasure; but when he gave them up out of weariness, he felt dry and depressed. Yet when he thought of living the rigorous sort of life he knew the saints had lived, he not only experienced pleasure when he actually thought about it, but even after he dismissed these thoughts, he still experienced great joy. Yet he did not pay attention to this, nor did he appreciate it until one day, in a moment of insight, he began to marvel at the difference. Then he understood his experience: thoughts of one kind left him sad, the others full of joy. And this was the first time he applied a process of reasoning to his religious experience. Later on, when he began to formulate his spiritual exercises, he used this experience as an illustration to explain the doctrine he taught his disciples on the discernment of spirits.

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Ignatius of Loyola

Ignatius of Loyola

July 31

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