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Blue Smoke

August 31

FOCUS:  Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!

Blue Smoke


00:00 / 02:05

Exodus 32:15-24, 30-34

Psalm 106

Matthew 13: 31-35

Today we celebrate the feast day of one of the most influential saints of the Church – St. Ignatius of Loyola. St. Ignatius is the founder of the Jesuit order. I encourage you to get online and read more about his life, but in a nutshell – he was born in 1491 AD to a wealthy family in Spain. He led a pretty wild lifestyle – it is said that at the time of his conversion he spent three days saying his confession. He became a soldier and while defending the citadel in Pamplona against the French in 1521 AD, he was hit by a cannonball. His recovery to a long time, time he spent reading about the saints.

By 1522 AD, St. Ignatius left his wealthy family and became a beggar in Manresa. He lived off the generosity of others – today, young men studying in the Jesuit seminaries will travel to an unknown place and live a month purely on the generosity of others. Just as Ignatius did, they need to reach out to others for food and support.

In 1534 AD, Ignatius, St. Francis Xavier, St. Peter Faber, and others established the Society of Jesus. The order was a strong force in the Counter Reformation that corrected the teaching of the Protestant Reformation. St. Ignatius established The Spiritual Exercises – a series of mediations, prayers, and contemplative practices. It is some pretty great stuff, Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat Center in Barrington frequently does weekend retreats on it. Try it!

Just as Jesus tells us in today’s gospel, incredible things can come from the smallest perceived effort – just trust. Some great stuff has come from the Holy Spirit working through the founders of the Society of Jesus. Will you let the Holy Spirit use you as the seed to grow something great?

Beautiful day today! Smile at God!

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