St. Ignatius and the Crazies

Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over—twelve wicker baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children. (Matthew 14:19-21)

Anyone ever heard of St. Ignatius Loyola? As a young man, he dreamed of a life of knighthood and soldiering. But he fell, gravely wounded, in his first battle.

During his long recovery, Ignatius began to read passages from the gospel and imagine himself as a minor character in them. Over time, Ignatius became intimately familiar with every detail of the life of Christ. He gave up the idea of being a soldier and longed to serve Christ as His dutiful knight.

Ignatius studied and became a priest. He founded the Jesuit order. He became famous for his unswerving adherence to Church teaching. ‘Something might look white to me, but if the Church teaches that it is black, then I conclude that it is black.’ Ignatius died 455 years ago today.

St. Ignatius encouraged frequent Holy Communion. He wrote:

One of the most admirable effects of Holy Communion is to preserve the soul from sin, and to help those who fall through weakness to rise again. It is much more profitable, then, to approach this divine sacrament with love, respect, and confidence, than to remain away.

We read in the gospel that the Lord Jesus felt pity for us in our hunger. He knows that we human beings have appetites that don’t quit. He formed us from dust, and we tend toward dust. For all the magnificent intricacy of our bodies, they nonetheless starve to death without regular feeding.

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Shalom, People

tel aviv skyline
Tel Aviv

Greetings from Tel Aviv, Israel!

We have arrived at the shore of what the ancient Israelites called the Western Sea, a.k.a. the Mediterranean.

On our way from Ben Gurion airport, we drove past the city of Lod.

slaughter eatIn New Testament times, Lod was called Lydda. In Lydda St. Peter saw a vision. All the animals of the earth were before him, and he heard the Lord say, “Slaughter and eat…What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.”

Anyway, we are weary from a long journey.

It is a great pleasure to re-unite with Raouf Korborani, who was our guide the last time I was here in the Holy Land.

Tomorrow we will visit the ruins of the fortress Herod the Great built on the Mediterranean to welcome the Romans.

These days it is known as “Ceasarea Maritima.” This is where St. Paul was imprisoned for two years before being sent to Rome for his final trial.

When the Muslims conquered the area, they found a beautiful church in honor of St. Paul. They admired the architecture before they destroyed the church. Then they built the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem to look just like it.

After that, we will go to Haifa, which is where Elijah lived. Back then it was a remote mountain ridge (Mt. Carmel). Now it is a beautiful city.

More to come tomorrow, if it please God!

Mystical Body, Incorporated

Speaking of 65th anniversaries…Here is a summary I prepared for the 65th anniversary of Pope Pius XII’s encyclical on the Mystical Body of Christ.

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