Beautiful Aloysius + St. Ignatius

St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Most Beautiful Painting of St. Aloysisus in the world?

Let’s listen for a moment to how St. Ignatius formulated his understanding of the treasure buried in the field, the pearl of great price:

Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul. The other things on the face of the earth are created for man, that they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created. From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him. For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things in all that is allowed to the choice of our free will and is not prohibited to it; so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only what is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created.

St. Ignatius wrote that paragraph as the “First Principle and Foundation” for the spiritual life. Then he taught his followers how to initiate a spiritual life, with the first principle and foundation in mind. Meditate as follows:

Imagining Christ our Lord present and placed on the Cross, let me speak with him freely, focusing on how from Creator He is come to making Himself man, and from life eternal is come to temporal death, and so to die for my sins. Likewise, looking at myself: What have I done for Christ? What I am doing for Christ? What ought I to do for Christ? And so, seeing Him such, and so nailed on the Cross, to go over that which will present itself to my mind.

My colloquy with Christ is made, properly speaking, as one friend speaks to another, or as a servant to his master; now asking some grace, now blaming oneself for some misdeed, now communicating one’s affairs, and asking advice. Then let me say an Our Father.

With these meditations, St. Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus. This Society has conquered enormous lands. No other organization has conquered the world like the Jesuits have. Google has nothing on the Jesuits. Facebook has nothing on the followers of St. Ignatius. Google and Facebook will both vanish from the earth, and the churches erected by Jesuits in the far corners of the globe will still stand.

The followers of St. Ignatius carry one weapon only: Personal devotion to Jesus Christ, the Savior and High Priest of the world. The followers of St. Ignatius win battles by: a) thinking clearly, b) communicating skillfully, c) educating others with patience and love, d) wanting nothing but the advancement of the kingdom of Christ, e) acting only in union with the Pope, and f) being willing to suffer and die for Christ.

May the good Lord bless our Jesuit Pope and all the Jesuits. May He bless all the followers of St. Ignatius. May He bless everyone who consecrates him- or herself to the cause of the New Evangelization.

When we stand on the spiritual foundation of living to praise God and to serve the Crucified, then the angels, the saints, the heavenly powers, the history of the Church, the patrimony of the western world, the storehouse of Catholic thought, and every good and beautiful thing, all line up on our side.
Ignatius prayed that he would be poor, that he would be mocked and derided, that he would be reviled and despised—all so that He could be united with Christ, poor, mocked, derided, reviled, and despised. Ignatius gave all his efforts to God and His Church. If his Society was suppressed, he said, he would spend ten minutes in the chapel, and then he would be fine.

Ignatian “indifference” is only indifference to everything that doesn’t really matter. Ignatius was indifferent to everything passing, because he was utterly consumed with zealous interest in God and the salvation of souls.

Musings on Mark 6, the Martyrs of Japan, Etc.

A faithful reader has a nomination for best scene from “Prince of Egypt.” It is pretty cool.

Another faithful reader asked me what I thought about the “Bishop Williamson affair.” The prelate in question is also known as the Dinoscopus. (You can read an eloquent letter if you click the link.)

I already spilled a little ink on this business. It looks like our Holy Father may not have written the letter I wished he would.

If he didn’t write it, I certainly don’t hold it against him. He knows better than I do. No one’s job is more demanding than the Pope’s.

That said, “being media-savvy” is not really part of the Pope’s job.

auschwitzAbove all, the Pope has to be a prayerful, obedient priest–obedient to the sacred inheritance that he has received. Secondly, the Pope has to try to be a loving father to ALL his children.

Continue reading “Musings on Mark 6, the Martyrs of Japan, Etc.”

The Religion of Jesus

Three hundred eighteen years ago tomorrow, a French Visitation nun named Margaret Mary Alacoque drew her last breath in the world. She had lived a painful and difficult life. But the Lord had given her a special gift: He appeared to her and showed her His Sacred Heart.

The Heart of Christ had never before been visible to the human eye. Even when He walked on the earth, the Lord’s human heart could not be seen. It was pierced by the soldier’s lance when He hung on the Cross. When He came back to life, His heart began to beat again in His breast. Now the Sacred Heart of Christ is in heaven, along with the rest of His glorified body. His heart is the fitting symbol of His infinite love, the divine love united with the love of a man.

When the Lord appeared to her, St. Margaret Mary saw how the Heart of Christ burns with love for the heavenly Father and for His children on earth. She wrote: “The Sacred Heart is an inexhaustible fountain, and its sole desire is to pour itself out into the hearts of the humble. The divine heart is an abyss of all blessings.”

The revelations which St. Margaret Mary received were a gift for the whole Church of God. The vision of the Sacred Heart is a reminder of the fundamental truths of the Christian religion. Pope Pius XII wrote an encyclical about the revelations given to St. Margaret Mary. He wrote:

“Their significance is that Christ–showing His Sacred Heart–willed in a special way to call the minds of men to the contemplation and veneration of God’s most merciful love for the human race. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is so important that it may be considered the perfect profession of the Christian religion, for this is the religion of Jesus, and no man can come to the heart of God except through the heart of Christ.”

Pope Benedict XVI also wrote a letter two years ago about the Sacred Heart.