Get your spiritual blood pumping!
Have you heard about the Saint whose leg was blown off by a cannon? He founded one of the largest religious orders in the world, the Society of Jesus, and was a spiritual mastermind. We speak with Fr. James Marshall, SJ, about St. Ignatius of Loyola and his spiritual exercises.
We’re also joined by special long-distance guest Fr. Phil Hurley, S.J., director of a retreat coming to San Antonio for young adults that’s setting hearts on fire! Tune in!
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More information related to this episode of Catholicism Live!:
- Official Website of The Pilgrim Center of Hope
- Learn more about Hearts on Fire Retreat in San Antonio
- Register for Hearts on Fire in San Antonio
- Download free & learn more – Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola
- Learn more about Jesuits in the USA
- Learn more about our Eucharistic Healing Service and the Real Presence
- Religious Freedom – Archdiocese of San Antonio Prayer & Activities
St. Ignatius of Loyola
(Feast Day: July 31)
Inigo Lopez de Loyola, who later took the name Ignatius, was the youngest son of a nobleman of the mountainous Basque region of northern Spain. Trained in the courtly manner of the time of King Ferdinand, he dreamed of the glories of knighthood and wore his sword and breastplate with a proud arrogance.
When Ignatius was born in 1491, the Middle Ages were just ending and Europe was entering into the Renaissance. So Ignatius was a man on the edge of two worlds.
Europe of the late 15th Century was a world of discovery and invention. European explorers sailed west to the Americas and south to Africa, and scholars uncovered the buried civilizations of Greece and Rome. The printing press fed a new hunger for knowledge among a growing middle class. It was the end of chivalry and the rise of a new humanism. It was a time of radical change, social upheaval, and war.
Devastation & Conversion
In a quixotic attempt in 1521 to defend the Spanish border fortress of Pamplona against the French artillery, Inigo’s right leg was shattered by a cannon ball. His French captors, impressed by the Inigo’s courage, carried him on a litter across Spain to his family home at Loyola where he began a long period of convalescence.
During that time, he read several religious books, the only reading material readily available. These books and the isolation of the recovery period brought about a conversion which led to the founding of the Jesuits. Ignatius began to pray. He fasted, did penance and works of charity, dedicated himself to God and, after some troubles with the Spanish Inquisition, decided to study for the priesthood.
As a student in Paris he drew a small band of friends to himself and directed them in extended prayer and meditation according to his Spiritual Exercises. After further studies, the first Jesuits were ordained to the Catholic priesthood in Venice and offered themselves in service to Pope Paul III. In 1540, Paul III approved the Institute of the Society of Jesus. Ignatius was elected General Superior and served in that post until his death in 1556 at the age of 65. (Biography from The Society of Jesus.)
Notable quotations from St. Ignatius
“If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you, and that He certainly intends to make you a saint. And if you wish to become a great saint, entreat Him yourself to give you much opportunity for suffering; for there is no wood better to kindle the fire of holy love than the wood of the cross, which Christ used for His own great sacrifice of boundless charity.”
“Do not let any occasion of gaining merit pass without taking care to draw some spiritual profit from it; as, for example, from a sharp word which someone may say to you; from an act of obedience imposed against your will; from an opportunity which may occur to humble yourself, or to practice charity, sweetness, and patience. All of these occasions are gain for you, and you should seek to procure them; and at the close of that day, when the greatest number of them have come to you, you should go to rest most cheerful and pleased, as the merchant does on the day when he had had most chance for making money; for on that day business has prospered with him.”
Dedication to Jesus (St. Ignatius’s prayer)
Lord Jesus Christ, take all my freedom, my memory, my understanding, and my will.
All that I have and cherish you have given me. I surrender it all to be guided by your will.
Your grace and your love and wealth are enough for me.
Give me these, Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more.
Pearl of the Week: “How to Listen When God Is Speaking: A Guide for Modern-day Catholics” by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
The Pearl of the Week is a resource, recommended to you – so that you can more deeply understand and hold our Faith, which is great treasure.
Published by The Word Among Us – Click here to order online.
How do we listen to God speak to our hearts, minds, and wills–especially above the noise and stress of the modern world?
What is the process of discerning God’s will?
Best-selling author and popular EWTN host Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ, tackles these and other questions in this comprehensive book on discernment.
He says that first we need to believe in God and his moral laws and make a commitment to please him in all that we do. Then we need to pray so that we can experience the peace that can come only from God.
Fr. Pacwa draws from St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, using plenty of everyday examples as well as stories from Scripture to help clarify his points. He encourages readers to develop a rich prayer life and says we can learn to listen to God’s powerful voice and hear him speaking lovingly to us even when we are suffering in some way.
- Confronts modern-day assumptions that can prevent us from being open to God’s will for our lives.
- Emphasizes the many ways we can develop our prayer life to nourish an authentic relationship with the Lord.
A great gift to anyone, especially that young adult that you may know that is searching for meaning in their lives.