31 July 2012

St Ignatius de Loyola, Oremus!

Today is the feast day of Saint Ignatius de Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus (Societas Iesu), commonly known as the Jesuits. As God's instrument, St Ignatius brought into the world an order that has done immeasurable miraculous good in order to bring about the Kingdom of God, given us great preachers, teachers and theologians, and by his own writings, given all powerful inspiration and meditations on strengthening our spiritual life. 

Of his writings, Ignatius' "Contemplation on Divine Love" I find the most powerful, unifying all that it is to be mindful of God's unspeakably glorifying presence in our life, and I offer it for your own meditations today, below. May St Ignatius and all the saints continue to pray for us and guide us by the power of God's grace.

The Contemplation of Divine Love

THE FIRST POINT is, to bring to memory the benefits received, of Creation, Redemption and particular gifts, pondering with much feeling how much God our Lord has done for me, and how much He has given me of what He has, and then the same Lord desires to give me Himself as much as He can, according to His Divine ordination.—and WITH this to reflect on myself, considering with much reason and justice, what I ought on my side to offer and give to His Divine Majesty, that is to say, everything that is mine, and myself with it, as one who makes an offering with much feeling:—TAKE, LORD, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my intellect, and all my will -- all that I have and possess. Thou gavest it to me: to Thee, Lord, I return it! All is Thine, dispose of it according to all Thy will. Give me Thy love and grace, for this is enough for me.—

THE SECOND, to look how God dwells in creatures, in the elements, giving them being, in the plants vegetating, in the animals feeling in them, in men giving them to understand: and so in me, giving me being, animating me, giving me sensation and making me to understand; likewise making a temple of me, being created to the likeness and image of His Divine Majesty; reflecting as much on myself in the way which is said in the first Point, or in another which I feel to be better. In the same manner will be done on each Point which follows.—

THE THIRD, to consider how God works and labors for me in all things created on the face of the earth -- that is, behaves like one who labors -- as in the heavens, elements, plants, fruits, cattle, etc., giving them being, preserving them, giving them vegetation and sensation, etc. Then to reflect on myself.—

THE FOURTH, to look how all the good things and gifts descend from above, as my poor power from the supreme and infinite power from above; and so justice, goodness, pity, mercy, etc.; as from the sun descend the rays, from the fountain the waters, etc. Then to finish reflecting on myself, as has been said.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

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