July 31, 2017

Ignatius of Loyola

July 31, 2017:  St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

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Listen

    Music for St. Ignatius's Contemplation to Gain Love / Contemplatio ad amorem (SpEx §234)

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    Pope Francis Angelus
    Contemplate the joy of the farmer who sells everything to purchase the field with the hidden treasure, and the joy of the merchant who sells everything to purchase the pearl.  It's our joy when we discover Jesus' closeness and consoling presence, a presence that transforms hearts, opens us to others' needs, and opens us to welcome the weakest.


    Read
      Adoration of the Golden Calf/ Poussin
    • Ex 32:15-24, 30-34  Moses, coming down with the two God-given tablets of the commandments:  “I hear cries of revelry.”  Seeing them dancing around a golden calf, he angrily threw the tablets down and broke them, fused the calf, ground it to powder, scattered it on the water, and made the Israelites drink.  Moses / Aaron:  “How is it that you led them to this?” / They asked me to make them a god because they didn't know what happened to you.  I threw their gold into the fire, and the calf came out.”  Moses to people:  “You committed a grave sin.  Maybe I can make atonement to the Lord.”  Moses / Lord:  If you would only forgive them!  Otherwise, strike me from your book.” / “I'll only strike out the sinner.  Go lead the people; my angel will go before you....
    • Ps 106:19-23  "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good."  Our fathers made and adored a calf; they forgot the God who saved them.  He spoke of exterminating them, but Moses withstood him to turn back his wrath.
    • Mt 13:31-35  “The Kingdom is like a mustard seed a person sowed, the smallest seed that becomes the largest plant.”  “The Kingdom is like yeast a woman mixed with flour till the whole batch was leavened.”  Jesus spoke to them only in parables to fulfill, I will open my mouth in parables....
    Reflect
    • Creighton:  The Israelites decided they needed a new god, made a calf out of their their gold jewelry, and worshiped it.  I too can kneel before gods:  of success, praise, perfection....  When we're not sure where God is and get too busy to pray, we can get distracted by "shiny things" that are easier to see, but those things interfere with my seeing God.  
    Ignatius of Loyola's doubts and sense of sinfulness distracted him, but he eventually understood God loves each of us beyond measure and we're happiest when in tune with him.  In his Spiritual Exercises he put our idols in context:  Gold and money aren't bad in themselves, but what's their place in our lives?  Neither poverty nor riches, health nor illness, are a greater good.  The central question is what will help us find intimacy with God?  He believed we'll be happiest if we put aside whatever distracts us from God.   So long as God is central in our lives, we'll be at piece whether we succeed or fail. 
    Jesus tells us the Kingdom is like a mustard seed that grows to stretch its branches.  The reign of God can be hard to see, growing imperceptibly.  A small seed can produces startling results.  A small opening in our hearts can change our relationships.  A gesture of kindness to someone annoying can plant a seed of compassion.  Seeing humanity in someone who annoys or infuriates us can begin a new capacity for love.  A small effort to stop our negative reactions and thoughts can transform our outlook.  Lord, open our hearts so the seed of your love may grow and spread in us so we may share it.
      St. Ignatius of Loyola
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Leaders":  Aaron's leadership style was to satisfy people; when they approached him, he tried to satisfy them irrespective of God's wishes.  He let them run wild; under him, sinfulness, chaos, and confusion reigned.  Diotrephes enjoyed being a Church leader; he tried to satisfy himself and dominate others, not acknowledging Church authority and expelling those who submitted to it.  But Moses was a true servant-leader, meek, listening to people's needs, exercising authority as needed; his leadership style was to satisfy God and love his people.  He sought God's direction, submitting his leadership to God.  He interceded on behalf of his people, to the point of suffering.  "With a leader to break the path they shall burst open the gate and go through."
    • Passionist:  “The Kingdom is like yeast a woman mixed with flour till the whole batch was leavened.”  All the flour is mixed till the whole batch is leavened.  Plus yesterday’s parable:  “The kingdom is like a net that collects fish of every kind....”  Every fish has a chance.  There's hope for me and our society and world; we're all fertile ground.  It’s about making the most of the God who lives in us.  With care branches grow.  Each of us is called to care for our seeds and others', especially those we don’t want to care for.  Let God plant the seed of his Kingdom in you so you may become fertile ground, yeast, gardener, and caretaker.  Help plant the seed in others, and watch the Kingdom grow; no matter we're not perfect.  God will go before us, so we need not fear.  Lord, help us tend the garden of our hearts and all faces of Christ we meet.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "What the kingdom of heaven is like":  As mustard seeds grow to big trees, God's kingdom starts from small beginnings in receptive hearts and transforms from within.  As leaven (and heat) transform dough to rich, wholesome bread, God's kingdom transforms all who receive the life Christ offers.  When we allow his word to take root, the Spirit makes us holy.  "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the power belongs to God, not us."
          Today's saints, thanks to Universalis
          Dress legend
          • 'Mountain' tie pin:  Moses turned and came down the mountain (1st reading)
          • 'Fire' pin:  Aaron threw the gold into the fire; Moses fused the calf in the fire (1st reading)
          • 'Ten commandment tablets' tie:  Moses, seeing the idolatry, broke the tablets (1st reading)
          • Gold-colored accessories:  "Take off your gold jewelry" (1st reading)
          • 'Golden calf' tie pin:  The Israelites formed a calf and danced around it (1st reading); our fathers made and adored a calf (psalm)
          • 'Angel' pin:  "My angel will go before you" (1st reading)
          • 'Bird' tie pin:  The birds come and dwell in the mustard bush (gospel)
          • 'Love' sticker:  St. Ignatius's Contemplation to Gain Love
          • White and green shirt:  White for St. Ignatius memorial, green for Ordinary Time