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Ignatian Retreat, June 2016

agenda

 

The Spiritual Journey of St. Ignatius Loyola

Wounded at Pamplona

Wounded at Pamplona Acrylic on wood panel with gold leaf, 44'x27'

In the first panel, St. Ignatius is the worldly knight who is wounded at the battle of Pamplona. His armored helmet and gloves have fallen uselessly at his side, as his glance is directed away from battle and toward the first glimmering of God's call to him.

During an extended convalescence, Ignatius turns mind and heart from a preoccupation with self-glory to a passion for the greater glory of God.

Transformed at the River Cardoner

Transformed at the River CardonerAcrylic on wood panel with gold leaf, 44'x27'

The second panel conveys the tranquility Ignatius found at the River Cardoner, where he sensed the loving presence of God in all things. He is shown in front of a shrine to the Madonna, writing his classic text "The Spiritual Exercises."

The pilgrim to Jerusalem pauses in Manresa and spends a year of purification and enlightenment, culminating in a transforming illumination by the River Cardoner

Educated and Blessed with Companions at the University of Paris

Educated and Blessed with Companions at the University of Paris Acrylic on wood panel with gold leaf, 57.5'x39.5'

The larger central panel shows the University of Paris where Ignatius gathered friends into a spiritual companionship. The artist has included many students of our own time and from the cultures represented by students at Seattle University.

Ignatius pursues an education so he can help others and serve God. He is given companions who come to share his graced desires and spiritual vision. The painting includes 20th century students from diverse cultures, representing the continuation of Ignatius' mission today.

Confirmed in Mission at LaStorta

Confirmed in Mission at LaStorta Acrylic on wood panel with gold leaf, 44'x27'

The fourth panel portrays the vision at La Storta, in which Ignatius saw Jesus carrying the cross and promising to be favorable to him in Rome. Soon after, the Pope approved the Jesuits as a new religious order that would care for "the unprotected ones" of society.

Ignatius' desire and prayer that he and his companions serve Christ's mission is confirmed when God places him with Jesus carrying his cross.

Abiding Intimacy with the Trinity in Rome

Abiding Intimacy with the Trinity in Rome Acrylic on wood panel with gold leaf, 44'x27'

The fifth panel shows Ignatius writing the constitutions of the Jesuit order. The long corridors are animated by the figures of Jesuits and their companions who have labored throughout the centuries.

Ignatius governs the Society of Jesus and writes the Constitutions that guide the Society's life and mission in a prayerful abiding union with God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Artist: Dora Nikolova Bittau
Chapel of St. Ignatius, Seattle University
Dora Bittau graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria, and now lives and works in Rome. Her acrylic paintings on wood with gold leaf depicts five key moments in the life of St. Ignatius Loyola.

cover

click image to download pdf

 

June 9

Loyola

We will drive by bus to the very large and impressive Sanctuary (or Basilica) of Loyola in the municipality of Azpeitia, where we will visit the remains of the actual castle in which St. Ignatius was born and where he matured as a young boy. Ignatius was born in Loyola in 1491, the youngest of 13 children. His mother died soon after he was born and he was nursed by the wife of the local blacksmith. When Ignatius was 16 years of age, his father sent him to be a page at the court of the King’s Head Treasurer and he stayed there until he was 26. He then went to work at the court of the Duke of Navarra. In 1521, the French army invaded Navarra and Ignatius, along with one of his brothers, rushed to Pamplona to defend the city. There, he was badly wounded and was brought back to the family home at Loyola to recuperate. He was 30 years old.
The interior of the building has been restored to approximate the rooms that he actually knew in his lifetime. We will have Mass together in the room where, during the long recovery from the injuries to his leg, Ignatius had a conversion experience and experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the Christ Child. For him, it was an awakening to a new way of life.

We will also visit the Hermitage of Our Lady of Olatz that Ignatius probably visited often in his childhood.
Many years later, in 1535, Ignatius returned to Loyola for a few months from Paris because his doctors advised him that the native air would be good for his health. He chose not to stay with his family because he wanted to do public penance for his bad example as a younger man. Today we will visit the Hospital de la Magdelana where he stayed and cared for the sick, and also the Church of St. Sebastian, in which he was baptized.

From the “Autobiography” of Saint Ignatius
[during his convalescence] When he was thinking about the things of the world, he took much delight in them, but afterwards, when he was tired and put them aside, he found that he was dry and discontented. But when he thought of going to Jerusalem barefoot and eating nothing but herbs and undergoing all the other rigors that he saw the saints had endured, not only was he consoled when he had these thoughts, but even after putting them aside, he remained content and happy….Little by little he came to recognize the difference between the spirits that agitated him, one from the demon, and the other from God.

Passage from Scripture
The next day John the Baptist was there with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. Jesus asked: “What are you looking for? They said, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Jesus replied, “Come, and you will see.” They spent the day with him. (John 1:34-39)

For Reflection:
Can you allow Jesus to ask you: what are you looking for? Think back to the moments of awakening in your life: when you realized a deep desire, or that something was not quite right, or that you wanted some change. Can you talk with God about that?

READING 1 1 KGS 18:41-46 
Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink,
for there is the sound of a heavy rain.”
So Ahab went up to eat and drink,
while Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel,
crouched down to the earth,
and put his head between his knees.
“Climb up and look out to sea,” he directed his servant,
who went up and looked, but reported, “There is nothing.”
Seven times he said, “Go, look again!”
And the seventh time the youth reported,
“There is a cloud as small as a man’s hand rising from the sea.”
Elijah said, “Go and say to Ahab,
‘Harness up and leave the mountain before the rain stops you.’”
In a trice the sky grew dark with clouds and wind,
and a heavy rain fell.
Ahab mounted his chariot and made for Jezreel.
But the hand of the LORD was on Elijah,
who girded up his clothing and ran before Ahab
as far as the approaches to Jezreel.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM PS 65:10, 11, 12-13
R. (2a) It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.
You have visited the land and watered it;
greatly have you enriched it.
God’s watercourses are filled;
you have prepared the grain.
R. It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.
Thus have you prepared the land: 
drenching its furrows, breaking up its clods,
Softening it with showers, 
blessing its yield.
R. It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.
You have crowned the year with your bounty,
and your paths overflow with a rich harvest;
The untilled meadows overflow with it,
and rejoicing clothes the hills.
R. It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.

ALLELUIA JN 13:34
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GOSPEL MT 5:20-26
Jesus said to his disciples: 
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother,
‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

Jesuit Note-taking Techniques

June 10

Xavier

After breakfast at Loyola, we will travel by bus to the Castle of Xavier in Navarre. The castle dates back to the 10th century and was the birthplace and childhood home of Saint Francis Xavier, who was a classmate and roommate of Ignatius of Loyola when they studied at the University of Paris. Francis Xavier, along with Peter Faber, another classmate and roommate, were among the first Jesuits. [They had the experience of living in a “triple” while in Paris!] St. Peter Faber was canonized by Pope Francis on December 17, 2013. Across the plaza from the Castle of Xavier is a simple church with the baptismal font in which Francis Xavier was baptized. We will have Mass together there before continuing on our journey.

Francis Xavier was born in the Castle of Xavier on 7 April 1506. He was born to an aristocratic family of the Kingdom of Navarre, the youngest son of Juan de Jasso, privy counselor to King John III of Navarre, and Doña Maria de Azpilcueta y Aznárez, sole heiress of two noble Navarrese families. Francis lived with his family until 1525 when he went to study at the University of Paris. Francis was an excellent student (he was first in his class), was the university’s long-jump champion, and was clearly ambitious. As a nobleman, he had hopes of securing a high position in the Church for himself. As his roommate and friend in Paris, Ignatius spent four years trying to persuade Francis to make the Spiritual Exercises. Ignatius is said to have posed the question, “What will it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Francis was whole-hearted at whatever he did, and when he finally made the Spiritual Exercises, he gave himself completely to the following of Christ.

Francis was ordained a priest in Venice at the age of 31. Shortly after the Society of Jesus was officially approved by Pope Paul III in 1540, the King of Portugal asked the Pope for two priests to go to the Indies. The Pope turned to the Jesuits. Ignatius wanted to send another Jesuit, but when that man became ill, he turned to Xavier. From start to finish, Francis Xavier’s time as a missionary was only about 10 years. He was dead at the age of 47. His hair had turned white. In those 10 years, he was able to receive letters from his Jesuit friends back in Europe only 5 times! He wore the signature from one of Ignatius’ letters, along with his vow formula and the signatures of his other distant Jesuit friends, in a packet around his neck. In the last letter he sent to Ignatius in 1552, shortly before his death on an island off the coast of China, he wrote:

Among many other holy words and consolations of your letter I read those last which said “completely yours, without my ever being able to forget you at any time, Ignatius.” Just as I read those words with tears, so I am writing these with tears thinking of the time past and of the great love which you always showed me and still show toward me …
Back in Rome, Ignatius, too, missed his dear, old friends and longed to see them again. He managed to see all of them except Xavier. His letter, asking Xavier to return, reached its destination two years after Xavier’s death. A century later, on the same day in 1622 (March 12), Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier were declared saints of the Church.

A Prayer:
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” Thomas Merton

READING 1 1 KGS 19:9A, 11-16 
At the mountain of God, Horeb,
Elijah came to a cave, where he took shelter.
But the word of the LORD came to him,
“Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by.”
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake— 
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.
A voice said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?”
He replied, “I have been most zealous for the LORD,
the God of hosts.
But the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant,
torn down your altars,
and put your prophets to the sword.
I alone am left, and they seek to take my life.”
The LORD said to him,
“Go, take the road back to the desert near Damascus.
When you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king of Aram.
Then you shall anoint Jehu, son of Nimshi, as king of Israel,
and Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah,
as prophet to succeed you.”

RESPONSORIAL PSALM PS 27:7-8A, 8B-9ABC, 13-14
R. (8b) I long to see your face, O Lord.
Hear, O LORD, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.
R. I long to see your face, O Lord.
Your presence, O LORD, I seek.
Hide not your face from me;
do not in anger repel your servant.
You are my helper: cast me not off.
R. I long to see your face, O Lord.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. I long to see your face, O Lord.

ALLELUIA PHIL 2:15D, 16A 
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Shine like lights on the world,
as you hold on to the word of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GOSPEL MT 5:27-32
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you, 
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin, 
tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, 
cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

“It was also said,
Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.
But I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful)
causes her to commit adultery,
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
 

June 11

Zaragoza and Montserrat

After our visit to the Castle at Xavier, we will continue our journey. stopping for lunch en route in Zaragoza, and arriving, eventually, at Montserrat where we will have dinner and spend the night.

Following his conversion experience at Loyola, Ignatius was filled with a desire to go to the Holy Land as a poor pilgrim. To get to the Holy Land, Ignatius had to get to Barcelona so that he could sail to Rome, because anyone wanting to go the Holy Land needed the Pope’s permission. To mark the beginning of his new life, Ignatius planned to go from Loyola to Montserrat, the famous shrine of the Black Madonna, which was very popular in the region. On his way, he stopped in several places, including Zaragoza where there was another famous shrine to Our Lady. Leaving Zaragoza, Ignatius went to Montserrat, where he spent the night in vigil before the statue of the Black Madonna and dedicated his whole life to God. Just before he arrived at the shrine, Ignatius made a very symbolic gesture: he took off his fine gentleman’s clothing and gave it all to a beggar. Then he put on the rough tunic of a pilgrim. In doing so, he imitated what Francis of Assisi did at the start of his conversion.

The name Montserrat means “serrated-mountains. “ The mountains and the monastery have a deep appeal to all Spaniards, not only Catholics. There have been monks at the monastery since the 9th century, and a boys’ choir since 1223. The monastery has long been home to a legendary statue of Mary, called the Black Madonna.

from Ignatius’ Autobiography:
“When he arrived at Montserrat, he passed a long time in prayer, and with the consent of his confessor he made in writing a general confession of his sins. Three whole days he employed in this undertaking. He begged and obtained leave of his confessor to give up his horse, and to hand up his sword and his dagger in the church, near the altar of the Blessed Virgin. This confessor was the first to whom he disclosed his resolution of devoting himself to a spiritual life. Never before had he manifested this purpose to anybody.
The eve of the Annunciation of Our Blessed Lady in the year 1522 was the time he chose to carry out the project he had formed. At nightfall, unobserved by any one, he approached a beggar, and taking off his own costly garments, gave them to the beggar. He then put on the pilgrim’s dress he had previously bought, and hastened to the church, where he threw himself on his knees before the altar of the Blessed Mother of God and there, now kneeling, now standing, with staff in hand, he passed the entire night.”

For Reflection:
Many people come to this holy shrine seeking a blessing from God, from Our Lady. They seek a blessing for themselves or someone else. They bring a need, or ask for a healing of body or spirit. Is there someone, something you want to bring to Mary, bring to God on this holy mountain? Can you bring to God all in your life that needs blessing? Can you bring to God all the people in your life who have given you love; whom you love; who need God’s blessing?

A Traditional Prayer to Our Lady (the Memorare):
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother. To you do we come, before you we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not our petitions but in your mercy hear and answer us. Amen.

READING 1 ACTS 11:21B-26; 13:1-3 
In those days a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.

Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers:
Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger,
Lucius of Cyrene,
Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,
“Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul
for the work to which I have called them.”
Then, completing their fasting and prayer,
they laid hands on them and sent them off.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM PS 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4, 5-6
R. (see 2b) The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.

ALLELUIA PS 119:36A, 29B
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Incline my heart, O God, to your decrees;
and favor me with your law.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GOSPEL MT 5:33-37
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
Do not take a false oath,
but make good to the Lord all that you vow.
But I say to you, do not swear at all;
not by heaven, for it is God’s throne;
nor by the earth, for it is his footstool;
nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Do not swear by your head,
for you cannot make a single hair white or black.
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
Anything more is from the Evil One.”

June 12

Manresa and Return to Montserrat

After breakfast we will go by bus to Manresa and visit the Cave of Ignatius, where we will have an opportunity for prayer. We will return to Montserrat in the afternoon and have some free time. Late in the afternoon we will have a tour of the monastery/basilica and Mass in one of the chapels. After dinner, we will spend a second night at Montserrat.
The Cave was a natural grotto facing Montserrat in the distance. Over time, A Church. a Jesuit Residence, and Center for Spirituality were built over the Cave. In the late 17th and early 18th century, an elaborate alabaster altar and other decorations were added to the Cave.

Manresa:
When he left Montserrat, Ignatius had hoped to set out for the port at Barcelona so as to embark for Italy and from there continue his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He learned, however, that there was a plague in Barcelona, so its gates were closed to travelers. He went instead to a nearby town, Manresa. Ignatius would remain in Manresa for 11 months. This place became a real school of his own spiritual and growth, and, as he later wrote, “God treated him as a schoolmaster treats a child whom he is teaching.” During the day, he attended Mass and Vespers (usually at the cathedral), begged for his food, and then spent seven hours in a cave where he could be alone in prayer. We will visit the cave. He also sought out people for spiritual conversations, so that he could learn more about God and the spiritual life. He also went back to Montserrat a number of times to talk to the monks there. The months in Manresa was a time of great grace and a deepening of his relationship with God, but it was not without its temptations and struggles. In his fervor, he went to excesses in fasting and penances and did damage to his health. He had to learn from others and from his own experiences. He wrote down his experiences and these notes became, in large part, the basis for his class work, the Spiritual Exercises.

from What is Ignatian Spirituality? by David L. Fleming, S.J.
“We might look at Ignatian spirituality as a set of basic attitudes about the pilgrimage we are on. Our response to God is not a one-time, settled thing. Circumstances will change and new opportunities will open up. God will point in new directions. We need to always stay alert and seize the opportunities we have every day. The tools of Ignatian spirituality keep us attentive to the movements of the Holy Spirit.” (p.33)

For Reflection:
God’s love for us can come in many ways. We can rest in God’s love in reading Scripture, be fed by God’s love in the Holy Eucharist. We can realize God’s love in the gift of being alive, and by using our talents and strength for good. We can be touched by God’s love in the middle of struggle or darkness. Our personal history, the network of relationships in our lives, all speak of God’s love. Our lives have been populated by people who have manifested God’s love to us, even if they did not know it. At Manresa, Ignatius came to know much more deeply how God loved him. “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” the prophet Jeremiah says. As you look back over your own life, where have you seen signs of God’s love for you? Can you thank God for these gifts?

Prayer of Montserrat:
O God, giver of every good, You have chosen this mountain as a center of special devotion to the Mother of Your only-begotten Son; grant us the aid of the Virgin Mary, so that we may safely reach that mountain which is Christ. Amen

READING 1 2 SM 12:7-10, 13 
Nathan said to David: 
“Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 
‘I anointed you king of Israel.
I rescued you from the hand of Saul.
I gave you your lord’s house and your lord’s wives for your own.
I gave you the house of Israel and of Judah.
And if this were not enough, I could count up for you still more.
Why have you rejected the LORD and done evil in his sight?
You have cut down Uriah the Hittite with the sword;
you took his wife as your own,
and him you killed with the sword of the Ammonites.
Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house,
because you have looked down on me
and have taken the wife of Uriah to be your wife.’”

Then David said to Nathan,
“I have sinned against the LORD.”
Nathan answered David:
“The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin:
you shall not die.”

RESPONSORIAL PSALM PS 32:1-2, 5, 7, 11
R. (cf. 5c) Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.
Blessed is the one whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.
I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, "I confess my faults to the LORD,"
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.
You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;
with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.
R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you just;
exult, all you upright of heart.
R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.

READING 2 GAL 2:16, 19-21
Brothers and sisters:
We who know that a person is not justified by works of the law
but through faith in Jesus Christ,
even we have believed in Christ Jesus
that we may be justified by faith in Christ
and not by works of the law,
because by works of the law no one will be justified.
For through the law I died to the law,
that I might live for God.
I have been crucified with Christ;
yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me;
insofar as I now live in the flesh,
I live by faith in the Son of God
who has loved me and given himself up for me.
I do not nullify the grace of God;
for if justification comes through the law,
then Christ died for nothing.

ALLELUIA 1 JN 4:10B
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God loved us and sent his Son
as expiation for our sins.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GOSPEL LK 7:36—8:3
A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him,
and he entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at table.
Now there was a sinful woman in the city
who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee.
Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment,
she stood behind him at his feet weeping
and began to bathe his feet with her tears.
Then she wiped them with her hair,
kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself,
"If this man were a prophet,
he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him,
that she is a sinner."
Jesus said to him in reply,
"Simon, I have something to say to you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.
"Two people were in debt to a certain creditor;
one owed five hundred days' wages and the other owed fifty.
Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.
Which of them will love him more?"
Simon said in reply,
"The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven."
He said to him, "You have judged rightly."

Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon,
"Do you see this woman?
When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet,
but she has bathed them with her tears
and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss,
but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.
You did not anoint my head with oil,
but she anointed my feet with ointment.
So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven
because she has shown great love.
But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."
He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
The others at table said to themselves,
"Who is this who even forgives sins?"
But he said to the woman,
"Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Afterward he journeyed from one town and village to another,
preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.
Accompanying him were the Twelve
and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities,
Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza,
Susanna, and many others who provided for them
out of their resources.

OR LK 7:36-50
A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him,
and he entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at table.
Now there was a sinful woman in the city
who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee.
Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment,
she stood behind him at his feet weeping
and began to bathe his feet with her tears.
Then she wiped them with her hair,
kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself,
"If this man were a prophet,
he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him,
that she is a sinner."
Jesus said to him in reply,
"Simon, I have something to say to you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.
"Two people were in debt to a certain creditor;
one owed five hundred day's wages and the other owed fifty.
Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.
Which of them will love him more?"
Simon said in reply,
"The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven."
He said to him, "You have judged rightly."

Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon,
"Do you see this woman?
When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet,
but she has bathed them with her tears
and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss,
but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.
You did not anoint my head with oil,
but she anointed my feet with ointment.
So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven
because she has shown great love.
But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."
He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
The others at table said to themselves,
"Who is this who even forgives sins?"
But he said to the woman,
"Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

June 13

St. Ignatius and Rome

Jesuits have been in Rome for more than 470 years, preaching the Word of God, teaching in schools and universities, begging in the streets on behalf of the poor and helpless, and giving spiritual counsel to popes, cardinals, and other influential citizens. Here is a brief synopsis of the importance of Rome in the life of St. Ignatius and the first “companions.”
When Ignatius went to the University of Paris to study and earn his Masters degree, he continued his much loved practice of having spiritual conversations with like minded seekers of God. He also began to give the Spiritual Exercises to those who were really seeking to deepen their relationship with God, and who were seeking to know God’s deep desire for how they should live their lives. From that group there developed a community of seven men — all of them pursuing a Master’s degree from the University of Paris — who called themselves the Companions of Jesus. Ignatius was clearly the father and leader of the group. Together they vowed themselves to God in Paris on August 15, 1534.
Since they were Companions of Jesus, their desire was to go to the Holy Land and spend their lives there helping Christian pilgrims and seekers. But conscious of Ignatius’ earlier experience of difficulty in the Holy Land, they vowed that if for some reason they could not go there, they would place themselves, as a group, at the service of the Pope, because they were confident that the Pope would know best the greatest needs of the Church, and he could send them wherever they were most needed.
As it turned out, there was a war going on, which meant that travel to the Holy Land was impossible. So the Companions resolved to go to Rome, and offer their services to the Pope. All during his journey, Ignatius prayed fervently to Mary for a good outcome to their journey. Ignatius’ prayer to Mary was “Place me with your Son!” Just outside Rome, at LaSorta, Ignatius stopped at a tiny chapel to pray. There he experienced a vision of God the Father, and of Jesus carrying his cross. Jesus said to him: “I want you to serve us,” and “I will be propitious to you in Rome.” The vision at LaSorta took on great significance for him and for the Society of Jesus.
Ignatius and his Companions arrived in Rome during the winter of 1538. The city had been sacked just three years before. Rome was still a mess when they arrived. That winter was also bitterly cold. The Pope was glad of any help he could get and gave the Companions great freedom. They begged for their own food, and brought the poor and hungry into their home to care for them. Their ministry was noticed favorably by others.
It is helpful to keep in mind that, in the time of Ignatius, the total population of Rome was probably less than 50,000. In their first few years in Rome, the Companions lived in several different places before they found the location that best satisfied their needs. Ignatius wanted to be at the very heart of things, not at a safe remove from the busy life of the city.

Ignatius thought that a small church called Madonna della Strada (Our Lady of the Wayside) provided what he wanted. This later became the site for the main Jesuit Church in Rome, the Gesù (Holy Name of Jesus). It was just around the corner from where the Pope often stayed. The city government was one block away and the large Jewish community two blocks away. “The piazza where Ignatius established his headquarters was a traffic breakwater in the flow of streets. It was a place where papal and civic processions slowed, where people gathered to gossip, shop, and pass the time of day.”(Thomas Lucas, S.J., Saint, Site, and Sacred Strategy, 1990).
Ignatius spent 18 years in Rome, until his death in 1556. The man who for his whole life referred to himself as “the pilgrim” seldom left the city during those many years. He guided and governed the rapidly growing Society of Jesus from his small and simple rooms at the Casa Gesù. He received many visitors, both the important and the insignificant; he finished writing The Constitutions of the Society; and he wrote many letters to Jesuits all around the world and read the letters that he insisted they send him regularly, even when they protested that they were far too busy doing the work of the Society and helping people to have to write letters to Rome.
On July 30, 1556, Ignatius told his Jesuit secretary, Fr. Juan Polanco, that he was dying and asked him to go to the Vatican to obtain for him a last blessing from the Pope. But Fr. Polanco had a number of letters to write to Jesuits in Spain, and the mail courier was prepared to leave that day for Spain. The doctor had looked in on Ignatius earlier and did not seem so concerned, so Polanco asked Ignatius if he could wait and allow him to finish writing the letters. Ignatius said he would prefer if Polanco went now for the blessing, but that he should do as he thought best. During the night, the Jesuit brother who cared for Ignatius, and who slept in the room next to his, heard him sighing and saying over and over again: “Dios! Dios” (God! God!)

In the early morning of July 31, it was very clear that Ignatius was dying. The Brother rushed to find Ignatius’ confessor to administer Last Rites. Polanco rushed to the Vatican to get the Pope’s blessing.

While they were gone, Ignatius died, alone, without the last sacraments, without the Pope’s blessing. It was a very humble death, the death of a poor pilgrim. It was just what Ignatius would have wanted. Ignatius died on July 31, 1556 in the small room which we will visit. He was buried under a side altar at the Church of the Gesù.

Reflection:
Jesuit education began as an outgrowth of Jesuit spirituality. One of the principal insights of the Spiritual Exercises is that God dwells in everything around us; God is in all things. The personal discovery that “God is in this place” or this person or this idea or this bit of reality is what has produced the “fire in the belly” and given energy and zeal to Jesuit explorers and scientists and artists and philosophers. It is why Jesuit astronomers staff the Vatican Observatory and why one of the principal physicists who worked on the super-collider was a Jesuit and why there are 35 craters on the moon named after Jesuits, and why the Encyclopedia Britannica gives considerable attention to the Jesuit mathematician Boscovitch, and why we can delight in the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, and China still publicly honors the memory of the Jesuits, Matteo Ricci, Johann Schall von Bell and Ferdinand Verbiest.
The ultimate goal of Jesuit education is to lead individuals to the discovery of God’s presence in all things and all people. Jesuit education sees the human mind as something given us by God for important tasks. It should never be the case that reason is scorned or put aside, because the love of God and the desire of knowledge are two sides of the same coin.

From the Spiritual Exercises:
Reflect how God dwells in creatures: in the elements giving them existence, in the plants giving them life, in the animals conferring upon them sensation, in human beings bestowing understanding.
So God dwells in me and gives me being, life, sensation, intelligence; and makes a temple of me, since I am created in the likeness and image of the Divine Majesty.

The Church of St. Ignatius
By the beginning of the 17th century, the small church that Jesuit architects had designed and Jesuit students had built by hand to serve the needs of the Roman College could no longer accommodate the 2,000 student at the College. The cornerstone for a new church was laid in 1626, with funding from a Cardinal who was the nephew of Pope Gregory XV. The Dominicans feared that the new church would block the sunlight coming into their library because the designs for the Jesuit church called for a large cupola. As it turned out, the Jesuits ran out of money to build the cupola. Brother Andrea Pozza, a Jesuit artist, famous for his mastery of perspective, solved the problem by painting a cupola on a flat ceiling. The ceiling appears to soar into the heavens. In the center is Jesus with His cross. Ignatius looks and points towards Jesus. Construction of the church proceeded very slowly and it was finally consecrated in 1722.

The Rooms of Ignatius
Originally the residence near the Church of the Gesù housed only 30 Jesuits, but it was continuously expanded so that by 1556, when Ignatius died, approximately 80 Jesuits lived in several connecting wings, floors and adjoining houses. The rooms of Ignatius were on the top floor of the residence. From here, he governed the world-wide Society, sending out over 7,000 letters on topics ranging from spiritual experience to real estate needed for colleges and new residences. Here Ignatius died and here his companions gathered to elect the second superior general.

When the building was badly damaged after a severe flood in 1598, Jesuits realized the historical significance of the four rooms where Ignatius lived and worked. To preserve these rooms, builders used huge pillars to support the rooms and then encase them within the much larger new building. Over the course of centuries, the rooms underwent many transformations, in keeping with the desires to preserve the rooms as a shrine. More recently, in 1990, in preparation for the 500th Anniversary of the birth of St. Ignatius, every effort was made to restore the rooms with careful attention to historical detail.

The first room of the apartment served as a waiting area and secretarial space. The ceiling is almost entirely original. Then there is a small room which served Ignatius as both a bedroom and work area. The third room, paved in the original bricks, was his private chapel but also was used for meetings. Finally, there is the room occupied by the Jesuit Brother who acted as Ignatius’ attendant during the last few years of his life.

Rooms of Saint Ignatius

The Church of the Gesù
In 1540, Saint Ignatius of Loyola needed a church to serve as the center of the newly founded Society of Jesus. At first, the Pope assigned them an older church, Madonna della Strada (Our Lady of the Way), but after a short while Ignatius found the church too small and began fund-raising to construct a church worthy of the “Name of Jesus” on the same site as the older church. He tried three times to build a new church (and even, at one point, enlisted an aging Michelangelo to draw up plans). One difficulty after another caused delays. Ignatius never lived to see construction finally begin, but the church became his final resting place, making Il Gesù (the Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus) the mother church of the Society of Jesus and the model for numerous Jesuit churches throughout the world. The frescoes, sculptures and ornate chapels make it one of the foremost examples of Roman Baroque architecture.

The most striking feature of the interior of the church is the ceiling fresco “The Triumph of the Name of Jesus” by the artist Giovanni Battista Gaulli (1639-1709). Some art historians regard this fresco as the ultimate illusionistic Baroque ceiling of the period. Gaulli had studied under Bernini, from who he acquired the Baroque techniques of drama and combining different art mediums. Every element is dedicated to the illusion that clouds and angels have floated down through an opening in the church’s vault. The whole composition is focused off-center on the golden aura around the letters IHS, the first three letters of the name “Jesus” in Greek. Gaulli depicts the Last Judgment with the Chosen rising joyfully toward the Holy Name of Jesus and the Damned falling through the ceiling toward the floor.

The current Gesù residence for Jesuits was constructed in 1599-1602 and was built to house 145 Jesuits. The residence at the Gesù also served as the “Curia Generalis” or international headquarters of the Society until the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773. It now houses two communities: an international community of Jesuits studying theology and a community of Italian Jesuits.

READING 1 1 KGS 21:1-16 
Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel
next to the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria.
Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard to be my vegetable garden,
since it is close by, next to my house.
I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or,
if you prefer, I will give you its value in money.”
Naboth answered him, “The LORD forbid
that I should give you my ancestral heritage.”
Ahab went home disturbed and angry at the answer
Naboth the Jezreelite had made to him:
“I will not give you my ancestral heritage.”
Lying down on his bed, he turned away from food and would not eat.

His wife Jezebel came to him and said to him,
“Why are you so angry that you will not eat?”
He answered her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite
and said to him, ‘Sell me your vineyard, or,
if you prefer, I will give you a vineyard in exchange.’
But he refused to let me have his vineyard.”
His wife Jezebel said to him,
“A fine ruler over Israel you are indeed!
Get up. 
Eat and be cheerful.
I will obtain the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite for you.”

So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and,
having sealed them with his seal,
sent them to the elders and to the nobles
who lived in the same city with Naboth.
This is what she wrote in the letters:
“Proclaim a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people.
Next, get two scoundrels to face him
and accuse him of having cursed God and king.
Then take him out and stone him to death.”
His fellow citizens—the elders and nobles who dwelt in his city—
did as Jezebel had ordered them in writing,
through the letters she had sent them.
They proclaimed a fast and placed Naboth at the head of the people.
Two scoundrels came in and confronted him with the accusation,
“Naboth has cursed God and king.”
And they led him out of the city and stoned him to death.
Then they sent the information to Jezebel
that Naboth had been stoned to death.

When Jezebel learned that Naboth had been stoned to death,
she said to Ahab,
“Go on, take possession of the vineyard
of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you,
because Naboth is not alive, but dead.”
On hearing that Naboth was dead, Ahab started off on his way
down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite,
to take possession of it.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM PS 5:2-3AB, 4B-6A, 6B-7
R. (2b) Lord, listen to my groaning.
Hearken to my words, O LORD,
attend to my sighing.
Heed my call for help,
my king and my God!
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight. 
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
You hate all evildoers.
You destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the LORD abhors.
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
ALLELUIA PS 119:105
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GOSPEL MT 5:38-42
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”

June 14

Rome and Vatican

The Scavi (Excavations) Underneath St. Peter’s
What we know today as St. Peter’s Basilica was, in the time of Ignatius, referred to as the “New St. Peter’s” to distinguish it from the old basilica (also called St. Peter’s), built by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century, over what people at the time were convinced was the site where Peter was buried, without any systematic excavation or investigation. By the mid­fifteenth century, the old St. Peter’s was in a sorry state of repair and the decision was made to build a new basilica. The new building would take 120 years to finish, would need the attention of 20 popes and 10 different architects, would include the world’s largest dome and necessitate very, very strong foundations. It could also be argued that fund-raising efforts would, at least indirectly, give rise to the Reformation.
In 1939, when preparations were being made to bury Pope Pius XI in the crypt under St. Peter’s, workmen discovered some tombs that, upon further investigation, seemed to be part of a larger necropolis “city of the dead.” Pope Pius XII authorized the start of a full-scale archaeological excavation which continued for many decades.
It was discovered that there had been a vast pagan burial ground on Vatican Hill and, at some point in time, Christian began to be buried there, too. More importantly, the excavations initiated a search for evidence that St. Peter was buried there, too. Archaeology yields probabilities rather than certainties but reputable scientific opinion today holds that the excavations did yield evidence of the mortal remains of the first pope, the apostle Peter. It will be necessary to be divided into small groups when we are led on a tour of the Scavi. Ignatius would envy us this opportunity because he had a special devotion to St. Peter and as a very young man had composed a poem in honor of St. Peter.

The Jesuit Curia in Rome
The Latin word Curia means “group of officials.” In Jesuit parlance the word has come to be used both to designate the officials who govern the Jesuits and the building where they live and work. The present Jesuit Curia or headquarters of the international Society of Jesus dates back to the early 20th century. The current Superior General of the Society is Father Adolfo Nicolás, who was elected in 2007. His curia includes a Secretary of the Society, a Treasurer, and Procurator (who deals with issues of Canon Law), several General Assistants, heads of secretariats and other officials. The rooftop of the Curia offers a very fine view of the dome of St. Peter’s and we will have the opportunity to visit the rooftop.

St. Peter’s Basilica (at the Vatican)
During the 18 years that Ignatius lived in Rome before his death, the “new” basilica of St. Peter was under construction, and much of the old basilica built by Constantine was still visible. At the start of 1547, the 71-year-old Michelangelo was put in charge of the project of building the “new” basilica.
Ignatius, the pilgrim, had visited the old basilica when he first visited Rome in 1523 and walked on foot to the seven churches. Late in 1537, when he and the other companions came to Rome, they made the same round of the seven churches, starting with St. Peter’s. This practice of walking to and praying in the seven major churches of Rome (St. John Lateran, St Peter’s, St Paul’s Outside the Walls, St. Mary Major, St. Laurence Outside the Walls, St. Sebastian’s and the Church of Holy Cross-in-Jerusalem) was a traditional custom for pilgrims to Rome and a frequent practice of the early Jesuits who lived in Rome.
At the time of Ignatius, the Apostolic Palace consisted of the buildings west of the Courtyard of San Damaso, including, of course, the Sistine Chapel. Ignatius frequently went to the Apostolic Palace for audiences with the pope and to visit with cardinals who resided there. The building where popes have usually lived in our times (until Pope Francis) was built 30 years after the death of Ignatius.

Prayer: The Angelus
The Angelus is an ancient prayer celebrating the Angel Gabriel’s annunciation of the Incarnation to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is recited at noon and the time for recitation is traditionally marked by the ringing of church bells.
The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary
and she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary, full of grace, etc,
Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
be it done unto me according to Your word. Hail Mary, full of grace, etc,
And the Word was made flesh
and dwelt amongst us. Hail Mary, full of grace, etc,
Pray for us, O most Holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Pour forth, we beseech You, O Lord, Your grace into our hearts; that, as we have known the Incarnation of Christ Your Son by the message of an Angel, so by His Passion and Cross we may be brought to the glory of the Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

READING 1 1 KGS 21:17-29 
After the death of Naboth the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite:
“Start down to meet Ahab, king of Israel,
who rules in Samaria.
He will be in the vineyard of Naboth,
of which he has come to take possession.
This is what you shall tell him,
‘The LORD says: After murdering, do you also take possession?
For this, the LORD says:
In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth,
the dogs shall lick up your blood, too.’”
Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me out, my enemy?”
“Yes,” he answered.
“Because you have given yourself up to doing evil in the LORD’s sight,
I am bringing evil upon you: I will destroy you
and will cut off every male in Ahab’s line,
whether slave or freeman, in Israel.
I will make your house like that of Jeroboam, son of Nebat,
and like that of Baasha, son of Ahijah,
because of how you have provoked me by leading Israel into sin.”
(Against Jezebel, too, the LORD declared,
“The dogs shall devour Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.”)
“When one of Ahab’s line dies in the city,
dogs will devour him;
when one of them dies in the field,
the birds of the sky will devour him.”
Indeed, no one gave himself up to the doing of evil
in the sight of the LORD as did Ahab,
urged on by his wife Jezebel.
He became completely abominable by following idols,
just as the Amorites had done,
whom the LORD drove out before the children of Israel.

When Ahab heard these words, he tore his garments
and put on sackcloth over his bare flesh.
He fasted, slept in the sackcloth, and went about subdued.
Then the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite,
“Have you seen that Ahab has humbled himself before me?
Since he has humbled himself before me,
I will not bring the evil in his time.
I will bring the evil upon his house during the reign of his son.”

RESPONSORIAL PSALM PS 51:3-4, 5-6AB, 11 AND 16
R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight.”
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Turn away your face from my sins,
and blot out all my guilt.
Free me from blood guilt, O God, my saving God;
then my tongue shall revel in your justice.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

ALLELUIA JN 13:34
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GOSPEL MT 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

June 15

Rome and the basillicas

The Basilica of Saint Mary Major
This Basilica was where Ignatius celebrated his first Mass. After his ordination, he had waited for a whole year before celebrating Mass. He had always hoped to offer his first Mass in Bethlehem, where Scripture says Jesus was born, because of his strong devotion to the Nativity of Jesus. When it became clear that it was not possible for him and his companions to travel from Venice (where Ignatius was ordained) to Jerusalem, they came, instead, to Rome and Ignatius chose Saint Mary Major as the place for his first Mass because it contained a relic of the crib or manger thought to be from the actual manger in which Jesus had been placed at birth. Ignatius celebrated Mass there on Christmas Day, 1538.

The Basilica of St. Paul “Outside-the-Wall”
The Basilica of St. Paul was built outside the wall that once fortified the city of Rome. It is one of the seven churches to which Ignatius, the pilgrim, walked in 1523 at the time of his first visit to Rome. But, more importantly, it is where Ignatius and five of his companions who were in Rome in the year 1541, walked to pronounce their solemn vows on April 22, the Friday after Easter. He wrote “When we reached St. Paul’s, all six went to confession, one to another. And it was decided that Inigo (Ignatius) should say Mass and that all the others should receive the Blessed Sacrament from his hand, each one holding in one hand the paper on which the vow formula was written, and saying the words of the vows. After saying the words, each took communion.” At another time, Ignatius also received the vows of two other companions in St. Paul’s.

Reflection (from the Spiritual Exercises)
The goal of life is to live with God forever. God who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows God’s life to flow into us without limit. All the things in this world are gifts of God, presented to us so that we can know God more easily and make a return of love more readily. As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God insofar as they help us develop as loving persons.
But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives, they displace God and so hinder our growth toward our goal. In everyday life, therefore, we must hold ourselves in balance before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice and are not bound by some obligation. We should not fix our desires on health or sickness, wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or a short one. For everything has the potential of calling forth in us a deeper response to our life in God. Our only desire and our one choice should be this: I want and I choose what is better leads to the deepening of God’s life in me.

Prayer of St. Ignatius
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory,
my understanding, and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours;
do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.

READING 1 2 KGS 2:1, 6-14 
When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind,
he and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.
Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here;
the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.”
“As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,
I will not leave you,” Elisha replied.
And so the two went on together.
Fifty of the guild prophets followed and
when the two stopped at the Jordan,
they stood facing them at a distance.
Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up
and struck the water, which divided,
and both crossed over on dry ground.

When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha,
“Ask for whatever I may do for you, before I am taken from you.”
Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.”
“You have asked something that is not easy,” Elijah replied.
“Still, if you see me taken up from you,
your wish will be granted; otherwise not.”
As they walked on conversing,
a flaming chariot and flaming horses came between them,
and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
When Elisha saw it happen he cried out,
“My father! my father! Israel’s chariots and drivers!”
But when he could no longer see him,
Elisha gripped his own garment and tore it in two.

Then he picked up Elijah’s mantle that had fallen from him,
and went back and stood at the bank of the Jordan.
Wielding the mantle that had fallen from Elijah,
Elisha struck the water in his turn and said,
“Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?”
When Elisha struck the water it divided and he crossed over.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM PS 31:20, 21, 24
R. (25) Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
How great is the goodness, O LORD,
which you have in store for those who fear you,
And which, toward those who take refuge in you,
you show in the sight of the children of men.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from the plottings of men;
You screen them within your abode
from the strife of tongues.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Love the LORD, all you his faithful ones!
The LORD keeps those who are constant,
but more than requites those who act proudly.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.

ALLELUIA JN 14:23
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GOSPEL MT 6:1-6, 16-18
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to others to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

Jesuit Art-The Motivation, Excitement and Education

June 16

READING 1 SIR 48:1-14 
Like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah
whose words were as a flaming furnace.
Their staff of bread he shattered,
in his zeal he reduced them to straits;
By the Lord’s word he shut up the heavens
and three times brought down fire.
How awesome are you, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds!
Whose glory is equal to yours?
You brought a dead man back to life
from the nether world, by the will of the LORD.
You sent kings down to destruction,
and easily broke their power into pieces.
You brought down nobles, from their beds of sickness.
You heard threats at Sinai,
at Horeb avenging judgments.
You anointed kings who should inflict vengeance,
and a prophet as your successor.
You were taken aloft in a whirlwind of fire,
in a chariot with fiery horses.
You were destined, it is written, in time to come
to put an end to wrath before the day of the LORD,
To turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons,
and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob.
Blessed is he who shall have seen you 
And who falls asleep in your friendship.
For we live only in our life,
but after death our name will not be such.
O Elijah, enveloped in the whirlwind!

Then Elisha, filled with the twofold portion of his spirit,
wrought many marvels by his mere word.
During his lifetime he feared no one,
nor was any man able to intimidate his will.
Nothing was beyond his power;
beneath him flesh was brought back into life.
In life he performed wonders,
and after death, marvelous deeds.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM PS 97:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7
R. (12a) Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many isles be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,
justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes round about.
His lightnings illumine the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
All who worship graven things are put to shame,
who glory in the things of nought;
all gods are prostrate before him.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!

ALLELUIA ROM 8:15BC
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You have received a spirit of adoption as sons
through which we cry: Abba! Father!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GOSPEL MT 6:7-15
Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

‘Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.’

“If you forgive others their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

 

Melbourne Conference Justice Video

Reflections on Charm City

baltimore-stoops
Visit our new area that reflects on the city of Baltimore, a place we call "home".

Daily Reading

Daily Inspiration

Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J.
interview with Krista Tippett of On Being

A Jesuit priest famous for his gang intervention programs in Los Angeles, Fr. Greg Boyle makes winsome connections between service and delight, and compassion and awe. He heads Homeboy Industries, which employs former gang members in a constellation of businesses. This is not work of helping, he says, but of finding kinship. The point of Christian service, as he lives it, is about “our common calling to delight in one another.

Greg Boyle - The Calling of Delight: Gangs, Service and Kinship

homeboy-industries