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Thanksgiving Reflection

Rev. Timothy Brown S.J., assistant to the president for mission integration, offers a reflection on Thanksgiving for our alumni community.

St. Ignatius Prayer for Generosity

Dear Lord teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labor and not ask for reward;
save that of knowing that I do your will.


I want to share a reflection that illuminates St. Ignatius’ prayer at this time of year. I once heard a wise Jesuit say that it is impossible to be grateful and unhappy at the same time. Years ago, when I was with a group of Loyola students in Mexico for a Project Mexico service trip, I could see what he meant. I remember two of our Loyola students becoming close to two children we met in Tecate, Lupe and Federico. On our last night in Tecate, the students gave Federico a small bag of toys and money. But when Federico got home that night, he took the bag and the money and gave them to his mother to divide among the other children. This story is what our Loyola students learned about the prayer of generosity on this trip, and what we can all remember during this season of Thanksgiving.

This story also reminds me of part an Aztec prayer, “Only for a Short While”:

Oh, only for so short a while you
have loaned us to each other,
because we take form in your act of drawing us,
and we take life in your painting us,
and we breathe in your singing us.

But only for so short a while
have you loaned us to each other.

We are blessed with years together at Loyola as students, and with a lifetime of gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving.

Fr. Brown

The Rev. Timothy Brown Ignatian Life Center

We invite you to reflect upon how your Loyola experience has enhanced your personal, professional, and spiritual life. 

During this season of gratitude, please consider supporting the work of Fr. Brown by making a gift to the Ignatian Life Center. Your generosity toward the Ignatian Life Center will aid in the critical work of helping to integrate the intellectual, social, and spiritual formation of the Loyola community. These contributions will allow for the creation of transformational Spiritual Exercise programs, increased access to retreat experiences, and enhanced education for mission leaders, among other initiatives.

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