Monday, July 31, 2017

Ours on St. Ignatius' Day.

As I've noted here before, I have been fortunate to celebrate the Feast of St. Ignatius in various circumstances in Jesuit communities on three different continents. Some of these celebrations have been very grand: I think especially of the experience of spending St. Ignatius' Day in Innsbruck and in Santiago de Chile, where the feast was observed with solemn Masses in Jesuit churches followed by sumptuous banquets. In other years, I've marked the feast in quieter ways. One year, for example, I spent St. Ignatius' Day in Toronto with two other Jesuits; the three of us were busy working on theses and dissertations and didn't have the energy to trek out to the regional Jesuit celebration of the feast day, so instead we celebrated a quiet Mass in our community chapel and had dinner in a nearby restaurant. No matter where I've celebrated St. Ignatius' Day, I always look forward to the opportunity to celebrate the bonds of brotherhood that I enjoy with my fellow Jesuits and to give thanks for the gift of our shared vocation.

This year's celebration of St. Ignatius' Day was a quiet one. I'm currently in Toulouse for the summer to brush up on my French before beginning doctoral studies in Paris in the fall, so I celebrated the feast day with the small local Jesuit community. The eight of us gathered for Mass and dinner and once again honored the memory of our founder and the legacy that he left us, a legacy that we all try to continue in admittedly imperfect ways. As always, I pray today not only for the gift of my own vocation but for that of my brother Jesuits, that the Society of Jesus may be for all of us a help to salvation and a means of doing God's will. Borrowing from the words of the formula that we all recited at the time of our First Vows, I pray that God who freely gave us the desire to make this complete offering of ourselves may also give us the abundant grace that we need to fulfill it. AMDG.


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