Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Ignatian Spirituality: Set the World Ablaze

May 15, 2016
Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23

            The Spirit at Pentecost gave the disciples courage to keep the movement of Jesus moving forward. The Spirit was able to unify because the Spirit is the love that exists between Jesus and us. Acts tells us that the Spirit unified the people who spoke diverse languages to reverse the Tower of Babel’s fall. Not only did it unify, it made people feel happy about their connection to each other. Enmity and conflict are not possible when the Spirit is at work because the major work of the Spirit is to bring peace to everyone who is gathered together. Saint Paul tells us in First Corinthians that the Spirit inspires different types of gifts because each of us has a unique talent and all these gifts work together like an orchestra playing a major opus. The Spirit indeed is active in many different ways.

            How can the Spirit be at work in our ordinary lives then? The other day, I was talking to a father that was very happy because his son was coming home from college for one week at the end of the semester. The father wanted to be a different man from his dad that spared words when it came to his own feelings and private thoughts. I asked him how he was going to do that. He replied that he would go fishing and golfing with his son and just spend time with him. He said, “My son would like that.” I asked him further, “Would you have wanted your dad to say anything to you when you were a boy?” “Oh yes,” he enthusiastically replied. “Then why don’t you say something to your son, so that he hears from you what you would have liked from your dad?” He paused, and then replied, “I get it.” So I asked, “Could you say something like this to frame your time together? ‘Son, I want to spend this day with you because I miss you and I like spending time with you. I’m glad we are together today.’” He replied thoughtfully, “I’d like to say those things.”

            The Spirit might not give us the boldness that it gave the Apostles, but this type of boldness can make special memories. It takes greater energy to break from the patterns of relationship that are comfortable, but not as meaningful as we want so we can forge deeper bonds. For a dad to say to his son, “I want to spend time with you because I like you,” will give him great confidence and stability. While our actions express our love more powerfully than words, words can enhance exponentially and are easily remembered. It might take some boldness for a parent to say meaningful words to their children, but it is a tremendous gift to receive. Let’s get beyond the generic phrases and dig deeper into our vocabularies to tell others how we feel and what is important to us.

            When we tell someone with specific words how they are important to us, we become changed beings. I could say mass for you week after week and do my priestly obligations, and my celebration of mass regularly can convey something beautiful to you. I do it out of love for the Lord and for you, but until I let you know that I really like you and care for your well-being, you might think I’m merely helping out the pastor. If I tell you my motivation, then it carries significantly more meaning. So, let’s not be stingy with our words. Let us say what we mean and do more communicating about our emotions. I cannot imagine a scenario in which we would regret fostering unity.

            We are changed people when we hear of the affection someone has for us or when we speak it to others. A bond is forged that unites us, and this is the Holy Spirit. In Latin we use a term called “melior esse,” meaning – that which is greater. Our friendship becomes solidified when we recognize the love that is present and speak of it forthrightly and honestly. When we know God loves us, and we experience this “melior esse,” then we are content and pleased and nothing can separate us from this love of God.

            For our part, we have to receive the Spirit through the words of others, and we have to send it forth when we speak our words of goodwill. It is easier than you think. When you think you should say something positive, take that risk and say it. It will become easier. I would venture that many people in your world are waiting upon you to speak the words that are sometimes difficult to tumble out of your mouth. Why waste any more time? The Spirit is urging you forward because the Spirit wants to unite you more closely with those whom you love. What words do others need to hear from you today?
Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (James 3) Let him who is wise and understanding show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom.  
Tuesday: (James 4) Wars and conflicts arise from your passions. Whoever is a lover of the world becomes an enemy of God.
Wednesday: (James 4) Do not presume your good fortune will continue and do not boast in your arrogance. If the Lord wills something, we shall live to do it.
Thursday: (James 5) Come, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.
Friday (James 5) Do not complain or you will be judged. The Judge is the one who stands before the gates and he is compassionate and merciful.
Saturday (James 5) If one is suffering, he should pray. If anyone is sick, call the elders. If anyone confesses sins, you may be healed.

Monday: (Mark 9) After Jesus came down from the mountain of the Transfiguration, he cured a boy that was possessed by a mute spirit because the Apostles’ prayers did not heal.  
Tuesday: (Mark 9) Jesus taught that the Son of Man is to be handed over and killed and after three days will rise from the dead. Who is the greatest? The least in the kingdom is like a child.
Wednesday (Mark 9) John saw someone driving out demons in the name of Jesus. Jesus told him that the man is working on the same side as Jesus. Encourage his good behavior.
Thursday (Mark 9) Anyone who gives one who is thirsty a cup of water will surely gain a reward. In something causes you to sin, eliminate it from your life.
Friday (Mark 10) Jesus was questioned on divorce and remarriage. He replied that we must not think of so many excuses for dissolving bonds; he wants us to respect God’s part in the union.
Saturday (Mark 10) Children were brought for Jesus to touch, but the disciples rebuked them. He embraced the children and blessed them.

Saints of the Week

May 15: Isidore (1070-1130), was born in Madrid to a family of farm laborers. With his wife, he worked on an estate and became known for his piety and generosity. His remains are the cause of several miracles most notably the cure of King Philip III who became his sponsor for canonization.

May 16: Andrew Bobola, S.J., priest martyr (1591-1657), is called the Martyr of Poland because of his excruciatingly painful death. He worked during a plague to care for the sick, but he became "wanted" by the Cossacks during a time when anti-Catholic and anti-Jesuit sentiment was high. His preaching converted whole villages back to Catholicism and he was hunted down because he was termed a "soul-hunter."

May 18: John I, pope and martyr (d. 526), was a Tuscan who became pope under the rule of Theodoric the Goth, an Arian. Theodoric opposed Emperor Justin I in Constantinople who persecuted Arians. John was sent to Justin to end the persecutions. He returned to great glory, but Theodoric was not satisfied, though Justin met all his demands. John was imprisoned and soon died because of ill treatment.

May 20: Bernardine of Siena, priest, (1380-1444) was from a family of nobles who cared for the sick during plagues. He entered the Franciscans and preached across northern and central Italy with homilies that understood the needs of the laity. He became vicar general and instituted reforms.

May 21: Christopher Magallanes, priest and companions, martyrs (1869-1927) was a Mexican priest who served the indigenous people by forming agrarian communities. He opened seminaries when the ant-Catholic government kept shutting them down. He was arrested and executed with 21 priests and 3 laymen.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      May 15, 1815. Readmission of the Society into Spain by Ferdinand VII. The members of the Society were again exiled on July 31, 1820.
·      May 16, 1988. In Paraguay, Pope John Paul II canonizes Roque Gonzalez, Alfonso Rodriguez, and Juan del Castillo.
·      May 17, 1572. Pope Gregory XIII exempted the Society from choir and approved simple vows after two years of novitiate and ordination before solemn profession. In these matters he reversed a decree of St Pius V.
·      May 18, 1769. The election of Cardinal Lorenzo Ganganelli as Pope Clement XIV. He was the pope who suppressed the Society.
·      May 19, 1652. Birth of Paul Hoste mathematician and expert on construction of ships and history of naval warfare.
·      May 20, 1521. Ignatius was seriously wounded at Pamplona, Spain, while defending its fortress against the French.

·      May 21, 1925. Pius XI canonizes Peter Canisius, with Teresa of the Child Jesus, Mary Madeleine Postal, Madeleine Sophie Barat, John Vianney, and John Eudes. Canisius is declared a Doctor of the Church.