IT SEEMS THAT ALL THOSE ZEALOUS TO DEFEND THE CHURCH, SO HORRIBLY TORN APART, FLOCKED TO THE BANNER OF IGNATIUS

Eugene’s reflections were within the context of having been invited by the Jesuits to celebrate the Mass for the feast of their founder, St. Ignatius. He was a strong admirer of Ignatius and the Jesuits, and the contribution they had made to the Church

Again yesterday, when the solemnity and length of the ceremonies of the Feast of St. Ignatius, at which they asked me to preside, and the circumstance of it being the last day of my forty-eighth year, aroused in me more devout thoughts and holy desires and allowed me also leisure to reflect with Jesus Christ present and exposed, how deep into my soul I plunged! How many and diverse my feelings!

He reflected on the marvels worked by Ignatius and his first companions

I was happy at the altar as I offered the Holy Sacrifice for the Order of Jesuits without forgetting our own family. I congratulated their holy Founder for the marvels he had worked. But how great the help he received! There is nothing like it in our days. Though he had so many heretics and bad Christians as enemies, how mightily he was protected by most eminent Popes and Bishops! Seeing everything as lost in the Church they confided to his Order the fate of the Church: it was thus he obtained all…

All this was achieved because of the quality of his first companions

But, let it be noted, by what men he was supported! From the first years of their coming together, it could be said of each of them that they did more than he did. I do not speak only of the first companions, I speak of all those who joined them as soon as they became known. It seems that all those zealous to defend the Church so horribly torn apart, who felt they had the ability to be useful to her and the virtue to devote themselves to this great task, flocked to the banner of Ignatius. His company was from the beginning an army of generals. Can we then be surprised at all they have done!

Letter to Henri Tempier, 1 August 1830, EO VII n 351

 

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One Response to IT SEEMS THAT ALL THOSE ZEALOUS TO DEFEND THE CHURCH, SO HORRIBLY TORN APART, FLOCKED TO THE BANNER OF IGNATIUS

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    How awesome it is to be able look at where we are planted and live, where God has ordained we be – so we might grow in love. Eugene loved greatly where God put him, without measuring and so was able to see the goodness offered and lived by others, the followers of St. Ignatius, Alphonsus Liguori, by the many saints who came before him and those around him. His joy in what the Lord gave him was always there, even when at times it seemed hidden behind struggles and burdens. He had within him that base of love, deep and penetrating love. Like the roots of a mighty tree which absorbed all that they could and then fed the tree, even while sharing the earth with all the other species of life around it.

    What does this look like in my life? Do I flit from one friend or community to another? Am I always looking at what the other is and has or am I satisfied and joyful with what God has given to me? Do I celebrate the other or only my own small group around me?

    I look to the many friends and communities that I belong to and am a part of, be they members of my Church or parish, friends and loved ones, and those that I meet along the way. They all have their own goodness and gifts, but – my parish is my parish, my family is my family – this is the life I have been given. And isn’t it wonderful when we can celebrate in the goodness and joy of others, without having to measure and set boundaries for fear that our own efforts and ways of being will not compare and look so good.

    “…how deep into my soul I plunged!” Those words uttered by Eugene have been this morning an invitation, to follow him, an invitation to let go and enter into that deepest part of who I am. And while I celebrate other saints and communities of all sorts, I stand where I am, Eleanor, an Oblate Associate and member of the Mazenodian Family and I look at the circle made up of the many people who with me who are ‘companions’. I look forward to moving out into my day with immense gratitude to God for planting me where I am – it is the most perfect place for me to grow.

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