Ignatius of Loyola
Outline: Ignatius of Loyola
Prayer for Generosity
Dearest 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 labor, and not to seek rest; to give of myself and not to ask for reward, except the reward of knowing that I am doing your will.
Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, understanding, my entire will, and all that I possess. Thou hast given all to me. To Thee, O Lord, I return it. All is Thine; dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and Thy grace, for this, is sufficient for me.
“The saints were of the same frame as I. Why should I not do as they have done?”
“I beg of you for the love and reverence of God our Lord to remember the past, and reflect not lightly but seriously that the earth is only earth.”
“He who remembers the presence of God is less open to other thoughts, especially bad thoughts. As long as we believe that God sees us, we are restrained from daring to sin before such a Witness and Judge. In two ways the presence of God is an antidote against sin: First, because God sees us, and secondly because we see God.”
“To be with the Church of Jesus Christ with but one mind and one spirit, we must carry our confidence in her, and our distrust of ourselves, so far as to pronounce that true which appears to us false, if she decides that it is so; for we must believe without hesitation that the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ is the spirit of his spouse and that God who formerly gave the Decalogue is the same God who now inspires and directs his church.”
“For the superior is not to be obeyed because he is prudent, or kind, or divinely gifted in any other way, but for the sole reason that he holds the place of God and exercises the authority of Him who says, ‘He who hears me you hears me and he who despises you despises me.
- Loyola changes from nobleman and soldier to ascetic and student before he finally becomes the founder of a religious order. How does he act in each of these male roles? How does his appearance (dress, hair, nails, weight) change from one role to the next? What kinds of emotions does he show at each stage? What kinds of social relations does he have? What does this tell us about his society’s expectations for different kinds of men?
- Women play an important role in Loyola’s spiritual transformation. Who are the women he is close to? How does this closeness manifest itself? How do women support him? How do women respond to their religious message? How do the authorities view his ministry to women? Why does he warn his companions against close relationships with women when they get to Rome? Why do you think the author decided not to mention the names of most of these women?
- Have a look at the illustrations. These images were produced to help Ignatius obtain recognition as a holy person. Why do think the Jesuits chose these particular scenes of his life? How do his clothing and demeanor reflect his social and spiritual transformation? What do the scenes suggest about Ignatius, his character and values, and also about the order of the Jesuits that he founded? How do the ideas expressed here compare with the ideas expressed in the text? What might men have noticed in looking at the pictures? How might women have viewed them?
- What do we learn about the conditions of early modern travel? How does Ignatius get around? What does it take to survive? What strategies for survival do men have? How do women manage to get around?
- How have you sought your own “glory” in life instead of focusing on God’s glory?
- Is there some sort of weakness or handicap in your life with which you feel that God could never work in and through you?
- Do you have companions or friends who you share your faith with or do some of your companions stand in the way of living your faith?
- Do you ever ask God what He wants of you in terms of your life’s vocation or are you more apt to tell God what your plans are?
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