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Thoughts for Each Day of the Week

Men praying with the pulpit in the forefront

On God’s love

St. Ignatius viewed all life as participation in an intense love affair, one eternally unfolding in the Blessed Trinity. We integrate our lives by faithfully responding to God’s creative generosity. We gratefully love in return, showing it “more in deeds than in words.” Ignatian spirituality stresses that the marvelous gift of “finding God in all things” is possible for all.

—Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J., from Mission magazine

On the Lord’s prayer

The Lord’s prayer teaches us to bring the perplexities of our everyday lives to God and talk them over with him. The affairs of the “earth” are now to be considered—bread, trespasses, struggle, evil. The things that occupy our daily lives are very real. Our Lord has taught us how to pray. Our cares and our blessing are the contents of the Lord’s prayer.

—Alfred Delp, S.J., from Prison Writings

On the mystery of creation

Without the stars, we would not be here. All of the elements that are in our bodies and in our environment—all the carbon, the iron, everything—was released from the stars. The genetic code is the same for all living things.

We come to understand that creation is unfinished.  In some sense, that’s the mystery of Christ—salvation, redemption, and creation are united.

—William R. Stoeger, S.J., from Mission magazine

On the need for prayer

You must pray. We must pray!

If we don’t pray, we remain attached to earthly things, we become small like them, narrow like them, we get pressured by them, we sell ourselves to them--because we give our love and our heart to them.

We must pray!

Then we are far away from the petty everyday that makes us small and narrow. Then we draw near to God and become capable of “touching our Creator and Lord.”

—Karl Rahner, S.J., from Sehnsucht nach dem geheimnisvollen Gott

On faith and justice

Faith and justice are undivided in the Gospel which teaches that faith makes its power felt through love. They cannot therefore be divided in our purpose, our action, our life.

—Pedro Arrupe, S.J., from 32nd General Congregation

On the need for solidarity

Stepping out of one’s “comfort zone” to experience firsthand the glaring inequities and rampant injustices of our world has the power to change our perspectives and priorities.

—Stephen A. Privett, S.J., from Mission magazine

On the purpose of life

Each living person is created to praise, revere, and serve God our Lord and in doing that, to save himself.

—St. Ignatius Loyola, from the Spiritual Exercises

On the challenges of following St. Ignatius

As companions on this journey of a faith that does justice, we are called to translate our experience of Ignatian spirituality and education into living courageously, faithfully, and joyfully. We can have courage, especially if we stick together. We can live our faith, if we are willing to persevere through obstacles and rebound from discouragement and disillusionment. We can live joyfully, if we never forget how blessed we are and how blessed this world is, even and especially in the midst of all the stress and conflict and violence. The world is God’s sacred place, and we must work to keep it that way.

—John P. McGarry, S.J., from a homily at the Ignatian Family Teach-in, 2005

On graduating from the “school of the heart”

A healthy spirituality of aging will be not just a fond reminiscence of the Holy One’s action in our lives; it will include the hope of the future good we can do for ourselves and others, even if only through hospitality and caring. In such a way we will finally graduate from the school of the heart saying not ‘please’ but ‘thank you,’ as a guest thanks his host at the door.

—Ron Hansen, Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., Professor in the Arts and
Humanities at Santa Clara University, from America magazine

On courage in old age

If we have the courage to live—to accept each day as it is given to us, in all simplicity and humility—we shall find the way to carry the chief acceptance of all: that of the end of life, of death. For what is it to accept life, if you cannot accept that to which life leads?

—John LaFarge, S.J., from Reflections on Growing Old

On meeting the living God in Christ

Only where God is seen does life truly begin.  Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is.  We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.  Each of us is the result of a thought of God.  Each of us is willed; each of us is loved; each of us is necessary.  There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ.  There is nothing more beautiful than to know him and to speak to others of our friendship with him.

—Pope Benedict XVI

On the saints

From the saints I must take the substance, not the accidents, of their virtues....I must not be the dry, bloodless reproduction of a model, however perfect. God desires us to follow the examples of the saints by absorbing the vital sap of their virtues and turning it into our own life-blood, adapting it to our own individual capacities and particular circumstances.

—Pope John XXIII, from Journey of a Soul

On war

War is not always inevitable. It is always a defeat for humanity.

—Pope John Paul II