Saturday, July 31, 2010

ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA

Today’s saint is the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), the religious order to which the care and direction of the Apostleship of Prayer has been given. Our commitment to praying for the monthly intentions of the pope comes right out of the spirituality of St. Ignatius who sought “the greater glory of God” by placing himself at the service of the pope whose position gave him knowledge of the needs of the Church and the world. St. Ignatius is the patron saint of retreats because his retreat manual, “The Spiritual Exercises,” has been a blessing for those making retreats since he first wrote it and directed others through it. The “Exercises” conclude with an offering prayer that is a response to the love of God in which the retreatant has grown over the course of the retreat. As we renew our daily offering, we will pray that prayer now, as well as a Prayer for Generosity that St. Ignatius composed.

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. You have given all to me; to you, O Lord, I now return it; all is yours, dispose of me wholly according to your will. All that I ask is for your grace and your love; with these I am rich enough and want for nothing more.

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 toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not to ask for reward, save that of knowing that I am doing your will. Amen.

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