Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)
for July 31
Image via Wikipedia
Saint Ignatius of Loyola was, like many of us, hungry for money and recognition. He wanted to be known throughout the world for his greatness. But he learned that, in God's view, greatness is not about how famous or wealthy one is, but about how holy and devoted one is. Despite his unimpressive religious background, Saint Ignatius knew that, simply by virtue of being a human created in God's image, he could become one of the great saints of the faith--he could become holy. Can you think of ways that you, like Ignatius, focus your energies too much on attaining power and money? How can you devote yourself more fully to developing virtue? Do you believe, as Ignatius did, that you have the capacity to become a great saint?
Saint Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises are sometimes called "Imaginative Prayer" because they involve placing oneself in the center of a biblical story and, with one's imagination, experiencing the full range of senses and thoughts resulting from the story. Through this kind of exercise, we learn to listen to God's lessons for us. Place yourself in your favorite biblical story. Pretend to be a character in the story. Feel what you imagine that character would feel. Notice the colors, sounds, sights and smells of the world in which you are placing yourself. Listen for God's voice in the actions, thoughts and emotions of yourself and the other characters in the story.