In the film “Ignacio de Loyola,” the protagonist Iñigo, within the Salamanca trial, testifies that the Spiritual Exercises— a guide of Christian meditations, contemplation and prayers that he wrote—has saved souls, particularly his personal. He pleads with the tribunal to not watch for the theologians in Rome to approve the Exercises.
This is among the core values we have now been nurtured with, throughout seminary formation. Ministry is all about saving souls.
The three readings this Sunday have this theme. The first says, “Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” Then, from Peter: “You rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” And from the Gospel of John: “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them.”
Because we’re sinners
The core message of Divine Mercy Sunday is we’ve been redeemed by the love and mercy of God in Christ. Pope Francis’ inspiration that led to the papacy was rooted in a realization that God calls us, not regardless of us being sinners, however as a result of we’re sinners.
Mercy and compassion are sometimes seen from the angle of the Cross—the best image and graced-presence of God’s saving love. St. Paul wrote, “He loved me and gave himself up for me.” On the Cross we hear probably the most succinct and “home run” assertion on the facility of God’s love, mercy and compassion.
In a Holy Week recollection at The Anima Center, “Ignacio de Loyola” was our materials for prayer and reflection. On Holy Thursday we centered on religion and hope.
We watched as Iñigo is transformed and makes his preliminary option to pursue his “new dream” to serve and comply with Christ. This units one free from one’s sinful previous.
But then the evil spirit begins to tempt him. He’s discouraged, his distraction and despair bordering on despair. This results in his Agony within the Garden, the place one faces the deeper selection that units one free to give up to God.
This freedom to supply to God is what results in the Cross. For Iñigo, the Cross is his wrestle, his deep inside wrestle within the cave of Manresa, the place he practically commits suicide.
In that the majority excessive wrestle, our religion is put to the take a look at, our hope seemingly dashed by doubt and deception.
As a commentary on the Passion and Death of Christ says, on the Cross the wrestle of Christ is to endure as absolutely human and not quit by taking up his divinity. On the Cross his religion and hope in his Father is introduced, by means of his obedience, into an integration in love.
The Resurrection because the New Creation makes it potential once more for us to dwell life as if in heaven, “in all things to love, in all things to serve.”
Fr. Howard Gray, SJ, in his speak on Ignatian Spirituality, describes Iñigo’s “stint” in Manresa: “He did plenty of dumb issues. Like letting his hair develop. He didn’t reduce his hair. He didn’t reduce his nails… grew to become extra and extra peculiar… to that time the place he contemplated suicide.
“And step by step one thing snapped… Gradually what got here into Ignatius’ thoughts was that every part God does comes as a serving to presence. Everything that’s not from God comes as a damaging presence. So, after I transfer away from love or life, God’s not there. But after I transfer towards love or life, God is there.
“Ignatius known as this motion a discernment of spirits. Discernment was a approach of sifting by means of the actions in his coronary heart. Gradually what he felt drawn to was this excellent expression, ‘to help people.’”
Ignatius lived his life extra and extra “rooted and grounded in” the love and service that comes from the Cross and the Resurrection. He deserted the dream to go to the Holy Land and go as an alternative to Rome to put his companionship within the service of the Pope, the Church and God. He gave up his “first love” to assist/save souls by means of direct ministry to be able to information and nurture the toddler Society of Jesus. He grew to become a “prisoner” in Rome to guide and to write down the constitutions of the Jesuit.
God’s mercy and compassion come full circle. “The Lord is Risen!” —CONTRIBUTED
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