March 19, 2013

A New Delight and Fresh Impressions

“When I had begun the Holy Sacrifice, I received many graces and pious emotions and gentle tears, which lasted long. As the Mass continued, many inspirations confirmed what I had resolved; and when I raised the Sacred Host, I felt as it were an inward suggestion, and a powerful impulse never to abandon Our Lord, in spite of all obstacles; and this was accompanied by a new delight and fresh impressions. This … lasted the whole time, even after Mass and throughout the day.”*

The man who uttered these words was St. Ignatius of Loyola. Brought up as a solder he went through a period of reflection when recovering from a cannon ball wound. He discovered that there was a joy related to Jesus different from all other joys. He changed his vocation, became a priest and founded the Jesuit Order. That was almost 500 years ago. The Jesuit Order has survived all this time. In fact, it has now yielded a Pope of the Church, the first time it has ever done so.

This Lent, let us consider these words of St. Ignatius. Let us ask what he felt and what he was given to understand, in His Presence, when he experienced a “new delight” and certain “fresh impressions.” By seeking to be closer to Him, let us also come to feel the joy that is different from all others.

*Taken from the entry for January 25 in My Daily Eucharist by Joan Carter McHugh, containing an excerpt from The Spiritual Journal of St. Ignatius of Loyola by St. Ignatius of Loyola.


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