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Saturday, July 31, 2010

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SAT. JULY 31, 2010









CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SAT. JULY 31, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: SCREENS FILM ON FIRST FIVE YEARS OF HIS PONTIFICATE-
ASIA: PAKISTAN: 500 KILLED BY FLOODS AND THOUSANDS OF VICTIMS-
ASIA: MIDDLE EAST: HOLY LAND: GOVERNMENT THREATENS TO REMOVE WATER-
AFRICA: KENYA: LARGE ECUMENICAL PRAYER SERVICE FOR CONSTITUTION-
AMERICA: MEXICO - 83 YEAR OLD PRIEST BRUTALLY MURDERED IN OAXACA-
AMERICA: USA: CATHOLIC DISTANCE UNIVERSITY ANSWERING THE POPE'S CALL-
EUROPE: AUSTRIA: YOUTH PILGRIMAGE WITH BISHOPS TO MARIAZELL-
AUSTRALIA: LEADER ABBOTT SAYS HIS GOVERNMENT TO SAFEGUARD EXEMPTIONS-


VATICAN
POPE: SCREENS FILM ON FIRST FIVE YEARS OF HIS PONTIFICATE

Radio Vaticana report: Pope Benedict XVI was treated yesterday evening to a special screening of a film documenting the first five years of his pontificate.

The film was screened at the Papal retreat outside Rome in the hill town of Castel Gandalfo, where the Holy Father is spending the Summer months.
In remarks following the screening, the Holy Father thanked the documentary’s producers at Bavarian Radio, along with writer/director Michael Malik and executive producer Gerhard Fuchs.
Pope Benedict said it was especially moving for him to see scenes from his election to the Papacy, saying the Petrine ministry is a burden that no one can bear by his own, and that one can only carry it with the strength and support of the Lord.
He went on to say the film portrays the richness of the Church’s life, and is a reminder that the mission of Peter in the Church is to render the unity of the Church in visible and concrete, now and forever.
Though suffering much in the present, said Pope Benedict, the Church is a joyous Church, not old, but young – and that faith creates joy.
SOURCE http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=411939

ASIA
PAKISTAN: 500 KILLED BY FLOODS AND THOUSANDS OF VICTIMS

Asia News report: They are the worst rains in 80 years. More than 6,000 victims feared. The area most affected is the north-west of Pakistan and the Swat Valley, a place of tourism. Many areas are isolated.

Peshawar (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Nearly 500 people were killed by floods or landslides between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Most died in northwest Pakistan, about 60 have died in Afghanistan.
Heavy monsoon rains have been falling for days destroying roads, bridges, and houses and isolating hundreds of thousands of people.
The city of Peshawar has been rendered inaccessible and hundreds of tourists in the Swat Valley are missing. Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Minister of Information, said that the toll could rise even more. He is afraid it could shoot up to 6000 people. "We are facing the worst disaster in the history of our province," he said.
The army is leading emergency teams who have so far evacuated nearly 15,000 people and launched at least 50 tonnes of food rations in the affected areas from planes and helicopters. According to authorities, the rains and floods are the worst for over 80 years.
Over 300 mm of water fell in three days, the highest level in the last 35 years, and more rain is expected over the weekend. The meteorological office expects rainfall for at least another 10 days. The monsoon season in Pakistan lasts until early September.
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Nearly-500-deaths-in-the-monsoon-rains-in-northern-Pakistan-19085.html


ASIA
MIDDLE EAST: HOLY LAND: GOVERNMENT THREATENS TO REMOVE WATER
Asia News report: For nearly a century, various governments in the Holy Land gave free water to the basilica and pilgrims as a sign of courtesy. Now the Jerusalem Municipality also wants it to pay for past consumption of water. Confusion and concern among the Christian Churches: we agreement among all the groups who use the water at the Holy Sepulchre.

Tel Aviv (AsiaNews) – The Churches of Jerusalem are perplexed and concerned by the municipal authorities threat to cut off water supplies to the basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Since water supplies were first operational in the area, successive governments have always provided access to the Holy Sepulchre free of charge as a public service to the pilgrims and act of courtesy to the religious, Catholic and non-Catholic, who custody the sanctuary.
So did the British government in the Holy Land (1917-1948), the Jordanian (1948-1967) and so far the Israelis. But now Israeli municipal authorities have stepped up pressure and threats to cut off water supplies unless a tax is paid, not only in future but also for all water supplied since 1967.
The revelations were made to AsiaNews by sources in the Basilica, who prefer not to be identified in the hope that the city authorities will have a change of heart. The curious fact is that the payment requests are directed to a nonexistent entity, "the church of the Holy Sepulchre." An administration that does not exist, since the ancient basilica is governed by a special, internationally recognized, legal regime, known as the "Status quo". The "Status quo" means that the spaces, time, and functions are divided between the Catholic Church, represented by the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land and several groups of non-Catholic monks, primarily Greek and Armenian but also to a lesser extent, Copts, Ethiopian and Syrian Orthodox.
An expert of Church-State relations in the Holy Land contacted by AsiaNews, said: "The question of paying for the past use is clearly unfounded, because it was a conscious choice and consistent political of all the successive states that ruled in Jerusalem both de facto and de jure, to offer this courtesy to those who officiate and those visiting the Holy Sepulchre of Our Lord Jesus Christ [and also to many other churches in the past]. As for the future, nobody denies that nowadays the supply of water could be seen as a 'commodity' for which you should always pay a fair price. However, in order for this to be applied to the whole of the Holy Sepulchre, specific agreements must be reached between first among the different users regarding the splitting of costs for the consumption of water in common areas, and then you will have to install separate water metres so that it can be demanded that each group of monks pay for what they consume. In fact it is a rather complex legal and technical transaction, which can be addressed only by mutual agreement and not to the sound of threats and warnings, addressed to nobody in particular”.
With some hesitation, the scholar concludes: "But in the end, is it worthwhile for the Israeli authorities to remove an appreciated courtesy practiced by all other states that have controlled the area? It's likely that whoever had this idea will now have to consult with the Office of the Prime Minister or the Foreign Ministry to reach a more lenient conclusion".
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Israel-threatens-to-cut-off-water-supply-to-Church-of-the-Holy-Sepulchre-19074.html


AFRICA
KENYA: LARGE ECUMENICAL PRAYER SERVICE FOR CONSTITUTION AT BASILICA

Agenzia Fides REPORT- The principal Churches in Kenya organised for today, 30 July, an ecumenical prayer service in view of a referendum on the country's Constitution to be held on 4 August.

“Members of the most important Christian Churches in Kenya are taking part in an ecumenical prayer service which started at 11am local time at Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi. The Basilica, which seats 10,000 people, is filled to capacity ” Fides learned from Mike O’Maera, Director of Nairobi based Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA).
Kenyan Christians have strongly criticised the text of the Constitution, to be voted by referendum on August 4. Two main objections have been raised by the Christian confessions. The first concerns the clause which moves the moment when life starts from the moment of conception to the moment of birth. For the Churches this step is propaedeutic to the legalisation of abortion. The second objection regards recognition of Kadhi courts, that is, Islamic civil courts.
The position of the local Catholic Church was confirmed by Cardinal John Njue, Archbishop of Nairobi during a joint press conference, held at Nairobi’s Holy Family Basilica on July 22 when the Cardinal and other religious leaders, addressed a joint ecumenical press conference, announcing the joint ecumenical prayer service on the constitution at the Holy Minor Basilica on July 30. “ The current bubbling issue on whether one should vote for YES or No is not very central for us. On the contrary imparting the right information on the issue with aims to assist our people to make the right decision is of central importance to us,” said the Cardinal.
Referring to a Bishops' Statement issued on 11 May (see Fides 12/5/2010), Cardinal Njue added “some improvements on the draft of the Constitution have been made, but the good has been mixed with some bad paragraphs which affect moral life and rights. Some think only a small percentage of the draft constitution is bad. Unfortunately this is not true. Evil however small can act as bad leaven, changing and corrupting the whole from within”. http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=27185&lan=eng


AMERICA
MEXICO - 83 YEAR OLD PRIEST BRUTALLY MURDERED IN OAXACA

Oaxaca Agenzia Fides REPORT– An eighty three year old priest was found dead in the evening of 28 July, in his parish, in Oaxaca City in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. The priest had been gagged and tied up, the local director of public prosecutions told the press. The authorities said the body of Rev. Carlos Salvador Wotto, who was parish priest at Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, Oaxaca City, had cigarette burns on his arms and knife wounds on other parts of the body, but death was due suffocation with a plastic bag over his head.
Salvador García the parish sacristan discovered the body and called an ambulance, but first aid was of no avail, the priest was dead. Catholics in Oaxaca City are under shock. Local officers sent by the prosecution director to investigate the 18th century church situated in the historic city centre, confirmed the suspicion of robbery since various articles of great value were reported missing. Oaxaca is often the scene of clashes between the police and drug cartels.
The spokesman of the archdiocese of Antequera Oaxaca, Fr José Guadalupe Barragan, said the local Church is awaiting the investigation results and that the funeral will be presided by Archbishop José Luis Chávez Botello.
The archdiocese of Antequera Oaxaca has a population of circa 2 million and 112 parishes served by 139 diocesan priests and 42 religious priests.
http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=27187&lan=eng

AMERICA
USA: CATHOLIC DISTANCE UNIVERSITY ANSWERING THE POPE'S CALL

Catholic Online REPORT- Distance learning at CDU provides adults who lead busy lives a convenient and effective alternative to traditional classroom studies.
On August 15, 1990, Pope John Paul II promulgated his Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae (On Catholic Universities), in which he confirms that the Catholic university is "born from the heart of the Church," and is "located in that course of tradition which may be traced back to the very origin of the university as an institution."
The heart of the Catholic Church is Jesus Christ, the "Way, and the Truth, and the Life" (Jn 14:6), whose grace and love imparts to his Bride her life, light and mission. Therefore the authentic and sincere search for truth manifests itself in faithfulness to Jesus Christ and his Bride, and thus will not oppose nor attempt to undermine the fullness of God's revelation as it is held, guarded, and transmitted to the nations by the Church. The search for truth, a labor of love proper to the human intellect, enters into its fullest and most fruitful dimension when fidelity to the Magisterium (teaching office of the Church) is diligently maintained.
John Paul II reminds us that "a Catholic university's privileged task is to unite existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the fount of truth." (Ibid., 3).
The fount of truth flows forth in the life and liturgy of the Church, transmitted to all people by Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the Magisterium. The wellspring of this truth, the point of its origin and life, is the historical Person of Jesus Christ. Thus we can say that the Catholic university who is faithful to the truth must also be faithful to Christ and the teaching of the Church whose existence is derived from Truth Itself, our Master, Teacher, and Savior.
John Paul II wrote, "every Catholic university, without ceasing to be a university, has a relationship to the Church that is essential to its institutional identity. . . . One consequence of its essential relationship to the Church is that the institutional fidelity of the university to the Christian message includes a recognition of and adherence to the teaching authority of the Church in matters of faith and morals." (Ibid., 27).
The Growing Hunger For Truth
Today millions of Catholics around the world seek to obtain an excellent education, both for themselves and their children. Yet they understand that the real worth of an education is not found in simply acquiring intellectual knowledge. Regardless of the thoroughness of a particular program of study, its value will be seriously diminished if it fails to be centered on the Ultimate and Highest Truth. Therefore those Catholic institutions of higher-learning whose commitment to God and the Church he willed should exist is readily apparent are in great demand. One such institution is the Catholic Distance University (CDU).

CDU was founded in 1983 by Bishop Thomas J. Welsh of the Arlington Diocese, and takes Ex Corde Ecclesiae as its guiding principle. The CDU website informs us of the Church's invitation that the faithful respond to God's grace: "Since the close of the Second Vatican Council, the Church has proclaimed Christ's invitation to share actively in His mission and respond as mature adults to the universal call to holiness. In order to participate in the mission of Christ and the Church, we need to be formed by the Word of God through an authentic, systematic exploration of the mystery of Christ's love." CDU's motto is gaudium de veritate, "Joy From The Truth."
Many adults desire to expand their knowledge of the Faith, perhaps even obtain a degree in theology, or a Catechetical Diploma, but due to their particular circumstances in life, they find the traditional methods of classroom study impossible. "At this crossroads between a desire for authentic teaching of the Church and the various limitations of our life situations, stands The Catholic Distance University. . . . CDU has 25-years of experience using the distance learning format to systematically communicate the Truths of the Faith. In fact, we have more experience in delivering theology, faithful to the Magisterium, in the distance format than any other Catholic institution in the world."
As a current student at CDU, I can attest to the excellent, thorough education provided through CDU's distance learning format, which is always centered on Christ in fidelity to the Magisterium, and delivered to each individual on a personal level. CDU is an intellectual community in a uniquely Catholic way, always respectful of the truth. As Pope Benedict XVI said: "Only in faith can truth become incarnate and reason truly human, capable of directing the will along the path of freedom" (cf. Spe Salvi, 23). The ongoing mission of CDU is to bring the "fount of truth" to people where they are, with integrity and dedication.

"Just as Jesus encountered people in the Gospels where they were and brought them into a new relationship with Him, so CDU is the means by which the Church can meet people where they are, not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually. Our programs, delivered in small classes, provide a forum for networking and collaboration, and respond to the spiritual dimension of the adult learner by offering the Church's rich two-thousand year spiritual patrimony of inspiring wisdom and writings." CDU President Marianne Evans Mount, Ph.D, writes that CDU "is truly a learner-centered institution that makes life long learning in the faith not only a goal, but a reality for thousands of Catholic adults worldwide who are earning accredited degrees, certificates, and diplomas without leaving the comfort of home." At CDU "you will find the rich patrimony of the Church -- Sacred Scripture, official Church documents, the wisdom of the saints and Doctors of the Church, and renowned faculty at your finger tips with the click of a mouse. CDU offers inspiring courses and programs to meet every educational need and level. Our courses are annotated to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and many recent magisterial documents."
Through CDU's unique online campus, each student enters into a collaborative learning environment in a vibrant community setting, where they are introduced to students from around the world. Marianne Evans Mount writes that CDU "students represent every U.S. diocese and every continent in the world. . . . Students pray for one another in our virtual chapel, catch up with one another in the online café, and share their family life through the online photo gallery. Our online campus, learning platform, and specially selected faculty foster a rich dialogical approach to adult learning modeled on the pedagogy of Christ in the Gospels. From our three-week online interactive seminars to our semester length graduate courses, we stress the importance of faculty guided dialogue and interaction as the best way for adults to grow in their faith and deepen their knowledge and understanding."
Excellence In Education Fosters An Authentically Christian Way Of Life
In Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Pope John Paul II wrote, "students are challenged to pursue an education that combines excellence in humanistic and cultural development with specialized professional training. Most especially, they are challenged to continue the search for truth and for meaning throughout their lives, since 'the human spirit must be cultivated in such a way that there results a growth in its ability to wonder, to understand, to contemplate, to make personal judgments, and to develop a religious, moral and social sense' (Gaudium et Spes, No. 59). This enables them to acquire or, if they have already done so, to deepen a Christian way of life that is authentic" (No. 23).
Through the proper response to God's grace, our life is marked by a continuous movement toward an ever-deeper relationship with Christ. As such, Catholics are called to a life of holiness, a life which directs all our thoughts and actions toward becoming, as the sixth beatitude proclaims, "pure in heart." The Catechism of the Catholic Church informs us that "'pure in heart' refers to those who have attuned their intellects and wills to the demands of God's holiness, chiefly in three areas: charity; chastity or sexual rectitude; love of truth and orthodoxy of faith" (No. 2518).
Catholics who embody love of truth and orthodoxy of faith seek out an education which fosters their goal of living "pure in heart." Thus they often desire to study at a Catholic university which shares Pope John Paul II's vision for acquiring knowledge and pursuing the "fount of truth." In this way, they set about a course of concrete action which enables them to better live an authentically Christian life.
Sharing in such a vision, CDU's mission "is to educate adults worldwide in the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church. CDU's mission responds to the command of Christ to teach all nations. It does this in support of the evangelizing and catechizing mission of the Roman Catholic Church, in fidelity to the Church's Magisterium, the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and other magisterial documents, and in cooperation with local dioceses."
http://www.catholic.org/college/story.php?id=37616
FOR MORE INFO ON CDU CLICK http://www.cdu.edu/


EUROPE
AUSTRIA: YOUTH PILGRIMAGE WITH BISHOPS TO MARIAZELL

Kath.net report: 13-15. August: All bishops will be there, the Christian rock band "Cardiac Move" plays opening. Spiritual highlights are the torchlight on Saturday evening and the big final mass in the Basilica.


Mariazell (kath.net/PEW) as "Highlight of the summer" many young people see the year's total Austrian Catholic Youth pilgrimage from 13. 15. August in Mariazell. All Austrian Catholic Bishops - with Cardinal Christoph Schönborn at the top - take part in the youth meeting. The Christian rock band "Cardiac Move" will play at the opening event. The spiritual highlights of the weekend are the torchlight on Saturday evening, 14. August, and the big final fair on Sunday in the 700 year-old basilica. There are several workshops and opportunities for the sport. Advertising The Austrian Bishops do - so "Youth bishop" Stephan Turnovszky - with the youth meeting on the dialogue with young people. The event is understood as an invitation of youth to the Bishops of the organizers. The youth pilgrimage is jointly organised by the Catholic Youth and the secondary school pupils Kartellverband (MKV) and youth of renewal movements ("movimenti"). "Fully live" is the motto of Mariazell pilgrimage.

An important part of the event will be the arrival. "Goal is prepare for the time in Mariazell fold from everyday life, find time to think and talk", so the organizers. This is the star pilgrimage from 13. August a central role. Young people from the various dioceses come together in four places before Mariazell to overcome the last kilometers. The Bishops call on Star pilgrimage.
http://kath.net/detail.php?id=27567
 
 
AUSTRALIA
LEADER ABBOTT SAYS HIS GOVERNMENT WOULD SAFEGUARD TAX-EXEMPTION

Cath News report: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said a Coalition Government would safeguard the tax-exempt status of charities.

Mr Abbott responded to a report that WA Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey was concerned Prime Minister Julia Gillard, an atheist, could remove some of the tax privileges afforded to churches, The Courier-Mail reported.
While declining to comment on the PM's religious convictions, Mr Abbott said: "As for the tax status of charities, I have no plans to change that.
"I think that the great charities of this country, whether they're religious charities or not, do a magnificent jobs and I wouldn't want to see any changes to tax status because I think that that would inevitably hinder the good work that they do."
http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=22624



TODAY'S SAINT

.St. Ignatius of Loyola

FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS
Information: Feast Day: July 31
Born: December 24, 1491, Loyola (Azpeitia), Basque province of Guipúzcoa, Spain
Died: July 31, 1556, Rome
Canonized: March 12, 1622, Rome by Pope Gregory XV
Patron of: provinces of Vizcaya (Biscay) & Gipuzkoa, Spain, Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, Society of Jesus, soldiers.
Youngest son of Don Beltrán Yañez de Oñez y Loyola and Marina Saenz de Lieona y Balda (the name López de Recalde, though accepted by the Bollandist Father Pien, is a copyist's blunder), b. in 1491 at the castle of Loyola above Azpeitia in Guipuscoa; d. at Rome, 31 July, 1556. The family arms are: per pale, or, seven bends gules (?vert) for Oñez; argent, pot and chain sable between two grey wolves rampant, for Loyola. The saint was baptized Inigo, after St. Enecus (Innicus), Abbot of Oña: the name Ignatius was assumed in later years, while he was residing in Rome. For the saint's genealogy, see Perez (op. cit. below, 131); Michel (op. cit. below, II, 383); Polanco (Chronicon, I, 51646). For the date of birth cfr. Astráin, I, 3 S.
I. Conversion (1491-1521)
At an early age he was made a cleric. We do not know when, or why he was released from clerical obligations. He was brought up in the household of Juan Velásquez de Cuellar, contador mayor to Ferdinand and Isabella, and in his suite probably attended the court from time to time, though not in the royal service. This was perhaps the time of his greatest dissipation and laxity. He was affected and extravagant about his hair and dress, consumed with the desire of winning glory, and would seem to have been sometimes involved in those darker intrigues, for which handsome young courtiers too often think themselves licensed. How far he went on the downward course is still unproved. The balance of evidence tends to show that his own subsequent humble confessions of having been a great sinner should not be treated as pious exaggerations. But we have no details, not even definite charges. In 1517 a change for the better seems to have taken place; Velásquez died and Ignatius took service in the army. The turning-point of his life came in 1521. While the French were besieging the citadel of Pampeluna, a cannon ball, passing between Ignatius' legs, tore open the left calf. and broke the right shin (Whit-Tuesday, 20 May, 1521). With his fall the garrison lost heart and surrendered, but he was well treated by the French and carried on a litter to Loyola, where his leg had to be rebroken and reset, and afterwards a protruding end of the bone was sawn off, and the limb, having been shortened by clumsy setting, was stretched out by weights. All these pains were undergone voluntarily, without uttering a cry or submitting to be bound. But the pain and weakness which followed were so great that the patient began to fail and sink. On the eve of Sts. Peter and Paul, however, a turn for the better took place, and he threw off his fever.
So far Ignatius had shown none but the ordinary virtues of the Spanish officer. His dangers and sufferings has doubtless done much to purge his soul, but there was no idea yet of remodelling his life on any higher ideals. Then, in order to divert the weary hours of convalescence, he asked for the romances of chivalry, his favourite reading, but there were none in the castle, and instead they brought him the lives of Christ and of the saints, and he read them in the same quasi-competitive spirit with which he read the achievements of knights and warriors. "Suppose I were to rival this saint in fasting, that one in endurance, that other in pilgrimages." He would then wander off into thoughts of chivalry, and service to fair ladies, especially to one of high rank, whose name is unknown. Then all of a sudden, he became conscious that the after-effect of these dreams was to make him dry and dissatisfied, while the ideas of falling into rank among the saints braced and strengthened him, and left him full of joy and peace. Next it dawned on him that the former ideas were of the world, the latter God-sent; finally, worldly thoughts began to lose their hold, while heavenly ones grew clearer and dearer. One night as he lay awake, pondering these new lights, "he saw clearly", so says his autobiography, "the image of Our Lady with the Holy Child Jesus", at whose sight for a notable time he felt a reassuring sweetness, which eventually left him with such a loathing of his past sins, and especially for those of the flesh, that every unclean imagination seemed blotted out from his soul, and never again was there the least consent to any carnal thought. His conversion was now complete. Everyone noticed that he would speak of nothing but spiritual things, and his elder brother begged him not to take any rash or extreme resolution, which might compromise the honour of their family.
II. Spiritual Formation (1522-24)
When Ignatius left Loyola he had no definite plans for the future, except that he wished to rival all the saints had done in the way of penance. His first care was to make a general confession at the famous sanctuary of Montserrat, where, after three days of self-examination, and carefully noting his sins, he confessed, gave to the poor the rich clothes in which he had come, and put on garment of sack-cloth reaching to his feet. His sword and dagger he suspended at Our Lady's altar, and passed the night watching before them. Next morning, the feast of the Annunciation, 1522, after Communion, he left the sanctuary, not knowing whither he went. But he soon fell in with a kind woman, Iñes Pascual, who showed him a cavern near the neighbouring town of Manresa, where he might retire for prayer, austerities, and contemplation, while he lived on alms. But here, instead of obtaining greater peace, he was consumed with the most troublesome scruples. Had he confessed this sin? Had he omitted that circumstance? At one time he was violently tempted to end his miseries by suicide, on which he resolved neither to eat nor to drink (unless his life was in danger), until God granted him the peace which he desired, and so he continued until his confessor stopped him at the end of the week. At last, however, he triumphed over all obstacles, and then abounded in wonderful graces and visions. It was at this time, too, that he began to make notes of his spiritual experiences, notes which grew into the little book of "The Spiritual Exercises". God also afflicted him with severe sicknesses, when he was looked after by friends in the public hospital; for many felt drawn towards him, and he requited their many kind offices by teaching them how to pray and instructing them in spiritual matters. Having recovered health, and acquired sufficient experience to guide him in his new life, he commenced his long-meditated migration to the Holy Land. From the first he had looked forward to it as leading to a life of heroic penance; now he also regarded it as a school in which he might learn how to realize clearly and to conform himself perfectly to Christ's life. The voyage was fully as painful as he had conceived. Poverty, sickness, exposure, fatigue, starvation, dangers of shipwreck and capture, prisons, blows, contradictions, these were his daily lot; and on his arrival the Franciscans, who had charge of the holy places, commanded him to return under pain of sin. Ignatius demanded what right they had thus to interfere with a pilgrim like himself, and the friars explained that, to prevent many troubles which had occurred in finding ransoms for Christian prisoners, the pope had given them the power and they offered to show him their Bulls. Ignatius at once submitted, though it meant altering his whole plan of life, refused to look at the proferred Bulls, and was back at Barcelona about march, 1524.
III. Studies And Companions (1521-39)
Ignatius left Jerusalem in the dark as to his future and "asking himself as he went, quid agendum" (Autobiography, 50). Eventually he resolved to study, in order to be of greater help to others. To studies he therefore gave eleven years, more than a third of his remaining life. Later he studied among school-boys at Barcelona, and early in 1526 he knew enough to proceed to his philosophy at the University of Alcalá. But here he met with many troubles to be described later, and at the end of 1527 he entered the University of Salamanca, whence, his trials continuing, he betook himself to Paris (June, 1528), and there with great method repeated his course of arts, taking his M. A. on 14 March, 1535. Meanwhile theology had been begun, and he had taken the licentiate in 1534; the doctorate he never took, as his health compelled him to leave Paris in March, 1535. Though Ignatius, despite his pains, acquired no great erudition, he gained many practical advantages from his course of education. To say nothing of knowledge sufficient to find such information as he needed afterwards to hold his own in the company of the learned, and to control others more erudite than himself, he also became thoroughly versed in the science of education, and learned by experience how the life of prayer and penance might be combined with that of teaching and study, an invaluable acquirement to the future founder of the Society of Jesus. The labours of Ignatius for others involved him in trials without number. At Barcelona, he was beaten senseless, and his companion killed, at the instigation of some worldlings vexed at being refused entrance into a convent which he had reformed. At Alcalá, a meddlesome inquisitor, Figueroa, harassed him constantly, and once automatically imprisoned him for two months. This drove him to Salamanca, where, worse still, he was thrown into the common prison, fettered by the foot to his companion Calisto, which indignity only drew from Ignatius the characteristic words, "There are not so many handcuffs and chains in Salamanca, but that I desire even more for the love of God."
In Paris his trials were very varied—from poverty, plague, works of charity, and college discipline, on which account he was once sentenced to a public flogging by Dr. Govea, the rector of Collège Ste-Barbe, but on his explaining his conduct, the rector as publicly begged his pardon. There was but one delation to the inquisitors, and, on Ignatius requesting a prompt settlement, the Inquisitor Ori told him proceedings were therewith quashed. We notice a certain progression in Ignatius' dealing with accusations against him. The first time he allowed them to cease without any pronouncement being given in his favour. The second time he demurred at Figueroa wanting to end in this fashion. The third time, after sentence had been passed, he appealed to he Archbishop of Toledo against some of its clauses. Finally he does not await sentence, but goes at once to the judge to urge an inquiry, and eventually he made it his practice to demand sentence, whenever reflection was cast upon his orthodoxy. (Records of Ignatius' legal proceedings at Azpeitia, in 1515; at Alclla in 1526, 1527; at Venice, 1537; at Rome in 1538, will be found in "Scripta de S. Ignatio", pp. 580-620.) Ignatius had now for the third time gathered companions around him. His first followers in Spain had persevered for a time, even amid the severe trials of imprisonment, but instead of following Ignatius to Paris, as they had agreed to do, they gave him up. In Paris too the first to follow did not persevere long, but of the third band not one deserted him. They were (St.) Peter Faber (q.v.), a Genevan Savoyard; (St.) Francis Xavier (q.v.), of Navarre; James Laynez, Alonso Salmerón, and Nicolás Bobadilla, Spaniards; Simón Rodríguez, a Portuguese. Three others joined soon after—Claude Le Jay, a Genevan Savoyard; Jean Codure and Paschase Broët, French. Progress is to be noted in the way Ignatius trained his companions. The first were exercised in the same severe exterior mortifications, begging, fasting, going barefoot, etc., which the saint was himself practising. But though this discipline had prospered in a quiet country place like Manresa, it had attracted an objectionable amount of criticism at the University of Alcalá. At Paris dress and habits were adapted to the life in great towns; fasting, etc., was reduced; studies and spiritual exercises were multiplied, and alms funded.
The only bond between Ignatius' followers so far was devotion to himself, and his great ideal of leading in the Holy Land a life as like as possible to Christ's. On 15 August, 1534, they took the vows of poverty and chastity at Montmartre (probably near the modern Chapelle de St-Denys, Rue Antoinette), and a third vow to go to the Holy Land after two years, when their studies were finished. Six months later Ignatius was compelled by bad health to return to his native country, and on recovery made his way slowly to Bologna, where, unable through ill health to study, he devoted himself to active works of charity till his companions came from Paris to Venice (6 January, 1537) on the way to the Holy Land. Finding further progress barred by the war with the Turks, they now agreed to await for a year the opportunity of fulfilling their vow, after which they would put themselves at the pope's disposal. Faber and some others, going to Rome in Lent, got leave for all to be ordained. They were eventually made priests on St. John Baptist's day. But Ignatius took eighteen months to prepare for his first Mass.
IV. Foundation Of The Society
By the winter of 1537, the year of waiting being over, it was time to offer their services to the pope. The others being sent in pairs to neighboring university towns, Ignatius with Faber and Laynez started for Rome. At La Storta, a few miles before reaching the city, Ignatius had a noteworthy vision. He seemed to see the Eternal Father associating him with His Son, who spoke the words: Ego vobis Romae propitius ero. Many have thought this promise simply referred to the subsequent success of the order there. Ignatius' own interpretation was characteristic: "I do not know whether we shall be crucified in Rome; but Jesus will be propitious." Just before or just after this, Ignatius had suggested for the title of their brotherhood "The Company of Jesus". Company was taken in its military sense, and in those days a company was generally known by its captain's name. In the Latin Bull of foundation, however, they were called "Societas Jesu". We first hear of the term Jesuit in 1544, applied as a term of reproach by adversaries. It had been used in the fifteenth century to describe in scorn someone who cantingly interlarded his speech with repetitions of the Holy Name. In 1522 it was still regarded as a mark of scorn, but before very long the friends of the society saw that they could take it in a good sense, and, though never used by Ignatius, it was readily adopted (Pollen, "The Month", June, 1909). Paul III having received the fathers favourably, all were summoned to Rome to work under the pope's eyes. At this critical moment an active campaign of slander was opened by one Fra Matteo Mainardi (who eventually died in open heresy), and a certain Michael who had been refused admission to the order. It was not till 18 November, 1538, that Ignatius obtained from the governor of Rome an honourable sentence, still extent, in his favour. The thoughts of the fathers were naturally occupied with a formula of their intended mode of life to submit to the pope; and in March, 1539, they began to meet in the evenings to settle the matter.
Hitherto without superior, rule or tradition, they had prospered most remarkably. Why not continue as they had begun? The obvious answer was that without some sort of union, some houses for training postulants, they were practically doomed to die out with the existing members, for the pope already desired to send them about as missioners from place to place. This point was soon agreed to, but when the question arose whether they should, by adding a vow of obedience to their existing vows, form themselves into a compact religious order, or remain, as they were, a congregation of secular priests, opinions differed much and seriously. Not only had they done so well without strict rules, but (to mention only one obstacle, which was in fact not overcome afterwards without great difficulty), there was the danger, if they decided for an order, that the pope might force them to adopt some ancient rule, which would mean the end of all their new ideas. The debate on this point continued for several weeks, but the conclusion in favour of a life under obedience was eventually reached unanimously. After this, progress was faster, and by 24 June some sixteen resolutions had been decided on, covering the main points of the proposed institute. Thence Ignatius drew up in five sections the first "Formula Instituti", which was submitted to the pope, who gave a viva voce approbation 3 September, 1539, but Cardinal Guidiccioni, the head of the commission appointed to report on the "Formula", was of the view that a new order should not be admitted, and with that the chances of approbation seemed to be at an end. Ignatius and his companions, undismayed, agreed to offer up 4000 Masses to obtain the object desired, and after some time the cardinal unexpectedly changed his mind, approved the "Formula" and the Bull "Regimini militantis Ecclesiae" (27 September, 1540), which embodies and sanctions it, was issued, but the members were not to exceed sixty (this clause was abrogated after two years). In April, 1541, Ignatius was, in spite of his reluctance, elected the first general, and on 22 April he and his companions made their profession in St. Paul Outside the Walls. The society was now fully constituted.
V. The Book Of The Spiritual Exercises
This work originated in Ignatius' experiences, while he was at Loyola in 1521, and the chief meditations were probably reduced to their present shapes during his life at Manresa in 1522, at the end of which period he had begun to teach them to others. In the process of 1527 at Salamanca, they are spoken of for the first time as the "Book of Exercises". The earliest extant text is of the year 1541. At the request of St. Francis Boria. the book was examined by papal censors and a solemn approbation given by Paul III in the Brief "Pastoralis Officii" of 1548. "The Spiritual Exercises" are written very concisely, in the form of a handbook for the priest who is to explain them, and it is practically impossible to describe them without making them, just as it might be impossible to explain Nelson's "Sailing Orders" to a man who knew nothing of ships or the sea. The idea of the work is to help the exercitant to find out what the will of God is in regard to his future, and to give him energy and courage to follow that will. The exercitant (under ideal circumstances) is guided through four weeks of meditations: the first week on sin and its consequences, the second on Christ's life on earth, the third on his passion, the fourth on His risen life; and a certain number of instructions (called "rules", "additions", "notes") are added to teach him how to pray, how to avoid scruples, how to elect a vocation in life without being swayed by the love of self or of the world. In their fullness they should, according to Ignatius' idea, ordinarily be made once or twice only; but in part (from three to four days) that may be most profitably made annually, and are now commonly called "retreats", from the seclusion or retreat from the world in which the exercitant lives. More popular selections are preached to the people in church and are called "missions". The stores of spiritual wisdom contained in the "Book of Exercises" are truly astonishing, and their author is believed to have been inspired while drawing them up. (See also next section.) Sommervogel enumerates 292 writers among the Jesuits alone, who have commented on the whole book, to say nothing of commentators on parts (e.g. the meditations), who are far more numerous still. But the best testimony to the work is the frequency with which the exercises are made. In England (for which alone statistics are before the writer) the educated people who make retreats number annually about 22,000, while the number who attend popular expositions of the Exercises in "missions" is approximately 27,000, out of a total Catholic population of 2,000,000.
VI. The Constitutions Of The Society
Ignatius was commissioned in 1541 to draw them up, but he did not begin to do so until 1547, having occupied the mean space with introducing customs tentatively, which were destined in time to become laws. In 1547 Father Polaneo became his secretary, and with his intelligent aid the first draft of the constitutions was made between 1547 and 1550, and simultaneously pontifical approbation was asked for a new edition of the "Formula". Julius III conceded this by the Bull "Exposcit debitum", 21 July, 1550. At the same time a large number of the older fathers assembled to peruse the first draft of the constitutions, and though none of them made any serious objections, Ignatius' next recension (1552) shows a fair amount of changes. This revised version was then published and put into force throughout the society, a few explanations being added here and there to meet difficulties as they arose. These final touches were being added by the saint up till the time of his death, after which the first general congregation of the society ordered them to be printed, and they have never been touched since. The true way of appreciating the constitutions of the society is to study them as they are carried into practice by the Jesuits themselves, and for this, reference may be made to the articles on the SOCIETY OF JESUS. A few points, however, in which Ignatius' institute differed from the older orders may be mentioned here. They are:
1.the vow not to accept ecclesiastical dignities; 2.increased probations. The novitiate is prolonged from one year to two, with a third year, which usually falls after the priesthood. Candidates are moreover at first admitted to simple vows only, solemn vows coming much later on; 3.the Society does not keep choir; 4.it does not have a distinctive religious habit; 5.it does not accept the direction of convents; 6.it is not governed by a regular triennial chapter; 7.it is also said to have been the first order to undertake officially and by virtue of its constitutions active works such as the following:
—foreign missions, at the pope's bidding;
—the education of youth of all classes;
—the instruction of the ignorant and the poor;
—ministering to the sick, to prisoners, etc.
The above points give no conception of the originality with which Ignatius has handled all parts of his subject, even those common to all orders. It is obvious that he must have acquired some knowledge of other religious constitutions, especially during the years of inquiry (1541-1547), when he was on terms of intimacy with religious of every class. But witnesses, who attended him, tell us that he wrote without any books before him except the Missal. Though his constitutions of course embody technical terms to be found in other rules, and also a few stock phrases like "the old man's staff", and "the corpse carried to any place", the thought is entirely original, and would seem to have been God-guided throughout. By a happy accident we still possess his journal of prayers for forty days, during which he was deliberating the single point of poverty in churches. It shows that in making up his mind he was marvelously aided by heavenly lights, intelligence, and visions. If, as we may surely infer, the whole work was equally assisted by grace, its heavenly inspiration will not be doubtful. The same conclusion is probable true of "The Spiritual Exercises".
VII. Later Life And Death
The later years of Ignatius were spent in partial retirement, the correspondence inevitable in governing the Society leaving no time for those works of active ministry which in themselves he much preferred. His health too began to fail. In 1551, when he had gathered the elder fathers to revise the constitutions, he laid his resignation of the generalate in their hands, but they refused to accept it then or later, when the saint renewed his prayer. In 1554 Father Nadal was given the powers of vicar-general, but it was often necessary to send him abroad as commissary, and in the end Ignatius continued, with Polanco's aid, to direct everything. With most of his first companions he had to part soon. Rodríguez started on 5 March, 1540, for Lisbon, where he eventually founded the Portuguese province, of which he was made provincial on 10 October, 1546. St. Francis Xavier (q.v.) followed Rodríguez immediately, and became provincial of India in 1549. In September, 1541, Salmeron and Broet started for their perilous mission to Ireland, which they reached (via Scotland) next Lent. But Ireland, the prey to Henry VIII's barbarous violence, could not give the zealous missionaries a free field for the exercise of the ministries proper to their institute. All Lent they passed in Ulster, flying from persecutors, and doing in secret such good as they might. With difficulty they reached Scotland, and regained Rome, Dec., 1542. The beginnings of the Society in Germany are connected with St. Peter Faber (q.v.), Blessed Peter Canisius (q.v.), Le Jay, and Bobadilla in 1542. In 1546 Laynez and Salmeron were nominated papal theologians for the Council of Trent, where Canisius, Le Jay, and Covillon also found places. In 1553 came the picturesque, but not very successful mission of Nuñez Barretto as Patriarch of Abyssinia. For all these missions Ignatius wrote minute instructions, many of which are still extant. He encouraged and exhorted his envoys in their work by his letters, while the reports they wrote back to him form our chief source of information on the missionary triumphs achieved. Though living alone in Rome, it was he who in effect lad, directed, and animated his subjects all the world over. The two most painful crosses of this period were probably the suits with Isabel Roser and Simón Rodríguez. The former lady had been one of Ignatius' first and most esteemed patronesses during his beginnings in Spain. She came to Rome later on and persuaded Ignatius to receive a vow of obedience to him, and she was afterwards joined by two or three other ladies. But the saint found that the demands they made on his time were more than he could possibly allow them. "They caused me more trouble", he is reported to have said, "than the whole of the Society", and he obtained from the pope a relaxation of the vow he had accepted. A suit with Roser followed, which she lost, and Ignatius forbade his sons hereafter to become ex officio directors to convents of nuns (Scripta de S. Ignatio, pp. 652-5). Painful though this must have been to a man so loyal as Ignatius, the difference with Rodríguez , one of his first companions, must have been more bitter still. Rodríguez had founded the Province of Portugal, and brought it in a short time to a high state of efficiency. But his methods were not precisely those of Ignatius, and, when new men of Ignatius' own training came under him, differences soon made themselves felt. A struggle ensued in which Rodríguez unfortunately took sides against Ignatius' envoys. The results for the newly formed province were disastrous. Well-nigh half of its members had to be expelled before peace was established; but Ignatius did not hesitate. Rodriguez having been recalled to Rome, the new provincial being empowered ti dismiss him if he refused, he demanded a formal trial, which Ignatius, foreseeing the results, endeavoured to ward off. But on Simón's insistence a full court of inquiry was granted, whose proceedings are now printed and it unanimously condemned Rodriguez to penance and banishment from the province (Scripta etc., pp. 666-707). Of all his external works, those nearest his heart, to judge by his correspondence, were the building and foundation of the Roman College (1551), and of the German College (1552). For their sake he begged, worked, and borrowed with splendid insistence until his death. The success of the first was ensured by the generosity of St. Francis Borgia, before he entered the Society. The latter was still in a struggling condition when Ignatius died, but his great ideas have proved the true and best foundation of both.
In the summer of 1556 the saint was attacked by Roman fever. His doctors did not foresee any serious consequences, but the saint did. On 30 July, 1556, he asked for the last sacraments and the papal blessing, but he was told that no immediate danger threatened. Next morning at daybreak, the infirmarian found him lying in peaceful prayer, so peaceful that he did not at once perceive that the saint was actually dying. When his condition was realized, the last blessing was given, but the end came before the holy oils could be fetched. Perhaps he had prayed that his death, like his life, might pass without any demonstration. He was beatified by Paul V on 27 July, 1609, and canonized by Gregory XV on 22 May, 1622. His body lies under the altar designed by Pozzi in the Gesù. Though he died in the sixteenth year from the foundation of the Society, that body already numbered about 1000 religious (of whom, however, only 35 were yet professed) with 100 religious houses, arranged in 10 provinces. (Sacchini, op. cit. infra., lib.1, cc, i, nn. 1-20.) It is impossible to sketch in brief Ignatius' grand and complex character: ardent yet restrained, fearless, resolute, simple, prudent, strong, and loving. The Protestant and Jansenistic conception of him as a restless, bustling pragmatist bears no correspondence at all with the peacefulness and perseverance which characterized the real man. That he was a strong disciplinarian is true. In a young and rapidly growing body that was inevitable; and the age loved strong virtues. But if he believed in discipline as an educative force, he despised any other motives for action except the love of God and man. It was by studying Ignatius as a ruler that Xavier learnt the principle, "the company of Jesus ought to be called the company of love and conformity of souls". (Ep., 12 Jan., 1519).
SOURCE http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/I/stignatiusofloyola.asp


TODAY'S GOSPEL

Matthew 14: 1 - 12

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1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus;

2 and he said to his servants, "This is John the Baptist, he has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him."

3 For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison, for the sake of Hero'di-as, his brother Philip's wife;

4 because John said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her."

5 And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet.

6 But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Hero'di-as danced before the company, and pleased Herod,

7 so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.

8 Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter."

9 And the king was sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given;

10 he sent and had John beheaded in the prison,

11 and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.

12 And his disciples came and took the body and buried it; and they went and told Jesus.
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