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31 July 2011: Feast of St Ignatius

St Ignatius of LoyolaThe Australian Jesuit Province had a gathering two weeks ago in Sydney to nourish us for the work we do together as companions of Christ on mission.  Thanks once again to all those who helped to make those days truly nourishing.  It was ideal preparation for St Ignatius' Feast Day that we celebrate today.

Early in John's Gospel, Jesus asks two of his disciples, "What are you looking for?  What do you really want?  What are the desires that you may be hardly even aware of, your deepest desires?"

St Ignatius said that our deepest desires lead us to God.  Our deepest desires are for things that money cannot buy, things like time with people whose love we really need and want, the beauty of God's creation, the joys of a happy family, good friends and a deep down feeling that I am good and gifted, that I am loved and lovable.

St Ignatius had a great capacity to live simply and to enjoy simple pleasures.  He knew that God sees into all our hearts and sees all the goodness and potential that is there, and calls them forth.

God doesn't ask us to be perfect but God does ask that we come to know more and more what kind of person we really want to be, what our ideals are.

The two disciples answered Jesus' question with one of their own: "Teacher, where are you staying?"  Jesus replied, "Come and see."  He invites us to see into our hearts, to know what we want, and to make it a reality in the world.

St Ignatius leads us to Jesus.  On the Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola we give thanks to God for the blessing he has been to the Church and so to us, helping us to walk with Christ and become, more and more, the people God made us to be.

Fr Steve Curtin sj
Provincial