Rest Stop (Wednesday) … where’s the fire?

St. Ignatius of Loyola in Rome with fire extinquisher
This statue is in the Jesuit headquarters in Rome.

Today, in the Catholic calendar, it is the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).  As I was doing some reflection and meditation based on St. Ignatius’ spiritual exercises,  I came across a post by Fr. James Martin, SJ with this photo of a statue of St. Ignatius found in the Jesuit headquarters in Rome.  Inscribed are the words St. Ignatius said to his friend St. Francis Xavier when Ignatius missioned him to spread the Gospel across the globe: “Ite, Inflammate Omnia!” Translated it reads: “Go and set the world on fire!”  If you look closely to the left of the statue what do you see?  Yup!  Reality is better than fiction.  The object back there is a fire extinguisher!

Humor and joy in the spiritual life – what a wonderful concept!  Finding humor and joy in life is something I strive for.  I may not always get there along the journey, but I strive for it.

In a world seemingly full of sadness and pain, finding joy and humor is not easy, but in my mind essential!  Not taking ourselves so seriously, helping others to laugh, and just “doing” for others will help us to see the joy that is meant to be in our daily lives.

Today, let’s spend some time reflecting on this command given to St. Francis Xavier  “Ite, Inflammate Omnia!” and see how it relates to my own life of service to others.  How can I, just today, bring joy to another?  One of my favorite scripture passages is from the Gospel according to Luke 12:49 where Jesus says “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled.”  How can we kindle that fire of love, service and joy for others?  How can I allow others to see the fire burning within me?  How can I let others find joy in themselves?  Keep the flame alive – and an extinguisher close …

…continue the conversation …

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