MEDITATION OF THE DAY
The Lord sends us into spiritual combat. It is a fight to the death that he himself has undertaken, and one that we too are invited to identify as our own ultimate battleground, conscious that it is God’s war. For it is a war waged “against the enemy of human nature.” That is, in the language of Saint Ignatius, the Devil or Demon. It is also the war waged by “the friend of human nature,” the Lord Jesus, who wants to win us for God and to recapitulate in himself all that is good in creation, in order to offer it to the Father, to the praise of his glory.
What is at stake in this war? It is whether in my heart, as well as in the heart of the Church and of humanity itself, the Kingdom of heaven will be established, with its law of love and the Lord’s way of life: poverty, humility, and service. Or whether the kingdom of this world will triumph, with its laws and values of wealth, vanity, and pride.
It is characteristic of Ignatius to have us contemplate the mysteries of the life of the Lord while at the same time inviting us “to investigate and ask in what kind of life or in what kind of state his divine majesty wishes to make use of us.” And if we have already chosen a state of life, we should reform it for the better. This is not a question of fulfilling one’s responsibilities or positions of service but of something deeper and definitive: it is a matter of my state of life. And this should not be understood as an external form but as a vital principle: In what state of life, or with what reform to my state of life, will my heart become more a “friend of Jesus”? How can I become more like him, more poor, more humble, and more dedicated to service? In what state of life, or through what reform to my state of life, will the love of Jesus take definitive root in me?
His Holiness Pope Francis was elected to the See of Saint Peter in 2013. [From In Him Alone Is Our Hope: Spiritual Exercises Given to His Brother Bishops in the Manner of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Fr. Vincent Capuano, s.j., Andrew Matt, Trs. © 2013, Magnificat, Yonkers, NY. All rights reserved.]