The great St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) was a Spanish soldier-turned-founder of the Jesuits, also known as the Society of Jesus. The Jesuit motto is Ad Majorem Gloriam (“For the greater glory of God”), a motto we all would do well to take up!
“St. Ignatius knew how to obey when, in the midst of healing his wounds [received in battle], the voice of God was heard with force in his heart. He was sensitive to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit“ (Pope St. John Paul II).
St. Ignatius had a special devotion to Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Way (Madonna della Strada). St. Louis Marie de Montfort says that Our Blessed Mother Mary is the “shortest, quickest and easiest path to Jesus.”
St. Ignatius is well known for his Spiritual Exercises, which are meditations and prayers to help bring people closer to Our Lord Jesus.
Spiritual Gems of St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Do nothing, say nothing before considering if that which you are about to say or do is pleasing to God, profitable to yourself, and edifying to your neighbor.”
“So you lay your affairs aside till next month or next year? Why, where do you get your confidence that you will live so long?”
“If a man wants to reform the world, either by reason of the authority of his position or the duty of his office, he must begin with himself.”
“Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.”
“A soul that wishes to make progress in the spiritual life must always act in a manner contrary to that of the enemy. If the enemy seeks to make the conscience lax, one must endeavor to make it more sensitive. If the enemy strives to make the conscience delicate with a view to leading it to excess, the soul must endeavor to establish itself firmly in a moderate course so that in all things it may preserve itself in peace.”
“Man is created to praise God, reverence God, serve God, and by means of that to save his soul.”
“When the devil wants to attack anyone, he first of all looks to see on what side his defenses are weakest or in worst order; then he moves up his artillery to make a breach at that spot.”
The St. Ignatius prayer for generosity is attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola. True fulfillment is found in forgetfulness of self, in loving service of God and our neighbor.
Prayer for Generosity
Attributed to Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve You as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I am doing Your will.