John Lilburne's journal about Saint Francis Xavier, Ignatius of Loyola, his Spiritual Exercises, and the United States Marine Corps.
1029 L Mon 3 Dec 2001
Today is the memorial of the Jesuite priest Saint Francis Xavier (1506 - 1551). He was a friend of the founder of the Jesuites (i.e. Society of Jesus), Ignatius of Loyola, who he met at the University of Paris. He did extraordinary missionary work including to India and Japan. The first reading that can be used for today's Mass reflects this. 1Cor 9:16-19, 22-23 is Paul writing to the Corinthians. The Pope in writing about evangelisation often uses the phrase "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel". The Jerusalem Bible translation is "I should be punished if I did not preach it."
Ignatius of Loyola was a soldier who was recovering from a canon ball wound to his leg when he underwent a conversion. He wrote the Spiritual Exercises, a program of about a month of prayer, meditation on the Bible and decision making. Francis Xavier did this in 1534, aged about 28. I did mine two years ago -- 14 November 1999 to 14 December 1999, aged 33.
The Oxford Dictionary of the Saints has in the entry on Ignatius:
The decision I was making was whether I should be instituted as a lector, which I was on 27 February 2000. I have been looking at the Spiritual Exercises again this morning. At the end it has "Rules for thinking, judging, and feeling with the Church to have the genuine attitude which we ought to maintain in the Church militant, we should observe the following rules". Here is the tenth:
It reflects a military approach: morale and the hierarchy must be maintained. He are similar (but different) ideas from Warfighting/the United States Marine Corps (Doubleday, 1994):
There are difficult issues here. I see the Church as being damaged and its credibility undermined because ceremonies are not done properly and the ministry of instituted lector is not respected. By writing about it on romanrite.com there is a risk it will "cause more murmuring and scandal than profit". But there seems to be a need for more publicity, with me providing an "honest, professional opinion" about the problems, to bring about a remedy.
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 3 December 2001.
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