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Soldiers for Christ
It's no accident that Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, draws so heavily from St. Ignatius of Loyola's teaching in his books. St. Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises have formed a great many saints down through the centuries, turning loose missionaries of unprecedented power and ardor such as St. Francis Xavier. To console the Heart of Jesus, we must also partake of that same holy power, that same ardor coming straight from the depths of the Trinity.
St. Ignatius, whose feast we celebrate on July 31, named his order the Society of Jesus, or the Company of Jesus. The men of the Jesuit order are meant to be soldiers for Christ, fighting the world, the flesh, and the devil under the standard of Christ, the sign of the cross. To be in the company of Jesus is inevitably to be in the company of Mary, for where Jesus is, there too is His Mother. To be a member of the family of God, you must be a child of Mary.
It was Mary who oversaw Ignatius's transformation of life. He stood vigil for a night at the foot of Our Lady of Montserrat, and left there his earthly weapons to take up the weapons of spiritual combat in the service of heaven's Queen. Mary is the patroness of the Jesuit order under the title Madonna Della Strada, or Our Lady of the Way — very appropriate for the mother of the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Let us ask St. Ignatius to pray for us that we may always be faithful children of Mary and companions of Jesus.