Moved to Greater Love
Moved to Greater Love

Friday, April 4

Today's Grace

I pray for freedom even when it leads to testing and persecution — even to the cross.


Scripture/Reading

Excerpt from a letter by Jesuit Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro (1891-1927) from the “Supplement to the Divine Office for the Society of Jesus”:

Nonetheless, the people are in dire need of spiritual assistance. Every day I hear of persons dying without the sacraments; there are no priests who confront the situation; they keep away due to either obedience or fear. To do my little bit may be dangerous if I do it the way I have so far; but I do not think it temerity to do it with discretion and within certain limits. My superior is dead scared and always thinks that, out of two possibilities, the worse is bound to happen. I dare say there is a middle way between temerity and fear, as there is between extreme prudence and rashness. I have pointed this out to the superior but he always fears for my life. But what is my life? Would I not gain it if I lost for my brothers and sisters? True, we do not have to give it away stupidly. But what are sons of Loyola for it they flee at the first flare?

Reflection Questions

  1. What is the most “dire need of spiritual assistance” that you, your community or institution are aware of amidst the people you serve?
  2. To what, if any, is this need compromised by “obedience or fear”?
  3. Do you, individually or institutionally, tend to think that “out of two possibilities, the worse is bound to happen”?
  4. What, for you, your community or institution, might be “the middle way between temerity and fear … between extreme prudence and rashness”?
  5. What are sons (or daughters, sisters, brothers, partners) of Loyola for vis-à-vis your personal or communal situation?

Reflection

freedom
love

Other Resources

View the daily readings at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website.

Hymn: Giovanni Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater” performed by Emma Kirkby

Music: “He That Shall Endure to the End” from Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”

Song: “Lay Down My Life” by Sidewalk Prophets

Song: “We Shall Overcome” performed by Bruce Springsteen

Song: “I Have a Dream” by Common featuring will.i.am

Quotations:

Your real, new self (which is Christ's and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.
— C.S. Lewis, “Mere Christianity”

Dying and dissolution continue to strike fear in me. Death itself does not. Ten years ago if somebody had offered me a vigorous, healthy life that would never end, I would have said yes. Today I think I would say no. I love my life as much as I ever did and will cling on to it for as long as I can, but life without death has become as unthinkable to me as day without night or waking without sleep.
— Frederick Buechner, “Listening to Your Life”





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