Saturday, August 1, 2015


This week I’ve been thinking and praying about a very bright young woman who is about to return to college for her sophomore year. Her folks are concerned that she’s losing her once vibrant Catholic faith. She gets upset, for example, at some of the Church’s official positions on certain topics, and I suspect that she is outgrowing her former attachment to Sunday Eucharist and other Church-related things.

My prayer for her has been that some day, after she finishes being exasperated with the Church and its human foibles and even its sometimes sinful mistakes, she will eventually be able to find her way back to the Church as a mature person who is able to look beyond the sinfulness of the world to see the goodness that lies deep inside flawed people and imperfect institutions. That return may take a while, but God’s got nothing but time.

Ignatius Loyola ca 1491-1566
Today, July 31, is the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order. He’s a great example of an unpromising sinner who, with God’s grace eventually found himself in the warm embrace of Jesus and of the Church.

In his homily for the feast day mass this afternoon, Fr. Francis quoted a well-known poem/prayer attributed to  Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907-1991), former General of the Jesuit order. As I listened to the words I realized that they would make pretty good advice to share with my young collegian who is struggling with the idea of organized religion and a fault-filled Church. I plan to email this to her in the next few days to encourage her to hold on to the essential thing.

I share it here with the hope that it may have something to say to you as well, or to someone you know.


Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.

From Finding God in All Things: A Marquette Prayer Book © 2009 Marquette University Press.


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