The Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola is an important spiritual milestone each year for Jesuit Schools and Ignatian organisations alike.
As we (Jesuits, friends and collaborators ) celebrate the Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola on July 31st, we have a chance to pause and reflect on all the efforts for social justice that happen each day throughout our Ignatian family. Ignatius and those who have followed in his footsteps have taught us that our ongoing search for the presence of God’s love in our world cannot be separated from the harsh realities that exist, especially for our brothers and sisters who are most vulnerable.
Amidst the celebrations and struggles of our own lives, we know that throughout the world there is great injustice faced by God’s people – continued efforts for liberation in countries like Libya and Syria; ongoing battles against poverty and disease throughout the continent of Africa; the rise of terrorism and the havoc it has caused all over the world, and even the challenges that people in our own country face as the economic reality continue to cause great distress for neighbours and family alike.
In India, these struggles for social justice are happening on an almost daily basis: the socio-political and economic marginalization of the poor, the dalits, and the minorities are being reported from all quarters.
The spirituality of St. Ignatius calls us to seek God’s love through our response to these realities. Ignatius said:
what one has
and what one is
with those one loves.
Love ought to show itself in deeds more than words.”
These words certainly ring true as we consider all the work for justice being acted out throughout the Ignatian family. Recently we have heard exciting news of many “deeds” that demonstrate the love Ignatius describes,and nothing can be more exemplary that the role of our Holy Father Francis plays in bringing healing and succour to so many on a daily basis.
How do our Ignatian institutions in Bihar and Jharkhand reflect that Magis? Patna Jesuits have been doing so much in the field of bringing the light of education and dignity to the poorest of the poor in Bihar and Jharkhand. This is something that we will have to reflect on, and celebrate.