Life of Ignatius – Day 37

The Jesuits get organised

37. Provinces of the Jesuits established in Portugal & Spain

The spirit of the Society of Jesus was very much one of looking for the areas of greatest need and then doing the best they could to meet the need. Unlike the monastic orders such as the Benedictines, who lived in monasteries, often with large numbers of monks, Jesuits typically began with communities of only two or three.

The line management was clear. Ignatius, the General Superior was at the top, with only the Pope above him. Within six years of the founding of the Jesuits there were provincial superiors in Spain, Italy and Portugal. Then each town or work usually had its own local superior. All those in charge of men would write regularly to Ignatius in Rome to let him know how things were going in their area, and receive a reply, encouraging, informing, sometimes suggesting changes.
Ignatius wrote thousands of letters from his office in Rome to Jesuits worldwide. His letters were not always as might have been expected from a religious leader. To Spanish Jesuits who wanted to increase daily hours of prayer he said ‘no, there is work to be done’.

A thought to ponder

Ignatius wrote thousands of letters to his fellow Jesuits, people who wanted his advice or help and a vast array of donors who made it possible for the Jesuits to begin new works.
Although letter writing might be a little dated for some, maybe there is someone you know who would appreciate a phone call, an email or even a hand-written letter from you; a message of encouragement, or thanks or sympathy. Can you think of anyone?

Scripture for the Day

As a way of praying today’s Scripture we suggest Lectio Divina

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NRSVACE

The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance,
so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.

Music for Today

All Creatures of our God and King written by Francis of Assisi performed by Maranatha Music

Purchase more Maranatha Music

Ignatius’ desk

Ignatius’ desk and cabinet in his rooms in Rome which have been preserved next door to the Gesu Church.

Photo: DWB Ignatian Pilgrimage