Life of Ignatius – Day 38

Jesuits and Education

38. Roman College established. Education for boys and clergy

Part of the original documents establishing the Society of Jesus, ‘the Formula of the Institute’ had as a major work for Jesuits the instruction of the young in matters of the faith. In this mid-sixteen century period it was clear that a more general education was needed, not just for a few wealthy people but for all who might benefit, and not just in matters of faith but in the humanities and the sciences.

Colleges were swiftly established almost everywhere that Jesuits went. Most began on a small scale in large domestic houses given by affluent donors. But such was the need that they nearly all grew rapidly into well respected, purpose built, centres of learning. In 1551 the Roman College was established, one of the first, initially teaching boys of all ages up to university level. It was particularly focused on teaching aspiring Jesuits in philosophy and theology.

A thought to ponder

Not too many years ago the Christian stories and tradition were part of the general knowledge of almost all those brought up in the Western world.
Today few young people could answer even basic questions about the Christian faith.
You might consider how Christianity be passed on to another generation?
Can you see yourself playing any part in this?

Scripture for the Day

As a way of praying today’s Scripture we suggest Imaginative Contemplation.

Acts 8:26-38 NRSVACE

Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Get up and go towards the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is a wilderness road.)
So he got up and went.
Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over to this chariot and join it.’
So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah.
He asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’
He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’
And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him.
Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this:

‘Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
and like a lamb silent before its shearer,
so he does not open his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.’

The eunuch asked Philip, ‘About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?’
Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus.
As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptised?’
He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptised him.

Music for Today

Teach me Lord – William Byrd

Purchase more of the music of William Byrd

Lyrics of Teach me Lord

Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall keep it with my whole heart.
Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for there in is my desire.
Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.
O turn away mine eyes, lest they behold vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.
O stablish thy word in thy servant, that I may fear thee.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, and is now, and ever shall be, world without end.