Born in Italy in 1568, Aloysius was brought up as befits a nobleman; he was for several years subjected to the rules of etiquette of various courts including that of Philip II of Spain. Devout and ascetical from his childhood, he pursued his Jesuit vocation against enormous family opposition. Having renounced his title, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1585. Broken in health through nursing Rome’s plague-stricken, he died in 1591 at the age of 23. After his canonization he was named Patron of Youth.
As I write this reflection, the world and the worries of the world are very much with me. The burden of the unknown consequences of the Gulf oil spill, the uncertainties of the hostilities in the Middle East and North Korea, the hobbled global economy and the continued random violence of one against another, colors my world view. Some days I just want to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed!
Yet as Christian women and men we know there are reasons for these actions, there are patterns being played out with yet-to-be-determined outcomes. So it is motivated by faith in the risen Jesus and armed with hope, we do get out of bed and walk into the affairs of the day.
Today’s reading from Romans presents succinct and useful directives for facing the challenges of any given day. So I will let St. Paul finish this reflection and motivate you to get into the fray of life:
“I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God,
Do not conform yourselves to this age
Let love be sincere;
Do not go slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Have the same regard for one another;
Do not repay anyone evil with evil;
Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good!”
On careful reflection, this motivates us to “jump” out of bed and rush into the affairs of the day! Well, maybe not “jump” but at least gives us reason to continue to work at building up God’s kingdom in our own space and time.
And the response to today’s Psalm says it all: “In you, Lord, I have found my peace.”
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