Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

For the Greater Glory of God – Honoring Saint Ignatius and the Work of the Jesuits…Visiting the Ges

Good evening visitors from the blogosphere”…… I must admit, thats a new term that Ive learned and added to my vocabulary this week lol!

I hope this post finds you well.

Id like to share with you highlights from my visit to the Ges, the Mother Church of the Jesuits, located here in Rome. I also thought it would be fitting, in light of my visit to the Ges, to take this opportunity to share with you some reflections of a Homily that I delivered to the Jesuit Community at Boston College, marking the Feast of Saint Ignatius. In 1863, Boston College became the 11th Jesuit College to be established in the United States.

Id like to share the following reflections with you:

The Feast of Saint Ignatius

If Ralph Kramden would have ever followed through with his idle threat of sending his beloved wife Alice to the moon, Alice would have discovered that thirty-five of the craters on the surface of the moon are named for Jesuits. :) Many of them undoubtedly sent there by provincials.

I assure you that although our communities were founded at the same time and we have had a cup of coffee named after us — there are no craters on the moon named for Capuchins — not even a speed bump. lol! You can tell I am consumed with envy.

William Crashaw touted the fact that thanks to Luther and Calvin the Romish Church, that scarlet whore, had fallen on hard times her cup of abominations was almost drunk up but then the Jesuits had made their entrance, flying like locusts out of the bottomless pit, to repair the ruins of the Romish Church and to fill her golden cup with a new supply of spiritual fornications.

John Adams, another admirer of the Jesuits wrote to Thomas Jefferson I do not like the late resurrection of the Jesuits. Shall we not have swarms of them here, in as many shapes and disguises as ever a gypsy king assumed. If any congregation of men could merit eternal perdition on earth and in hell, it is this company of Loyola.

The Gospel warns us that if they hated Jesus they will certainly hate Jesus companions. But it is important to be hated for the right reasons. Hated because of our love for Christ and His Church. Hated because we raise our voice on behalf of the poor and the oppressed.

It was my privilege to be at the Puella Conference in 1979. There I met Fr. Pedro Arrupe S.J., the General of the Jesuits. This intrepid missionary who cared for the survivors of the atomic bomb in Nagasaki was asked if he was going to withdraw the Jesuits from El Salvador because there were death threats. He replied that quite to the contrary he was going to send more Jesuits to El Salvador. Spoken like another Basque Jesuit, Ignatius himself.

The role of the religious in the Church is to be a prophetic voice, but we must avoid the danger of being false prophets, and never allow ourselves to be supernumeraries of the dominant secularist culture always anxious to reward false prophets. More than ever we need religious who are convinced that the witness of our vows, poverty, chastity, obedience challenge the human heart where we tend to be more selfish in the areas of sexuality, of possessions and power. These truths will set us free and lead to happiness and to God.

As religious we must forcefully and boldly proclaim that the Gospel of Jesus is the story of the world not some appendix, excess luggage. As Weigel has stated, the great problem is that the world does not know its own story. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not an imposition upon the world but the proposal to the world of its own true story. For the Catholic Christian the world is not alien territory but a creation of love that has tragically alienated itself from its creator. The mission of the Church is to call the world home. And the sons of Ignatius are in a unique position to contribute to this mission. As you form young minds lead them to Christ, to Christ who is inviting, cajoling, urging, wooing calling the world home to itself. It is not enough to have alumni who are rich and famous. We must form new generations of disciples who love the Lord and His Church and who embrace the costly grace of discipleship and who will use all their talents and resources to build a civilization of love.

I see what the Jesuits did for my Father and so many generations of Catholics. You taught them to be men of faith and prayer, men of the Church, men with a sense of mission: in their family life, and in their professional life and in the Church and in society.

Todays world demands a new apologetic and too often we have teachers who rather than explain the Catholic Faith, apologize for it. We need less apologizing and more apologetics. In the face of so much cynicism the Church is depending on you to articulate the liberating truths of the Catholic Faith.

I never go to Rome without visiting the Church of the Ges. There I often go to confession and visit the tomb of Ignatius. At the Ges I pray for the Jesuit Orderfor friends and for all Jesuitswe have over 300 in the Archdiocese. I kneel before the tomb and pray the Suscipe of Ignatius. Tomad Senor y recibid mi libertad.Take and receive all my liberty. The first thing Ignatius offers the Lord is his freedom.

The culture of death is seducing our people with the golden calf of freedom. Real freedom is found in the sacrificial self-giving of the Suscipe.

All that I have and possess is a gift and now I give it back to you.

To thee O Lord I return it. All is Thine.

Dispose of it wholly according to Thy will.

Give me only Thy Love and thy Grace,

that is enough for me. (St. Ignatius of Loyola)

My prayer is that God will raise up in the Church many holy sons of St. Ignatius and that they will teach this sacrificial love to our people – the unum recessarium – that Gods love and grace are enough.

To live a life in grace and in Gods love is the only success that counts. No other religious community has the resources, human, intellectual, spiritual, material that you (the Jesuits) have. You must not pass up the opportunities to give a serious faith formation to new generations of Catholics – who came to you with an unprecedented religious illiteracy and immersed in a culture that is hostile to the Gospel, and even to the concept of the truth itself.

But even more than teachers we need witnesses who enunciate the Churchs teachings with conviction and live a life that invites others to discipleship. It is not easy. Ignatius own vocation begins with a reversal, a great set back, a failure.

Ignatius vocation began like St. Francis after an ignominious defeat in battle. From Ignatius bed of pain comes the great charism of his life and ministry.

Wounded and fighting the boredom of a long convalescence, Ignatius asked for a copy of Amadis de Gaula, it was the Da Vinci Code of the day.the book everyone was readingbut his sister-in-law brought him the Life of Christ and the lives of the Saints.

Reading the Life of Christ, Ignatius falls in love with the Lord. His conversion leads him to Manresa where he devoured the Imitation of Christ and the spirit of the Devotio Moderna. Ignatius is truly focused on Jesus. It was not a fugamundi spirituality of earlier ages, but one that engages the world and sees there the venue for a life of grace and discipleship.

In todays Gospel John the Baptist points out Christ to his disciples and they leave John to follow the Lamb of God. Ignatius did not strive to make personal followers but rather to lead people to the Lord and to act for the greater glory of God.

Ignatius is a seeker and the Lord invited him to come and see. His spiritual journey that included such intense prayer and fasting is a total conversion from self to God. Ignatius loved the Lord, our Blessed Mother, the Church and her sacraments.

In his profound experience of the interior life he left us a blue print for personal conversion and discernment of Gods will in his spiritual exercises. But the great treasure he left the Church was the Society of Jesus, men dedicated to serving Christ and the Church. In the great number of martyrs, like Edmund Champion, Paul Miki and Agustin Pro we find the heroic ideals of Ignatius lived out in the spiritual adventures of his sons.

One son who was close to Ignatius was Francis Xavier. Each December I relish the reading at Matins for his feast – the passionate letter he writes to Ignatius where he describes his frustration at the overwhelming task of teaching people about God and how to pray. Francis Xavier says he often thought of going to the great universities of Europe and everywhere crying out like a madman, riveting the attention of those with more learning than charity; What a tragedy, how many souls are being shut of heaven and falling into hell thanks to you! I wish that they would work as hard at this as they do at their books, and so settle their account with God for their learning and the talents entrusted to them.

If Ignatius and Francis were here I am sure they would echo these same sentiments to those entrusted with running our universities and Catholic schools. We need to lead people to the Lord, to teach them about the interior life, to help them sentire cum ecclesia, to inspire people to make a gift of ourselves to God, trusting indeed that His love and Grace are enough for us.

If we can help our students to discover God only then will they discover who they are and why we are here, and what we have to do with our lives.

You are Jesus companions – your vocation is to share that companionship with others. Teach them to pray. At Georgetown the Jesuit I always hear about is Father King who each night at 11:15 celebrates Mass for the students.

On this feast of your spiritual father, I thank you for being Jesuits. As you celebrate Mass this Ignatian Year and prepare for your 35th General Congregation, I pray that the Lord will bless your community with men, good and holy vocations and that the charism of your founder will shine forth in all your words and works:

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam – For the Greater Glory Of God
for-the-greater-glory-of-god.jpg

The motto of St. Ignatius and the Jesuits: Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam..For the Greater Glory of God. Often times you may see it abbreviated AMDG.

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As I’ve mentioned, I visit the Ges whenever I return to Rome – because of St. Ignatius and because it is such a beautiful church. The fact that St. Ignatius is buried there is very significant. To me, its one of the most beautiful churches in Rome. I always pray for the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, when I am here, especially for the over 300 Jesuits in the Archdiocese.

si-chapel.jpg

The Chapel of St. Ignatius. The tomb of St. Ignatius is located here. That striking blue gemstone you see around the chapel is called Lapis lazuli. The chapel was actually damaged during the French invasion and then later reconstructed. Its said that Pope Puis VI may have been forced to melt some the original chapel’s silver to pay Napoleon as a result of the Treaty of Tolentino in 1797.

in-front-of-st-xavier-chapel.jpg

The Jesuit Church also has relics of St. Francis Xavier, who was a great missionary to Japan, India and China. He was one of St. Ignatius first followers when he founded the Jesuits.

sfx-relic-arm.jpg

This golden reliquary holds the right arm of St. Francis Xavierits the arm that was used to baptize many thousands of people in the missions.

ihs-altar.jpg

The Name Jesus is on the Jesuit crest, their symbol IHS The first three letters in Greek of the name Jesus. The IHS above is located under the work Glory of the Mystical Lamb in the Ges.

altar.jpg

The main altar at the Ges.

ceiling-fresco.jpg

The magnificent fresco on the Gess ceiling was so masterfully created that it actually tricks your eye.one has a difficult time determining whether its a painting or actually statues and sculptures adorning the ceiling.

ceiling-fresco-angel.jpg

looking-at-the-ceiling-fresco.jpg

My eyes were indeed being tricked.

elevated-pulpit.jpg

A pulpit elevated high over the Gess floor….before technological advances with microphones and sound amplification, the location of these pulpits helped priests preach to the flock.

building-next-to-gesu.jpg

A bit of Italian political history: In the piazza in front of the Ges and this building above, is where Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moros body was discovered after he had been kidnapped and murdered in 1978 by the Red Brigades, a militant group.

gesu-wide-shot.jpg

A view of the Ges from the rear of the church.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the highlights of the Ges. The Mother Church of the Jesuits is really one of the most beautiful churches in Rome and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share it with you…and also the opportunity to share with you my reflections about St. Ignatius and the Jesuits.

Until my next post….

God Bless,

Cardinal Sen

55 Responses to For the Greater Glory of God – Honoring Saint Ignatius and the Work of the Jesuits…Visiting the Ges


Comments

  1. Comment by friar minor | 2006/09/27 at 21:23:20

    Thank you, your eminence, for the pictures of the church, which I had never seen.

    I would love to hear further reflections on the nature and task of religious life in our day. That is to say, what it could mean for us to be a prophetic voice, and how we can better avoid being “supernumeraries of the dominant secularist culture.”

    This can seem complex for younger religious, among so many competing voices!

    I’ll look forward to it!

  2. Comment by Mary Lou | 2006/09/27 at 21:34:28

    Cardinal Sean!

    Welcome to the blogospere!

    I am enjoying your blog…and I hope you continue it after your trip!

  3. Comment by Earl King | 2006/09/27 at 21:44:16

    I posted a comment on the wrong day , it was posted on the comment section of Sept 26.

  4. Comment by JOhn Fulham | 2006/09/27 at 21:46:34

    Ignatius had the virtues of a soldier, discipline, toughness, and a competitive spirit. Christ, and Christ’s Vicar, were his commander, and his strength fortified the Faith for all time with a core of steel. A formidable man. Thanks for sharing the Gesu with us.

    God Bless

  5. Comment by Jeff Miller | 2006/09/27 at 22:20:43

    Your Eminence,

    The term normally used is spelled Blogosphere. Though as Catholic bloggers we refer to our corner of it as St. Blogs.

  6. Comment by Matthew Baugh | 2006/09/27 at 22:31:17

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Thank you so much for taking us to the Gesu with you and for these moving words about St. Ignatius and his sons. I am studying in Asia this fall, where the marks of St. Francis Xavier and many other sons of Ignatius are omnipresent, and have begun the process of applying to the Society myself. Thanks for your stirring homily and for praying for the Jesuits. Please also remember those of us in the discernment, application, and formation process in your prayers.

    Yours in the Lord,
    Matthew Baugh

  7. Comment by QuaVadis | 2006/09/27 at 22:32:07

    Fascinating insight of the Gesu’s beauty. On a point of note, the Jesuits have a strong history with Malaysia. In 1548, The Archbishop of Goa, presented the title deed of the chapel of the Mother of God (Madre de Deus) or Our Lady of the Hill (Nossa Senhora do Oiteiro) and now called St. Paul’s church and the hill itself, St. Paul’s Hill, in Melaka to St. Francis Xavier himself, where in this church he preached and said Mass to the Portugese community in Melaka at the time. When he died at the age of 46 on December the 3rd 1552 at the Island of Sancian, off Mainland China, his remains was transported back to Goa via Melaka where it rested in the Chapel chapel from the 22nd of March, 1553 to the 11th of December 1553 before being taken to Goa, its final resting place. To this very day, many come to view the empty grave, which now stands as a Memorial to St. Francis Xavier at St. Paul’s Church and admire this great Missionary who played an important role in spreading the faith to Asia and as proof of the Jesuits work in Malaysia, in the Appointment and Consecration of Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing, a Jesuit himself as the Bishop of Melaka-Johor, Which originally, was an Ancient Diocese founded on the 4 February 1558.

  8. Comment by Lisa Alberghini | 2006/09/27 at 23:11:01

    Cardinal Sean,

    This is the first time I’ve read your blog. It’s very informative…great pictures…fascinating really. There is a lot of both history and inspiration here. Mostly it makes me realize how lucky we are to have you in Boston! Have a great, safe and blessed trip. Lisa

  9. Comment by Leanne | 2006/09/27 at 23:12:07

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    This is the first time I have visited your blog, I will be back for sure! I think its really awesome that youre taking the time to do this. I am 23 years old, and this is the first time I have ever seen any member of the religious post online. It was just a really beautiful entry, with really awesome pictures. But the thing I enjoyed the most, was the reality of your blog. Youre reaching out to a completely different community of people, sharing your experiences and thats awesome. Thank you.

  10. M
    Comment by M | 2006/09/27 at 23:34:53

    Thank you !

  11. Comment by Andrew | 2006/09/27 at 23:53:54

    Your Eminence,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and humour with us. It is great to see someone of your stature practicing the Franciscan simplicity in its fullness. You are truly a great example to all bishops and priests.
    I have found your words and reflections very meaningful and will try to heed your call and the example of St Ignatius in my life. The early Jesuits were truly great examples of what a missionary should be.
    In fact, in Malaysia, where I come from, St Francis Xavier is considered one of the first evangelists to preach the Gospel here when he came with the Portugese conquerers. His empty tomb, where his body was placed before being taken to Goa still stands today in an abandoned Church destroyed during the Dutch invasion of Portugese Malacca.
    I pray that your example will motivate others in the hierarchy to reach out and preach the Gospel using what modern technology has to offer.
    I pray that your visit will be succesful and that God will continue to give you His grace and blessings and keep you in good health of mind and body.

    Please pray for me and the Church, especially the bishop and priests in Penang, Malaysia.

    God bless you.

    Andrew

  12. Comment by Honora | 2006/09/28 at 00:21:16

    Cardinal Sean is online?? Have I died and gone awfully close to Heaven? Welcome!

    Beautiful blog, beautiful pics, beautiful prayers and pleas. I love all the Orders very much, but the Franciscan-based and Ignatian ones top the list; this post, then, is even more a treat.

    I’m grateful for all that you do for the Archdiocese. May God hold and guide you every moment of every day.

  13. Comment by Cynthia Kerr | 2006/09/28 at 01:51:58

    Your Eminence,
    Thank you for your blogging efforts. What a great surprise to be able to communicate in this way with you. I will surely visit your blog regularly. I have found your blog in between to of my ‘power saints’ feast days. St. Pio last Saturday and our dear little St. Therese this coming Sunday. Through the intercession of St. Therese, may all of our prayers be answered. May she continue to bless your vocation and bring you many graces.

  14. Comment by Miguel Vinuesa | 2006/09/28 at 02:40:34

    Your Eminence,

    Thanks a lot for your wonderful blog. Your pictures and your reflections surely are enriching and, as I am a big “fan” of Jesuits, I can’t thank you enough for letting the world see the chiesa del Ges.

    I was only once in Rome, during the beatification of Madre Maravillas, a Spanish Carmelite nun whose strong leadership lead that order to its rebirth in my country, after our civil strife. My trip, unfortunately, did not include the Ges, and now only I realize what I missed.

    Thanks a lot again for your posting and keep it coming, please! I can’t get enough of your wonderful writing…

    Hoping to see you some day in Boston,

    Miguel Vinuesa
    Madrid, Spain.

  15. Comment by Jeannine Veraldi | 2006/09/28 at 02:54:22

    Dear Cardinal Sean, Thank you for your most interesting and inspiring journey blog through the georgous Gesu mother church of the Jesuits in Rome. I attended Mass there on the occasions I was in the Eternal City. I was educated by the Jesuits at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, CA, where I met our late Jesuit Herbert de Souza and worked for him for 18 years. I was privileged to help him and his Jesuits build a communication center in Ahmedabad, India. Thank you for bringing so many beautiful memories back to me. May I wish you much more success in your future bloggings. In His love, Jeannine

  16. Comment by Javier | 2006/09/28 at 02:58:34

    Emminentissimum Cardinal Sean:

    Be very welcome to internet world. I hope this blog may be a good way in order to estimate the problems and the worries of Catholics of the whole world.

    It is necessary much hope in Christ and Mary.

    God bless you!

  17. Comment by Milan | 2006/09/28 at 03:00:57

    Sen, very nice blog. Specially by its contents. I hope every post help us a lot! Thanks and welcome to the Blogosphere! :)

  18. Comment by Greg Rowles OFM Cap | 2006/09/28 at 03:43:38

    Thanks for the pics of the Jesuit Church. The Jesuits work very hard here in Australia in education I think they are underappreciated

    When I pray the Suscipe of Ignatius, I remind myself of the simplicity, the balance, toward which the scriptures call us.

    Take Lord and receive all my liberty.
    My memory, understanding, my entire will.
    All that I have and possess.
    You have given all these things to me, to you I return them.
    Give me only your love and your grace, for that is enough for me.

  19. Comment by Paul Harman, SJ | 2006/09/28 at 08:16:25

    Dear Cardinal Sean:

    Thank you for posting the wonderful homily you gave us at BC on July 31st and for the photos of your visit to the Gesu. We are following your trip to Rome with interest and are grateful to you for sharing it with your flock in Boston.

    Fr. Paul Harman, S.J.
    Rector, Boston College Jesuit Community

  20. Comment by Cabrini | 2006/09/28 at 08:45:15

    What a great blog – thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts. As one of many young adults here in Boston seeking to help rebuild the Church & renew spirituality in today’s community, I hope we can connect with you here if not in the midst of your very busy schedule. Know that you have many who support you in prayer and in their work. God bless.

  21. Comment by Frank | 2006/09/28 at 09:21:11

    Your Eminence,

    It is such a joy an blessing to find that you are on-line now! This is very exciting; God bless you!

  22. Ben
    Comment by Ben | 2006/09/28 at 09:51:36

    Cardinal Sean,
    I have enjoyed your blog very much and I hope that you will continue with it long into the future. I graduated from Boston College and understand completely all you have said about the Jesuits. I have been to Rome. Unfortunately, I have not been to the Gesu. I remember sitting on the steps but I did not know what it was. Now I regreat not going in! Next I will go though.
    Thank you again

  23. Comment by Mary Mackenzie | 2006/09/28 at 09:53:01

    Your Eminence-
    I loved reading your entry about Gesu…and the Jesuits.
    Keep up the great blogging. Blessings on your work for the Church.

  24. KAP
    Comment by KAP | 2006/09/28 at 10:18:11

    +JMJ+
    Your Eminence,
    Thank you for using this technology as it was designed and intended by GOD-Our Father. Your blog is filled with the true blessings of HIS grace and truly inspired by the Holy Spirit. Thank you also for answering HIS call to holiness.

    Thank and praise our Triune GOD!
    May HE continue to bless you, your work, your trip, your archdiocese, and our Church!

  25. Comment by William Jackson | 2006/09/28 at 10:25:15

    Dear Eminence; Thank you for bringing us along on your trip to Rome!! I have enjoyed the pictures and your daily thoughts. I am greatful that you are
    sharing yourself through the internet. As someone who knows you, being my
    pastor, I have had the chance to see how human you are. I pray that those
    who have not had the opportunity to meet you personally will realize how blessed
    we are in Boston to have you. Keep up the excellent work. You are truly a
    gift to the Church, especially the Church in Boston. Looking forward to more of your blog.

    Bill Jackson

  26. Comment by Ginny Allen | 2006/09/28 at 10:36:05

    Just began looking at Spirit Daily last week. After reading an article on mysticism which led me to an article saying that hell was not eternal I was going to stop looking at this site but decided to read your blog. Thank you so much for taking the time to write tis daily letter and share the TRUTH with all of us.
    God Bless You. Ginny Allen

  27. Comment by Gail Marie..JoyfulPilgrim | 2006/09/28 at 11:12:59

    More Blessings in this blog..my first ever looking into a blog…lol GOD IS GOOD. I like the name St. Blog..so cute. Thank you, Thank you,Thank you, for taking to time to share all this with us. God Bless You. You make my day..in fact you made my week..

  28. Comment by Christine Rahner | 2006/09/28 at 11:20:38

    Your Eminence,

    Wonderful blog! I believe you are the first Cardinal to take up residence in St. Blogs so I think that means you are the Ordinary of the Blogsphere.

  29. Comment by Rev Alonso Macias | 2006/09/28 at 11:35:13

    Eminencia:
    Felicidades por este sitio. Sus reflexiones sobre la obra de san Ignacio en el lugar de su sepulcro son excelentes y nos llenan de nostalgia por la ciudad eterna. Dios le guarde.

  30. Comment by Tony Vogrincic | 2006/09/28 at 11:56:52

    Dear Cardinal Sean:
    I love your blogging and I really appreciate your insights, commentaries and pictures of Rome! I visited Rome in May and I was captivated by the city. Your pictures are bringing back a lot of memories of this most beautiful city. I wish I had known of some of the tidbits you mention before I went to Rome, but I appreciate much of the trivia (but certainly not trivial!)

    The one aspect I appreciated on my visit to Rome was the sense that in our era of such mass confusion and the sense that many people have abandoned God, it was conforting to know that such beauty to the glory of God and to our Catholic faith still resonates. I think it’s so important to recognize that we are but one link in the entire history of the world and of the church. Many times I don’t realize this or get too discouraged about the world of today to think it has much relevance. Thanks for your inspiration through your blogging!
    Cheers from Canada. Tony

  31. Comment by Karen Hall | 2006/09/28 at 12:43:38

    Your Eminence,

    I hope you won’t mind that I put your blog on the sidebar of my Jesuit page, as you are a better Jesuit than a great many of the Jesuits I know!

    Thank you so much for sharing that homily. Like others here, I hope you will continue to blog after you return from Rome.

  32. Comment by Dominican Nuns | 2006/09/28 at 12:51:38

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Welcome to blogging!

    Thank you for sharing your trip with us and we hope you’ll be able to continue blogging after you come back home.

    However, we your Dominican cousins feel a little outa place here with all this Franciscan and Jesuit stuff! :-) Please go up to S. Sabina and visit!

    God bless you and please know that you can count on our prayers always!

    The Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ
    http://www.monialesop.blogspot.com
    http://www.nunsopsummit.org

  33. Comment by Fr. John Wronski, S.J. Director of Vocations | 2006/09/28 at 13:13:01

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Thanks very much for your prayers for the Society of Jesus and especially for all the Jesuits in the Archdiocese of Boston. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

  34. Comment by M. J. Doherty | 2006/09/28 at 14:22:46

    Dear Cardinal Sean, I’m enjoying your Roman blog and great photos. Especially appreciated your comment on the inner movement of prayer as it goes from withdrawal into the self to engagement with the world and its needs and the coming of the Kingdom. And could not help but appreciate your extensive description of your visit to the Gesu and your own appreciation of the Jesuits and their mission, especially in universities. We will use excerpts from this to open one of our planning meetings here. (On the humorous side, I see that you are on your own way to a ream of paper….. )

  35. Comment by Marie McMillen | 2006/09/28 at 14:45:43

    Cardinal Sean,
    I enjoyed your pictures of the Gesu! I saw the ceiling in some brochure while I was working in Germany and I was determined to visit the church when I flew to Rome for a weekend. An absolutely beautiful church! (Of course most churches in Rome are!!!) Thank you for reminding me about it and for your work for our CHURCH!! God Bless you!!
    Marie

  36. Comment by brother lesser | 2006/09/28 at 16:03:38

    Dear Cardinal Sean-

    St. Francis longed for martyrdom and indeed received his long-sought desires within his wounds (stigmata).

    I often question what I might do if I had to personally face martyrdom. I spent 30+ years as an Infantry Officer, so death was always in the present tense for me (my own included). But I blush at my own timidity before those men and women who so humbly receive this gift with loving spirits…just as Sister Leonella Sgorbati in Mogadishu this past week.

    God bless you and please continue to “give us this day our daily blog!”

  37. Comment by Fr. Eustace Sequeira SJ | 2006/09/28 at 16:37:00

    Dear Cardinal,
    Congratulations on the brilliant job you are doing in the field of communications… May God reward you for the trouble you are taking, inspite of jetlag and the rest. I am at the Biblicum, and often take visitors to the Gesu… your spiritual pilgrimage doubly enriches any such experience. Thank you very much too for your special friendship with St. Ignatius and the Jesuits… they are certainly still very much in love with God and his Church, and continue to remain so inspite of so many who do not understand what they stand for. Their vow for the Pope and his mission is part of their life and you have encapsuled that desire in your description of the Church of the Gesu. Thank you and may God bless your work and your communications with your Archdiocese.
    Fr. Eustace Sequeira SJ

  38. Comment by Mary Ann Frisoli Harold | 2006/09/28 at 18:00:31

    Dear Cardinal O”Malley,

    What a wonderful chance your diocese has to know you better, to appreciate how you are you using all of your gifts for God!

    Your humor and beautiful descriptive soundings on our faith, our Rome and our Catholic heritage are joy and comfort to read and ponder.

    As we at home, prepare to proclaim our faith Sunday at the Respect Life Walk and Mass with Bishop Irwin, the power of your prayer for us will be upon us.

  39. Comment by Jane | 2006/09/28 at 20:40:35

    Excellent blogging with pictures! I must tell you that when I was in Rome last, attending the canonization of Edith Stein, I went to the Gesu. The place was then being restored, and large sections were cordoned off, allowing a small number to attend services from the pews. I was standing in a small crowd EXACTLY where you are pictured, near the confessional, and coincidentally, I did EXACTLY what you were doing — standing, gazing, amazed at the fresco on the ceiling. I could not see the altar and the ongoing Mass very well, and there was no microphone, so audition was out, but the sacred art provided a visual lectio that I have never forgotten.
    The only other church I visited (besides St. Peter’s and the Lateran) was the Minerva.
    I think your Dominican Sisters from NJ are right: You need to go to the Minerva and pray to Catherine of Sienna — she had a way with bishops and popes, it seems, and there is every reason to believe that she would gladly intercede for you, as well!
    Your blogging certainly makes you very real and human to all of us who are reading it. GOOD idea!!
    Travel well and safely, and our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Jane

  40. Comment by Rosalie Corbo | 2006/09/28 at 22:07:31

    Your Eminence I read in the Boston papers about your blog and was curious to see what you have to say. It is great, thanks you for sharing the information about the Gesu Church and obviously your great esteem for the Jesuits which is shared by my husband, Dorick Corbo as well as myself. We read America Magazine every week. This new plateau you are ascending is bringing you closer to all Boston Catholics – it is time to start being positive and bringing the sun (Son) back to the Boston . I will keep reading and will write again – you have a good sense of humor. Rosalie Corbo

  41. Comment by Anna Rose | 2006/09/28 at 23:35:15

    Thank you Emminence for the beautiful pictures of the Vatican and Church and gardens. In 2004 I went twice to Vatican but still have a lot to see.
    Please continue with your posts.
    God Bless your life.
    AnnaRose

  42. Pat
    Comment by Pat | 2006/09/29 at 07:38:05

    Your Eminence,

    Thank you for starting this blog! Will be checking back to keep up with your travels, and all the other duties and reflections you may write about!

    Keep it coming!

    I call on fellow Catholic bloggers to link to the Cardinal’s blog!

    Peace,
    Pat

  43. Comment by Gail Murphy | 2006/09/29 at 08:03:00

    Dear Cardinal Sean, I knew you’d be “blogging” and I meant to check it out, thanks to the Boston Globe for reminding me and giving the web address. I especially enjoyed your comments on the Jesuits, I’m a BC Grad and I currently work for the Jesuits at Campion Center. When my husband and I were in Rome for the Beatification of Pope John XXIII I made a point of going to the Jesu and I’m glad I did. Thanks also for the inside look at the Vatican. This is a great thing you’re doing. Thanks! Gail Murphy

  44. Comment by glenna | 2006/09/29 at 09:37:34

    Wow. Wonderful to be able to share your time in Rome with you in this way. Of all the churches I saw in Rome, the Gesu stayed with me more than any other except St Peters. Even though many Jesuits have led people in ways that are against what is taught in the Catechism in the last 30 years, that has not been my experience. I’ve been very blessed to know Jesuits who have continued to be faithful to Jesus & his Church & their charism of serving the Holy Father. Unfortunately, they are unrecognized by the media…& even by their own order! My sense is that the men who are in formation now will rediscover the genius of Ignatius.
    In the meantime, I join you, Cardinal Sean, in your prayers for your diocese!

  45. Ann
    Comment by Ann | 2006/09/29 at 12:56:33

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

    Just found your new web-site on SpiritDaily ! Your a Great Teacher and we are truly blessed to be able to read your reflections. Thankyou for all that your doing. God Bless and may the Angels watchover you ! Looking forward to reading more of your experiences and reflections !! Ann

  46. Comment by Ann Melia | 2006/09/29 at 13:54:24

    Cardinal Sean, thank you for a very informative insight into the Jesuits and St. Ignatius. I believe too that Ignatius & Xavier would echo the same sentiments today to all those who teach and run our Catholic Universities. To lead people to the Lord and to act for the greater glory of God, and to teach God’s truth always.

  47. Comment by Julie Ann Brown | 2006/09/30 at 01:05:23

    Thank you for sharing the beauty of your faith and your equally beautiful enthusiastic sharing of your journey to the land of Saint Paul and Saint Peter and those Holy Souls of long ago…Lourdes is another place that transforms us with Our Lady’s energy…

  48. Comment by Fr. Mark Hession | 2006/09/30 at 11:08:39

    Hello: Just a note from Our Lady of Victory on Cape Cod to share our prayers for your and your parishioners tomorrow; paz, Mark

  49. Comment by Chris Clare Williams | 2006/09/30 at 11:54:53

    Thank You for sharing with us the Beauty of your Trip too Rome to encourage us,and show us all that we have many Treaures in our Faith
    Chris Clare

  50. Comment by Carolyn Fording | 2006/09/30 at 11:58:49

    Dear Cardinal Sean,being Catholic for almost 6 months now you brought pictures of beauty of my Faith Alive.
    Blessings, Carolyn

  51. Comment by Shirley St.John | 2006/09/30 at 13:10:06

    Your Emminence, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your whole blog. Although i also visited The Vatican, Rome, and much of Northern Italy in May of 2004, I learned so much more of it’s history from reading your blog. I traveled with a group from Holy Cross Church in Easton, Ma. along with Father Brad Beaup’re and we were slated to see the Pope as soon as we deplaned. However, the security for this visit were changed just before we arrived and we lost the opportunity. The Vatican was nice enough to let us tour the Vatican Gardens to somewhat make up for our disappointment. it was a lovely tour and we took many pictures. Keep up your work, as I totally enjoyed reading it all. God Bless, Shirley St.John, Easton, Ma.

  52. Comment by John Schmit | 2006/09/30 at 14:32:12

    Your Eminence,

    Could you please have your webmaster post in archive your photos from last Saturday on the Feast of St. Pio at SGR? I wanted to show them to some other devotees of St. Pio but I can no longer find them on your blog.

    Thanks for the continued blogging from Rome – the photos and your stories are amazing.

    Regards,

    JCS

  53. Comment by Fr. Willy Raymond, CSC. | 2006/09/30 at 19:20:30

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Greetings from Hollywood. I was transplanted to Hollywood from New England to continue Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton’s work out here in Hollywood.

    Many people here in LA live in the world of blogs and have their own websites. However, for the metropolitan of New England to join this world is an unexpected grace. I have read your blog with delight at the descriptions of Saint Peter’s and the Gesu and the reminder to me that I have missed so much in visting both churches in the past.

    Your sharing of the homily you preached at Boston College on the Feast of Ignatius is what prompted me to send a message of thanks for the challenge to them and all of us to bring the zeal of Francis and Ignatius and Francis Xavier to our work of helping to build a “Civilization of Love.”

    Father Patrick Peyton founded Family Theater and planted its headquarters right here on Sunset Blvd in the middle of Hollywood so he could use the media to spread his message that “The Family that prays together stays together.”

    The media, especially film and the internet that you are now using, are helping to shape our popular culture in profound ways. We are doing our bit out here in Hollywood. Thanks so much for adding your presence and distinguished voice to the many others in this “areopagus” of the 21st century. You and the be=loved Archdiocese of Boston are in our prayers here in Hollywood.

    In Christ,

    Fr. Willy Raymond, CSC.

  54. KR
    Comment by KR | 2006/10/02 at 20:43:53

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Your blog reaches out and touches many of us beyond the Archdiocese of Boston! I’ve been struggling with my faith in the Catholic Church, struggling to find someone I feel comfortable talking with…in some dioceses, it seems the priests are too busy to meet you if you ask (lay administration will tell you who you can and cannot meet with, and some priests themselves are too busy to return phone calls). Just reading your blog somehow makes me feel a little more connected to the Church. Blessings to you.

  55. Comment by Mark Ingoglio | 2006/10/29 at 11:28:12

    IHS

    Your Eminence:

    Thank you for a wonderful presentation on this spiritual giant!

    Saint Ignatius is, hands down, my favorite saint. I have made the Spiritual Exercises in their entirety (19th anotation) under a devout Jesuit master, and have adopted them, however poorly, as a way of life. The lives of the jesuit saints are as familiar to me as the lives of any living person I hold dear.

    I dream to see the places that you present in pictures for myself someday. Family history is such an important part of the human experience, isn’t it?

    Prostrate at the feet of Your Eminence, I am

    The least son of Saint Ignatius, “born out of the natural course”,

    Mark Ingoglio
    Teacher


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