St. Ignatius of Loyola, Rome, Francis Xavier, lifesjourney, peace, humor, life, mindfulness, chris shea, inspirational, spirituality, meditation, James Martin, Jesuit This statue is in the Jesuit headquarters in Rome.

A couple of days ago on July 31, the Catholic calendar listed it as the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).  As I was doing some reflection and meditation based on St. Ignatius’ spiritual exercises,  I came across a post by Fr. James Martin, SJ with this photo of a statue of St. Ignatius found in the Jesuit headquarters in Rome.  Inscribed are the words St. Ignatius said to his friend St. Francis Xavier when Ignatius missioned him to spread the Gospel across the globe: "Ite, Inflammate Omnia!" Translated it reads: “Go and set the world on fire!”  If you look closely to the left of the statue what do you see? Yup! The object back there is a fire extinguisher! Reality is better than fiction.

Finding humor and joy in the moments of every day life is a goal toward which I strive, even if I may not always meet that goal. In a world seemingly full of sadness and pain, finding joy and humor is not easy, but essential!  When we can focus on the present moment and are aware of, mindful, of ourselves and our surrounding, we open ourselves and allow ourselves to see moments of humor amidst all else that is happening in our lives. For this to happen we need to focus and change our view.

How we change our view, our perspective, is something each of us needs to discover in our own life, but if we spend time helping others to laugh, helping those in need, and being able to smile and laugh at ourself; then we will be open to seeing the joy that is already ever-present in our daily lives.

Spend some time reflecting on the command given to St. Francis Xavier  "Ite, Inflammate Omnia!" How can you, in a real way, “Go and set the world on fire!”?  How can you, today, bring joy to another? One of my favorite scripture passages is from the Gospel according to Luke 12:49 where Jesus says "I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled."  How can you kindle that fire of love, service and joy for others?

Keep the flame alive – and an extinguisher close …

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