Tuesday, November 27, 2012

LaSallian meets Ignatius of Loyola

Ignatius of Loyola
Having grown up and having been reared by La Salle through high school and college, it became second nature for me and my co-LaSallistas to simply dislike the boys from the hills of the Katipunan. Now that I'm years removed from college, and having been able to develop friendships with Ateneans (which thankfully enabled me to change my perspective on the so-called "rivalry"), my curiosity regarding 'The Ateneo' has led me to one of the current ironies of my life: spending much time studying the life and works of the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit) himself, Ignatius of Loyola.

How Ignatius met the Lord
Ignatius did not experience a typical, normal childhood. At an early age, he was orphaned due to the tragic death of his parents, and was subsequently taken in by family friends. His encounter as well with God was unlike that of typical church-goers, finding God in probably the most painful and most trying time of his early life. Ignatius, in the middle of battle as a soldier, suffered a very severe leg injury that rendered him immobile and incapacitated. He needed time to recuperate and heal, and it was a toilsome and difficult time in his life. However, in the process of physical recovery, he also found spiritual healing. His isolation from the outside world became the opportune moment for him and the Lord to finally meet intimately. In isolation, he read through writings and accounts of noble saints and their faithful service and devotion to God. He read how they lived and how they served God. He met the Lord in pain through the stories of noble men of faith, and had become the comfort for both his physical and spiritual struggle. However, despite the spiritual awakening, Ignatius’ life experienced further hardship (http://bin.jesuits-chgdet.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Partners_WI03-4_pp16-17.pdf, accessed October 8, 2012).

Struggles and Difficulties
Having decided to equip himself for God, Ignatius studied in Spain and still went through many difficulties. He was abandoned by friends, ridiculed, faced inquiries about his beliefs, and even suffered physical beatings from his detractors (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07639c.htm, accessed October 8, 2012). But through it all, it was his stern spiritual walk with God and the early trials in his life that contributed and inspired the recording, writing, practice and teaching of arguably his major contribution to Christianity, his Spiritual Exercises.

Ramon Ma. Bautista, S.J. records in his book “Hearts Burning: The Consciousness Examen as an Authentic Ignatian Formation in Discerning Love” that Ignatius was a truly passionate man of God. He deeply loved the Lord and gave himself deeply to service of God and for God’s people. Service was his primary goal and priority in life, and it was also what he preached and taught to his followers.
19th century Karshuni manuscript of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Spiritual Exercises
According to Bautista, Ignatius wrote about the following: 1) How God’s servant should give the highest possible glory to God all the time, and 2) highlighted the importance of the centrality of God in one’s life. He wrote about 3) Jesus Christ, about his passion, death and his resurrection, and 4) man's ensuing natural response to his own sinfulness in view of Christ. He also wrote about 5) the joy man would receive and find through the grace of God and by the triumph of Jesus Christ from death.

Ignatius' impact to the Church
The book would be evaluated by Papal censors and was officially approved and commended by Pope Paul III for legitimate ministerial use (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07639c.htm, accessed October 8, 2012). As described by the Pope himself, Ignatius’ work was “...full of piety and holiness and that they are and will be extremely useful and salutary for the spiritual profit of the faithful.” (http://www.jesuit.org/ignatian-spirituality/spiritual-exercises/, accessed October 9, 2012).

Ignatius’ work in the Spiritual Exercises left a great blue print and manual for teachers, missionaries and ministers on how to properly treat their calling as God’s representatives, and leaving believers a very useful guide and reminder on living up to their identity in Christ as workers of the church. Ma. Christina A. Astorga, in her dissertation about Ignatius records that, “In relation to this fundamental engagement of persons in decision making, Ignatian discernment is the distinctive contribution of Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises to humanity and to Christian spirituality.” Indeed, despite a seemingly outdated material, it is amazing to see how the exercises can still be used today by believers, reflecting what it means to truly be a believer and follower of Christ.

As revealed by his work and his life, it seems that even St. La Salle himself, the man of God who championed education and social service to the poor and needy, would benefit much from the teachings and the lifestyle of Ignatius. Maybe, it doesn't always have to be black and white, left or right, or even Green or Blue.

Questions for further discussion
·         Are trials, difficulties and hardships (abandonment by friends and also physical beatings like what Ignatius experienced) essential and a “must have” for church leaders, workers and volunteers?

·         Should church leaders, workers and volunteers follow and submit entirely to his/ her organization’s policies, rules and guidelines in ministry and in personal life, or should they plainly follow scripture? 

·    God desires that his servants simply love him in everything they do, so is love for people even fully essential and necessary in gauging effective ministries? Why/ why not? 

Sources

Astorga, Ma. Christina. Ignatian Discernment: A Critical Contemporary Reading for Christian
Decision Making. ATLA Religion Database EBSCOhost. http://www.search.ebscohost.com (accessed
October 16, 2012).

Bautista, Ramon Ma. Hearts Burning: The Consciousness Examen as an Authentic Ignatian Formation
in Discerning Love. Makati City, Philippines: Bookmark, Inc, 1990.

Link, Mark S.J. “The Life of St. Ignatius Loyola: A Prayerful Introduction.” jesuits-chgdet.org. 
http://bin.jesuits-chgdet.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Partners_WI03-4_pp16-17.pdf (accessed 
October 8, 2012).

Loyola Press. “St. Ignatius Loyola”. http://www.ignatianspirituality.com. 
http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-voices/st-ignatius-loyola/ (accessed October 8, 2012).

Pollen, J.H. “St. Ignatius Loyola”. http://www.newadvent.org. 
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07639c.htm (accessed October 8, 2012).

The Society of Jesus in the United States. “The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola”. http://www.jesuit.org/. http://www.jesuit.org/jesuits/wp-content/uploads/The-Spiritual-Exercises-.pdf (accessed October 9, 2012).

The Society of Jesus in the United States. “Frequently Asked Questions.” http://www.jesuit.org/. http://www.jesuit.org/jesuits/wp-content/uploads/The-Spiritual-Exercises-.pdf (accessed October 9, 2012).

http://www.hmml.org/preservation10/OLM.htm (accesed November 26, 2012).


http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/seil/index.htm (accessed November 26, 2012).

27 comments:

  1. I appreciate your effort Dags! I'm inspired by the life of this man even though we, Evangelicals has biases when it comes to Roman Catholics saints, However this man life shows devotion and commitment to our Lord which is essential daily living of His grace. Somehow, his work about Spiritual Exercises got my attention because there where so many Spiritual Exercises before he wrote one. I just want to know what spiritual exercise book or life of much earlier Christian monk/s that inspired him or gave him idea about this discipline? I just want also to know about your stand on his Spiritual Exercise?


    P.S. Dags, Be careful sa Plagiarism. I can tell that this is a candidate for redo. Before you pass it ask us, those who learned the lesson earlier. Excellent work bro!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Are trials, difficulties and hardships (abandonment by friends and also physical beatings like what Ignatius experienced) essential and a “must have” for church leaders, workers and volunteers?

    It is a "must have" for leaders to have a crisis experience of some sort. Convictions will not be convictions if not tested. I can say that I believe in true love waits, or in servant steward leadership, but if not tested by pretty women and pride, these are just words uttered. Dan Allender, even went farther and said that it will be hard for him to listen to someone who haven't really cried in anguish. Anguish seemed to be a necessity for leaders, for apart from it, there may be no real zeal or sense of urgency for any endeavor. Leaders are driven to bring people from point a to point b, and that requires zeal.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Are trials, difficulties and hardships (abandonment by friends and also physical beatings like what Ignatius experienced) essential and a “must have” for church leaders, workers and volunteers?

    I dont think it's a must have as listening may be the best way to help and be sensitive to those you lead. A pure heart that exalts God alone makes one qualified. An acceptance of our imperfection and our nature of being a sinner gives godly confidence in all things before others. It is impossible that someone does not go through a difficulty anyway and having gone through one with Christ(before being a leader, while being a leader) equips one to be a more effective leader and ambassador of God's mercy and grace.

    Should church leaders, workers and volunteers follow and submit entirely to his/ her organization’s policies, rules and guidelines in ministry and in personal life, or should they plainly follow scripture?

    I think so if there is nothing ungodly about it. But that doesn mean blindly following them all the time. One may need to challenge them transparently as evolution of these policies become necessary. Also, some situations may require diversion from a policy as an expression of grace but that is something that must be approved by authority.

    God desires that his servants simply love him in everything they do, so is love for people even fully essential and necessary in gauging effective ministries? Why/ why not?

    Yes, because that's how God is.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 1. I wouldn't say they are categorically essentials or, as you said, a must-have but they are "needed" for Christians, leader or worker or not, in the sense that that's what allows them to grow. How else would Christians learn to depend on God and His strength and power if we do not know what's it's like to hurt or be weak? In other words, how or in what circumstance would God demonstrate His power if not in trials or hardships? Besides, God said that we will have tribulations in this world, so it's already a given that we all will go through hard times.

    2. Romans 13:1 says we must submit to authorities because they are established by God. Acts 5:29 says we must obey God rather than men? Are they in conflict? No. We submit to authorities but if their rules/policies are against the Bible then we follow God instead.

    3. Yes. Because God did not only said to love Him but to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. 'Di ba they are the two greatest commandments? They go together. You cannot have one without the other. Also, because God also said that the world will know that we (Christians) are His disciples by our love for each other. It means that it's the greatest "tool" or "method" in evangelization--love. But take note, when Jesus said this (somewhere in John), He was not referring to the kind of love we have for ourselves. It's the kind of He demonstrated to us--laying down our lives for others. So yes to answer your question. I even think that it should be the most important (if not the only one) we need in gauging the effectiveness of a ministry.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Dags! This is a good read. I like how you introduced your topic. You can improve this by including the reason why you chose Ignatius for this blog entry.

    I also suggest that you try to be more critical about your research. This would require using other sources that are not from Catholic writings. I have learned most of this in UA&P, which requires us to study a Roman Catholic subject called "Christian Civilization". So it would be good to show other historical accounts about Ignatius to give your paper varying perspectives.

    On the positive note, I like the questions for discussion. It challenges the readers to think about Ignatius in relation to modern day Christians.

    I hope my comments help you improve your paper. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Here are my answers for the discussion questions:
    1. Are trials, difficulties and hardships (abandonment by friends and also physical beatings like what Ignatius experienced) essential and a “must have” for church leaders, workers and volunteers?
    -I don't think that these are a "must have" for leaders, workers and volunteers of the church. Some are experiencing these without being Christian in the first place. The "must have" is the heart to serve the Lord regardless of the cost, which includes suffering.

    2. Should church leaders, workers and volunteers follow and submit entirely to his/ her organization’s policies, rules and guidelines in ministry and in personal life, or should they plainly follow scripture?

    -The policies, rules and guidelines of the organization are all man-made, like Ignatius' "Spiritual Exercises". God's Word should be the guide of all Christians.

    3. God desires that his servants simply love him in everything they do, so is love for people even fully essential and necessary in gauging effective ministries? Why/ why not?

    -Yes. A ministry that doesn't love people doesn't glorify God:

    But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. 35 One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Blogspot is telling me that my answers are too lengthy for one comment space, lol.


    1) Are trials, difficulties and hardships (abandonment by friends and also physical beatings like what Ignatius experienced) essential and a “must have” for church leaders, workers and volunteers?


    “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." (John 15: 18-20a, NIV)

    "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4, NIV)

    First of all, I believe that trials are not requirements for Christians, but certainties. Every Christian will go through trials because of their faith, because we live in a world that rejects Christ by nature.

    In regards to Christian ministry work, trials aren't a prerequisite in the legalistic sense, but rather a Christian worker should rejoice when those difficulties come along because they know that it can develop them into maturity. Trials happen in our lives to spur us towards real joy through the Holy Spirit (and not based on circumstances), enduring faith anchored upon a dependence on God, and to develop spiritual maturity and completeness.

    Just look at the life of Jesus. What would have happened if Jesus had quit after the first trial He encountered? Instead, He chose to draw closer to God and follow His will. He pressed on and endured because He knew that His life, death, and resurrection would ultimately fulfill God's purpose. If the goal of Christians is to be like Christ, that includes sharing in His suffering. When Christian workers go through trials and overcome them by God's power, we see & are conformed to the heart of God and are able to share His wisdom and joy to those who are experiencing the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. 2) Should church leaders, workers and volunteers follow and submit entirely to his/ her organization’s policies, rules and guidelines in ministry and in personal life, or should they plainly follow scripture?


    "Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority" (1 Peter 2:13a, NIV)

    "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." (Romans 13:1)

    "Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good" (Titus 3:1)

    I believe that a church leader/worker/volunteer should submit to the authority of their organization to give respect and glory to God ("for the Lord's sake"). Individually, every Christian worker should strive to be intimate with God and know what is right or wrong based on His Word. When it comes to a point that the organization's policies blatantly go against Scripture, then it should be brought up respectfully to the ones making the policies for consideration. As for the occurrence of "grey areas", rule of thumb is to do what honors God (again, assuming that the Christian worker has an intimate knowledge of God's Word).

    ReplyDelete
  9. 3) God desires that his servants simply love him in everything they do, so is love for people even fully essential and necessary in gauging effective ministries? Why/ why not?

    "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us... We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister." (1 John 4:7-12, 19-21, NIV)

    Christians are called to love people out of our love for God. How can we claim to love God if we don't love others? How then could we be effective ministers to people if we do not show God's love to them? Ministry effectiveness is not only measured numerically but also qualitatively. At the heart of every ministry are individuals whose lives have been touched by God's love. If gauging a ministry's effectiveness is by the spiritual growth of its members, and if they are observed to have a genuine love for people, then I suppose one can say that the ministry is effective. Whether it's love for the lost, rebuking others in love, loving difficult people, if God's love is living and active within the ministry, then God will use that ministry mightily and effectively for His kingdom.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow, users FrodoBrad and cukicrumbs pretty much took the words out of my mouth, hahaha. And I heed cukicrumbs' fair warning of how BlogSpot limits the number of characters per comment, so this will be my first post of three. Here we go.

    My thoughts on...

    TRIALS, HARDSHIPS, AND DIFFICULTIES:

    All of us have been created differently, thus we each have our own respective life experiences. And as Christians, each of us have our own individual walks with the Lord. Now, I do agree that suffering in the faith begets perseverance and stronger faith and maturity, but I believe that those who have not yet experienced suffering but have a genuine relationship with Christ should not be deemed any "lesser" in the faith. I agree with cukicrumbs' statement that as Christians, we are not immune to suffering, but in fact may even be more prone to it, because of what Christ Himself had experienced. It is how we deal with the suffering, when it comes, that strengthens our faith and walk with Christ. My college/young professional Bible study mentor says it best: "In life, you are in either of 3 places: 1) In a storm; 2) Just got through a storm; or 3) About to go into a storm. What matters is where your focus is."

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. My thoughts on...

    MINISTRY GUIDELINES AND PERSONAL LIFE VS. SCRIPTURE:

    Firstly, I believe that the Bible -- which is God's written word -- is true and infallible. It may have been written over 2,000 years ago by human hands who were living in a time and world culture that may differ from ours today, but I believe that the core message is timeless and will always be relevant. Now that I think about it, I think that God inspired people to write the Bible FOR people.

    That being said, as far as church policies and guidelines go, I agree with what FrodoBrad said that these rules and guidelines should be based on nothing but what Scripture says. I believe that there shouldn't be a conflict between church policies and what God says in His word. I think that in itself is self-explanatory.

    Now, for personal life, I believe that God speaks to and deals with each of us individually. But I also believe that He will not go against what He has said in His word. Personally, I have a lot of questions; but God Himself invites us to do just that, because He wants to prove Himself to us, and He wants us to further develop our relationship with Him.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Interesting post. Being both a Lasallian and Atenean, I have respect for both the teachings of La Salle and Ignatius Loyola.

    1. I think it's not necessarily essential or a "must have" but I do agree that it can produce better ministers, leaders and workers for the Lord. Experiences shape who we are and can make us more effective leaders but it is not a requirement per se. On the other hand, Christ says that the Christian walk will result in persecution so this is something we can expect in our lives, although the degree may vary across people, cultures and social status.

    2. I think there's a middle ground solution. Yes, we must follow our leaders because God has put them over us (others have already quoted the appropriate scriptures) BUT we must follow and obey God, before anything else. So, if a rule, guideline, policy or practice clearly goes against anything written in the Bible, then I think we should bring it up to leadership in a polite, respectful and appropriate way (Matthew 18:15 onwards). On the other hand, if it is a grey area or the Bible is unclear on the matter, then I think it is better to follow the organization's leadership.

    3. Yes, it is necessary. I personally believe that one can not say he/she loves God if he does not love the people around him. The Bible says love God with everything you have and love others as you love yourself. Yes, our first priority is to love God but God says to love others as you love yourself. So if you don't love others, how can you say you love God if you don't obey his command?

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My thoughts on...

    LOVING GOD AND LOVING PEOPLE:

    And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."
    Matthew 22:37-40 (ESV)

    When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." He said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep."
    John 21:15-17 (ESV)

    Love God. Love people.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Are trials, difficulties and hardships (abandonment by friends and also physical beatings like what Ignatius experienced) essential and a “must have” for church leaders, workers and volunteers?

    I believe that, much like running a race, there is a need for hardship and difficulty - for it is in those times that you not only get to test your commitment to God and your faith, but it is also a situation that makes your faith stronger. If you are a church leader, a worker, or volunteer, we must take joy in these things because we know that through it we are being grown in our faith in Christ. Rarely it is in the good times that we grow, usually it is in the hardships.

    Should church leaders, workers and volunteers follow and submit entirely to his/ her organization’s policies, rules and guidelines in ministry and in personal life, or should they plainly follow scripture?

    It is an order of importance. We are to follow scripture FIRST. But that doesn't mean that you disregard the rules and policies placed before you by your company or ministry. We should still follow those policies and rules as long as they do not ask us to outright disobey and sin against God. It's one of those things where you should see are you putting the cart before the horse. If you follow Scripture, you will behave in ways that will honor your bosses, will honor others, will work well with others, etc. What it should not become is a place where you go to work and then just sit and pray the whole day without getting any work done, or you just go around and share the gospel all day instead of doing the work assigned to you by your job. We are supposed to pray all the time and share the gospel always, but we must not let that be an excuse for not doing the job that was assigned to us by the job God called us to be in.

    God desires that his servants simply love him in everything they do, so is love for people even fully essential and necessary in gauging effective ministries? Why/ why not?

    1 Corinthians 13. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

    1 John 4:20. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot[a] love God whom he has not seen.

    It is from our love for God that our love for others flow out. If we do ministry without love for others that stems from our love for God, we are merely "doing stuff" and ultimately are left as a guy who is ringing a cow bell annoyingly.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love should be the utmost motivation of all our will, devotion and emotion for God. When one has no love for others the fruit is empty, void and vanity. Jesus often states that "if you love me, you will obey my words." Thus, it was love for Ignatius that challenged him to study and devote all his energy to the Bible. It's also encouraging to see how despite his seemingly many difficulties he took them as a challenge and lived out his life to become one of the greatest champions for Christ.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Are trials, difficulties and hardships (abandonment by friends and also physical beatings like what Ignatius experienced) essential and a “must have” for church leaders, workers and volunteers?

    Ignatius' life was a living testimony as to how he lived his life the moment he committed his life to the Lord. Without these TESTS (trials, difficulties and hardships), we won't hear nor read his TESTimony. Whether we like it or not, these things are but part of our lives as we continue to live a life in accordance to what God wants us to be and to do. Why does God allow trials, difficulties and hardships? For the believers to fully TRUST the Lord and that God's power will be displayed to all people especially those who did not know God.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Are trials, difficulties and hardships (abandonment by friends and also physical beatings like what Ignatius experienced) essential and a “must have” for church leaders, workers and volunteers?

    I would not say it is essential or a must have. My answer would be a NO. But I believe that whether you are a Christian or not, you will suffer. Nobody is exempt. The great difference when you’re a believer in Christ, is that your sufferings, trials, or what have you, especially if they are according to the will of God, are God’s way of shaping you to be conformed to the image of Christ. St. Ignatius' life and his spiritual exercises would be a great example of what the difference is. As we participate in the trials every Christian must pass, we will understand the life giving power of Christ's resurrection. We have a living hope, Jesus Christ. It is through this understanding that we see how equipped we are to go through life and make us even more effective. (Rom.8:38-39 No matter how much we suffer, nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.)

    Should church leaders, workers and volunteers follow and submit entirely to his/ her organization’s policies, rules and guidelines in ministry and in personal life, or should they plainly follow scripture?
    You can never go wrong with scripture, as has often been told of us in homiletics class. As long as you follow the text, you are safe. :) As long as you believe in the theological constants, you're good.

    God desires that his servants simply love him in everything they do, so is love for people even fully essential and necessary in gauging effective ministries? Why/ why not?
    Of course, it is. The whole reason we even know God is because He sent His son to die for ALL of us. He wouldn't have done that if He didn't love us. Jesus made it even clearer when he said to love our neighbors. And then it follows that if we love one another in Christ. If we didn't have love, we wouldn't have unity. Without unity, we wouldn't be able to effectively work together as a ministry.

    ReplyDelete
  20. ·         Are trials, difficulties and hardships (abandonment by friends and also physical beatings like what Ignatius experienced) essential and a “must have” for church leaders, workers and volunteers?

    It's a not so much as a "must have" as it is something that's inevitable. All of us regardless if ur a church worker or not will experience hardships. Those hardships contribute in developing a strong relationship w God.so in that sense I guess it bcomes essential bcos It strengthens our trust and faith in Him. It also bcomes an experience that God allows us to go thru so that church leaders, workers n volunteers can empathize w the people we work w.

    ·         Should church leaders, workers and volunteers follow and submit entirely to his/ her organization’s policies, rules and guidelines in ministry and in personal life, or should they plainly follow scripture? 

    In the first place tingin ko kelangan based on scripture ang guidelines ng organization. If so, Ok lang to follow. As long as it does not go against scripture then I don't think there will be a problem if u follow their rules.

    ·    God desires that his servants simply love him in everything they do, so is love for people even fully essential and necessary in gauging effective ministries? Why/ why not? 

    I guess it is necessary in gauging if effective ung ministry kasi sabi nga sa bible na ul know if ur Jesus' disciples if u love others. Ang ministry is there to serve and minister to people and if u don't love people then what's the purpose? The work will be in vain and will be deemed ineffective. If no love for people lalabas at lalabas un with the way u minister and deal with fellow brothers and sisters.

    ReplyDelete
  21. The 3 things that were pounded in my head during my whole stay in the Ateneo were:
    Magis (excellence),
    Being a "Man for others," and
    "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To God be the Glory)"

    I dunno if all Ignatian schools teach these things, but Ateneo pretty much did a good job in ingraining this in its curriculum. Jesuits, I think, are the most practical, hands-on, and critical of all the Catholic sects. I also think that Jesuits are the closest in doctrine/practice to baptists (but I don't really have proof of that except my experiences with the Jesuits).

    I hope these could help you in your paper. It's another angle, I guess, in trying to understand St. Ignatius. Man for others talaga yan.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Regarding the question as to submit to authorities, i would say that yes we are to submit. but with regards to our statement of faith and practice, it is emphatically to say we should not. simply because we submit to the higher authority,the authority of God. therefore, we who follow him must endure and persevere from any hardship that comes along the way.

    ReplyDelete
  23. 1. Although trials, hardships and difficulties in life will develop spiritual maturity, we cannot make it as a requirement for someone who wish to serve as a volunteer or leader. If God called someone to be a leader and He decided that this person shall not experience that much of trials or hardships, who are we not to allow that person to obey on God's calling?

    2. Case to case basis. Romans 13 commanded us to obey to the authorities put by God but this command should not be in conflict with our obedience to God. If the law or order of the authority is a direct sin against God, then we should not obey that authority.

    3.Yes, because how can we say we love God and cannot love other people? Because we experience His love, we should also love other people. The first and second greatest commandments say it all.

    ReplyDelete
  24. 1. Are trials, difficulties and hardships (abandonment by friends and also physical beatings like what Ignatius experienced) essential and a “must have” for church leaders, workers and volunteers?

    I don't think it falls as a must-have. Sure, we learn from our trials and these can even shape us to be better people but to require it per se would be unnecessary. These difficulties however are essential experiences to bring God's people closer to him.

    2. Should church leaders, workers and volunteers follow and submit entirely to his/ her organization’s policies, rules and guidelines in ministry and in personal life, or should they plainly follow scripture?

    I think it is important to absorb the guidelines of the organization you are part of, but if they go against scripture and personal beliefs, that's when the line needs to be drawn.

    3. God desires that his servants simply love him in everything they do, so is love for people even fully essential and necessary in gauging effective ministries? Why/ why not?

    I think that saying you love God but you don't love others is faulty because love for others follows immediately from a love for God. You cannot cultivate an effective ministry without embracing those around you. Also, Jesus himself said: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

    ReplyDelete
  25. I learned more about Ignatius in this entry than I did in my INTACT (Introduction to Ateneo Culture and Traditions) classes. =) I remember that he did his leg though, the poor guy. Thanks for posting this.

    1. Are trials, difficulties and hardships (abandonment by friends and also physical beatings like what Ignatius experienced) essential and a “must have” for church leaders, workers and volunteers?

    As far as I know, the only "essential/must-have" for church leaders, workers, and volunteers is Jesus Christ. Once that relationship has been formed, which is both justifying and sanctifying, the person is thus catapulted into servant-leadership just like that of Jesus Christ. However, following Jesus and loving Jesus means undergoing trials and the testing and refining of that faith. So while definitely not essential, I do believe these hardships cannot be separated from the life of a Christian.

    2.Should church leaders, workers and volunteers follow and submit entirely to his/ her organization’s policies, rules and guidelines in ministry and in personal life, or should they plainly follow scripture?

    As a general rule, submit to earthly authority, as they are in their offices only by God's grace. As a more specific rule, once these policies go plainly against the prescriptions on the Bible, you are no longer subject to them, because you are always subject to the authority of the Bible -- which is why it's very important to align yourself with an organization that believes and bases its policies in scripture in the first place.

    3. God desires that his servants simply love him in everything they do, so is love for people even fully essential and necessary in gauging effective ministries? Why/ why not?

    I don't think you can love God without loving His people, especially the ones who have yet to know Him in the intimate way that a Christian does.

    So is love for people fully essential?
    No, not as a requirement, but as an outflow of what *is* essential, which is (again) your flourishing relationship with Jesus. When you know Him and when you walk closely with Him, you're not going to be able to stay away from people. It is a consequence, not a pre-requisite.

    Is love for people necessary in gauging effective ministries?
    I don't think one can really gauge "love for people" in a way that would be measurable. You can definitely gauge an effective ministry by its fruits (is it producing disciples that seek after Christ-likeness? Is the fruit of the Spirit present? Is there self-denial and self-sacrifice? Is purity esteemed? etc.), but I don't think you can judge a ministry's "love for people". I think that's something only God can truly see.

    Reading this about Ignatius made me remember A.W. Tozer, too. There was just an incredible amount of thirst for Jesus, regardless of their circumstances and comforts/discomforts. Praying for the same amount (or more!) of hunger and thirst for Jesus in my life.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks everyone who posted their thoughts regarding the discussion questions based on the life of Ignatius of Loyola! May he serve as an example to us all to be men and women after the Lord in service to people with love, and to always endure, persevere in our faith no matter what happens in our lives! God bless you all!

    ReplyDelete