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Michael Maher S.J.Feb 12, 2024 12:00:00 AM1 min read

12 February 2024

Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

During the lifetime of Ignatius, the office of bishop, cardinal and particularly papacy, came with honors and riches. Not that the office itself saw this as a requirement, but those who frequently aspired to the office saw it as a means to an end, the end being living a very good life. The radical nature of the Jesuits was seen in the fact that most of them had University degrees which put them on the path to a nice job with lots of money. Instead, the Jesuits, armed with their university degrees, spent their time teaching young men from Naples how to decline Latin nouns. This surprised lots of people because the actions of the Jesuits seemed  so contrary to the norms of the times. No doubt, Ignatius was familiar with today’s first reading that spoke of the transitional nature of wealth. Certainly, Ignatius did not recommend poverty as a universal norm, and he certainly valued the importance of those who share their wealth to advance the Kingdom of Christ. For Ignatius, as he stated in his First Principle and Foundation, things do not have merit on their own, their value comes form how they help us love God and love our neighbor.