Saginaw. Four years ago I was recruited to go to the Diocese of Saginaw about once a month to be the spiritual director for 9 to 12 priests and parish administrators who wanted regular spiritual direction. After consulting my staff, it seemed like one more way to get the message of the Apostleship of Prayer out and it did indeed lead to retreat and parish mission opportunities. But the work of the Apostleship has greatly increased since then and a change in bishops in Saginaw provided a natural opportunity to end that commitment. So on Monday and Tuesday I went to Saginaw for the last time as a regular spiritual director.
Omaha. Last night I was in Omaha as the speaker at an annual banquet honoring people in the area who are working with the Jesuits there and who embody the ideals of St. Ignatius Loyola. I spoke about the Ignatian and Eucharistic spirituality of the Apostleship. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius culminate in a prayer of surrender (the "Suscipe" or "Take, Lord, Receive") which can be renewed every day by means of the Daily or Morning Offering. It's an act of love--returning love for God's love. As God has given us His very self in Jesus who became flesh in order to offer His flesh on the cross and in the Eucharist, so we return His love by offering our entire selves to Him, one day at a time. This offering is what it means to live a Eucharistic life, joining the offering of ourselves to the perfect offering Jesus made and renews in every Mass.
Northern, IL. Tomorrow I'll be at Marytown in Libertyville, IL for the annual board meeting of the Institute on Religious Life (www.religiouslife.com). In the afternoon I'll drive to the Bellarmine (today's his feast!) Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL. From Friday evening until Sunday noon I'll lead the retreatants in the Spiritual Exercises by means of eight half-hour talks.
Though I've written about my travels, the work of the Apostleship involves so many more people--from my small staff of three full-time and two part-time employees, to all our financial supporters and promoters, to all those people praying with and for us. And our faithful local volunteers who gathered today to send out the annual Fall mailing of our flyer and the leaflet that has Pope Benedict's monthly prayer intentions for 2010.
AMDG. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. All for the greater glory of God!