St Stanislaus Kostka SJ

Today is Friday the 13 November, the feast of St Stanislaus Kostka SJ, in the 32nd week of Ordinary Time.  

Tom Bullard and the Nonsuch Singers, perform a setting of ‘Prayer for Travelling’ from Gabriel Jackson’s ‘To the Field of Stars’. As you listen, reflect on your own journey with God…  

Today’s reading is from the second letter of John.  

2 John 4-9

I was overjoyed to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. But now, dear lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment just as you have heard it from the beginning—you must walk in it. Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist! Be on your guard, so that you do not lose what we have worked for, but may receive a full reward. Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.    

Today is the feast day of St Stanislaus Kostka SJ, a ‘saint in a hurry’ whose desire to join the Jesuits has left us with the short yet inspirational life story of a humble and holy young man.  A strong vocation to the priesthood led him to deny the exalted ambitions of his family. In 1567, at the age of 16, with the desire to join the Society of Jesus, he undertook a personal pilgrimage of almost 600 kilometres to simply be considered. Upon acceptance, he and two Jesuit students walked a further 1000 kilometres to Rome to become one of the first novices in Rome that year.   Maybe you know this saint? How does his energy and commitment speak to you?  

John uses the idea of walking to portray a faith filled with purpose. Life as a pilgrimage. Pilgrimage has undertaken a revival in recent years, ancient, as well as newly formed, paths being walked by many, each with their own vision and reason ‘why’. Is there one movement that I am being asked to take today?      

As I listen to the reading again, what feelings or thoughts are raised in my heart and mind?   Stanislaus’ first steps, walking in the truth, led him to the question “What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I do for Christ?”.  How might these questions help me walk through today in accordance to the Commandments of the Father?  

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.