Do you know that in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius the word “love” appears very little, almost only at the end? St. Ignatius invites us to pray, to contemplate Jesus in the Gospels and to ask for the grace to “know the Lord who became man for me in order to love him better and follow him more,” but the word LOVE as such only appears when he speaks to us about the Eucharist. St. Ignatius writes: Jesus “instituted the most sacred sacrifice of the Eucharist, as the greatest sign of his love, saying: ‘Take and eat'” (289.)

It is as if St. Ignatius wanted to give all his weight and depth to this word, “Love,” which is often not understood and used without meaning. As if we could only understand what love means at the end of the journey of Jesus’ life, and in the Eucharist. Here he shows us what it really means. It is not a theoretical “love,” or an idea. Love is concrete, it is a relationship with others, through our lives and concrete gestures. This is what St. John shows us when, instead of the Eucharist, he presents us with the “washing of the feet,” Jesus at the service of others, as if he were telling us: “it is the same thing.”

On this feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, the feast of the EYM, let us remember this: that love ought to manifest itself more in deeds than in words. Because, as St Paul says: “If I lack love, I am nothing” (1 Cor 13:1-3.) Thank you for your generosity in the service of EYM.

Frederic Fornos SJ
International Director