"Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves."
The apostolate of souls has been carried on age after age by the faithful servants of the Lord.
One of these was Ignatius of Loyola, who, with little learning, for he was but a soldier, without any temporal means, for he had forsaken all things, went forth to raise in a new and special manner the standard of Jesus in the midst of His enemies.
Have I listened to his burning words
in vain? Have I refused to follow that standard?
"Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves."
These words were wonderfully illustrated by this great saint. He trained his followers, the Company of Jesus, to become wise and prudent, that they might gain souls; and humble and gentle as little children, that they might perfect their own lives, and become in all things like Him they preached.
Such was the saint himself, wise and prudent beyond measure, but rooted in humility and contempt of the world. Are you walking in that path?
.*'And you shall be brought before governors and before kings, for My sake."
And this was the glorious heritage St. Ignatius won for his "Company." Never during its whole history has persecution ceased.
Our Lord did not fear the hatred of men, neither did this great saint, who drank in so deeply the lessons of his Divine Master. And thus his order, the Company of Jesus, has remained faithful to its constitutions, its traditions, its spirit, because it is ever being purified by the fire of persecution.
Do not, then, be cowardly in God's service. Ask, by the intercession of St. Ignatius, for an intrepid heart and persevering courage to follow Jesus, despising the world.