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As I write this, it is the middle of January, and out my window I see snow and more snow. The beginning of a new year is always very hopeful – a new start, new year’s resolutions, new goals. But, inevitably and predictably, January passes, and each day, rather than being pleased with the progress we have made, we tend to fall back into our old habits. By the time February rolls around, many of us have forgotten all about our unshakeable new resolve on New Year’s Day.

February is a month when many of us could use a little encouragement. St. Ignatius himself knew that a few positive words could go a long way when people are discouraged. In 1533, the Jesuit Superior at Modena was struggling with how to cope with the young Jesuits under his care. St. Ignatius wrote,

I find it interesting that St. Ignatius’ words of encouragement are accompanied by a call to have patience, and a reminder that God will grant us these “solid virtues” when He feels the time is right. We must trust in God’s goodness, wisdom, and providence and keep moving ahead and be open to His plans for us, whether it be January 1 or February 1.

The Jesuits are always encouraged by your kindness and your prayers and continue to remember their friends and benefactors each day.

Barry J. Leidl

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