This image is of the nearly 500-year-old logo of the Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Over the last several weeks, I've been working on a logo for this blog, and Ignatius' sunburst will be woven into mine. I can't wait to share it with you :)
Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows how much I love sunrises. It's such a prayerful time for me, and as I type these words, I can see another new day dawning outside my window. To me, sunrises represent the fact that I've lived through another night, I have the change to make this day a great one, no matter what happened yesterday. Our God is a God of second chances, and this gets played out each and every day.
I recently picked up a booklet which summarizes St. Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises. Included in the booklet is an explanation of the Jesuit Seal, shown above.
The sunburst has several layers of significance. On the one hand, it symbolizes the Great Sign seen by Constantine in the sky prior to his victory (October 28, 312), as well as the brilliant visions in which God revealed Himself to St. Ignatius. It can also signify the rising of the sun in the East, which became for the earliest Christians a symbol of the coming of Christ into the world.
The sun as a natural source of energy, life and light is prophetically fulfilled by the Light of the Word, Jesus Christ, so sustains the world and shines upon all corners of the earth. The sunburst is the Glory of God, which all Jesuits strive to reflect in all their endeavors, from the mundane to the spiritual and apostolic.
When was the last time you got up to see the sunrise? Make an effort this week. Weather permitting, you won't be disappointed.