As part of the Second week, St Ignatius recommends a meditation on the early life of Christ. Here are his points for meditation on the Flight to Egypt.
OF THE FLIGHT TO EGYPT
First Point. First: Herod wanted to kill the Child Jesus, and so killed the Innocents, and before their death the Angel warned Joseph to fly into Egypt: “Arise and take the Child and His Mother, and fly to Egypt.”
Second Point. Second: He departed for Egypt. “Who arising by night departed to Egypt.”
Third Point. Third: He was there until the death of Herod.
Here are Fr Doyle’s reflections on this meditation:
Great as was the poverty of Jesus in the cave at Bethlehem, it was nothing compared to His destitution during the Flight into Egypt. Again this was voluntary and chosen and borne for my sake.
I contrast the obedience of St. Joseph with my obedience. His so prompt, unquestioning, uncomplaining, perfect; mine given so grudgingly, perhaps exterior, but not interior conformity with the will of the Superior. I realise my faults in this matter, and for the future will try to practise the most perfect obedience, even and especially in little things. “The obedient man will speak of victory.” (Proverbs 21, 28.)
COMMENT: Most lay people do not live under “obedience” in the strict sense of the term. But we all have obligations and duties that flow from our place in the world. Holiness is not a nice, abstract idea. It is based on the hard reality of fulfilling our everyday duties, especially when we don’t want to do them. In both Fr Doyle and St Joseph we have the examples of strong, but humble, men who consistently put others before them in the fulfilment of their vocation.