Saint Ignatius: priest, theologian, and founder the the Jesuit bespeak passionately functioned for God, saying:

Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to offer you as you deserve;

to give and also not to count the cost, to fight and not come heed the wounds,

to toil and also not to look for for rest… 

– Saint Ignatius, 1500s

Like A Rented Mule

The expression “to work a rented mule” implies gaining your money the end of it with disregard to the mule’s well-being. Most of united state in ministry recognize the commitment and passion in Ignatius’ statement, and many of us work-related ourselves like a rented mule. There room times to work hard and also times to rest (ideally). There are absolutely sacrifices to it is in made in doing church ministry, but sometimes these sacrifices room compounded. It seems somehow the there is a lb of meat to be paid, and also that lb is never ever one of her choosing. The Apostle Paul tells us:

We are tough pressed on every side, however not crushed; perplexed, yet not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, however not destroyed. We always carry about in our body the fatality of Jesus, so the the life that Jesus may likewise be revealed in our body. For we who space alive are constantly being offered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in ours mortal body. So then, fatality is at work-related in us, but life is at job-related in you. – 2 Corinthians 4:8-12

The Apostle Paul also tells united state of his own thorn in the flesh. Martin Luther, Saint Francis, and many others to be buffeted by one i beg your pardon Saint man Vianney simply referred to as “Old Scratch.” If did you do it made a commitment come ministry, climate you know the struggle, the hardship, the warfare, the sacrifice of foregoing a much better paying “gig.”

The disciples claimed “Jesus, we have left every little thing to monitor you.” occasionally you’re asked to walk away from an investment of blood, sweat, and tears the you have actually made over many, countless years; periodically you need to walk far from it all, out into the unknown, just to start again v empty hands. Periodically there is a parting of ways with old friends, i m sorry is heartbreaking. Numerous times you room asked to choose up the not correct pieces, while friend are additionally commanded to pick up the cross and also deny you yourself (yet again), and also to move forward without giving up, giving in, or ending up being embittered. Even the an excellent stuff, which is much more easy to fight for and also to not heed the wounds for, have the right to still leaving you completely exhausted.

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While ns wholeheartedly agree through Saint Ignatius’ passion, and also feel the gravity of his words deep in my bones, the mr is still kind and good, far better to us than we room to ourselves. Saint Francis operated himself prefer a rented mule his entire life. The learned late, after living a life of great austerity, that possibly he had actually been more tough on himself than the lord had ever before intended. ‘


Near the end of his life Francis repented and realized the he should make an excellent apology come “Brother Ass” (his physical body) for exactly how he had treated, or mistreated, or not taken care of bad old “Brother Ass”. Come Father-God you are not simply a rented mule.


There’s one old recovery speak which provides the acrostic HALT. Never acquire too Hungry, as well Angry, too Lonely, or too Tired, for as soon as you carry out you space in a perilous place. We deserve to fight and not heed the wounds, we have the right to toil and also not look for for rest, but at the exact same time our bodies, our emotions and also our personality room vessels for our person. This are presents from God, our vehicle in i beg your pardon to do ministry and as such us must care for our body, our mind, and our human being as finest we can.

Years back I realized that though mine coworkers and also supervisor loved me and also valued my friendship, they no going to collection my meeting for the doctor, or schedule mine vacation, or carry out for me a healthy meal. Even a an excellent friend that is her supervisor might happily let you work-related yourself to death, not realizing just how exhausted you may be.

We must all be reminded that if we occupational ourselves to death, people will be important sad for a couple of weeks, yet then life go on, work and also obligations don’t stop, and people relocate forward, with or there is no you. Ultimately, just you deserve to take care of you. The challenge for me (and probably you) is to do a far better job that taking care of myself.

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Jesus no a devilish taskmaster. Yes, there’s work-related to do, and my dad teach me only one method to work, to work hard. However remember Jesus through his disciples: gentle, instructive, encouraging, patient. The Jesus that told his disciples to “Come aside… and rest a while” (Mark 6:31).

Ask you yourself “How would Jesus law a rented mule?”

 So be kind to bad old “Brother Ass,” if not for yourself, at least for your family and also your congregation. Don’t forget just how God cares because that you. As Francis de Sales said:


The exact same everlasting Father that cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and every day. Either he will shield girlfriend from enduring or provide you unfailing strength to bear it. It is in at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and also imaginings.”