Please join us in our province prayer.
The Holy Father reminded the delegates to GC 36 that all our discernment occurs in and with the Church, and that this discernment leads us to the greater service of our Lord. As GC36 enters its fifth week, we pray that we can discern well the call of the Lord, in union with the Church, and in particular, deepen our fervor, our zeal, for serving God’s people. That remains always the heart of our “life and mission,” the topic the delegates ponder.
“The magis is the fire, the fervor in action, awakening those who have been dormant. Our saints have always incarnated this fervor. … ‘The Society is zealous,’ as Nadal used to say. To revive the zeal for mission for the greater good of persons in their life and doctrine, I would like to make more concrete these reflections in three points: given that the Society’s way of proceeding for the greater good is accomplished through joy, the cross and through the Church our Mother. We need to look at how we move forward by overcoming the impediments which the enemy of our human nature tries to put in our way when we are in the service of God and seeking the greater good.”
Pope Francis touched on the themes of joy, mercy and discernment as prerequisites for living a Jesuit and Ignatian lifestyle. This offers an opportunity for all of us in the U.S. Central and Southern Province, lay and Jesuits, to examine the presence or absence of joy, mercy and discernment in our daily activities, whether teaching, preaching or administrating.
Joy! “The Jesuit is a servant of the joy of the Gospel …” Are we joyful people? Events in our province – racial violence, political division, flooding and displacement – can be a cause for sadness, yet we are called to be joyful witnesses of the Gospel. Perhaps we can take time this week to ponder whether we are servants of joy in our apostolates.
Mercy “Mercy is not an abstract word, but a lifestyle that places concrete gestures before the word.” Are we merciful? What concrete gestures show that our apostolates (high schools, parishes, retreat houses, etc.) are places of mercy? We might take the opportunity this week to consider the role of mercy in the “faith and justice” mandate of the Society.
Discernment “It’s not enough to think or organize the good, but to do it of the Good Spirit.” Do we discern well both individually and communally? We might call to mind an example of a successful discernment and how we let ourselves be guided by the Good Spirit.
In the months to come our province will examine the ways in which we are being called to respond to GC 36. In many ways the quality of this discernment will depend on the quality of joy, mercy and discernment in our individual lives. Let us pray that each of us be more attentive to each of these.
Follow what's happening at General Congregation 36 on the official website.