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Friday, September 7, 2012

Spirituality: Our Way of Proceeding

Our Way of Proceeding
A summary of Decree #26 of the 34th General Congregation

Jerome Nadal writes that God set Ignatius up as a living example of our way of proceeding. GC 34 suggests that the following characteristics are necessary to draw on today to take in new situations and changing ministries:

1.      Deep personal Love for Jesus Christ
A Jesuit freely gives what he has freely received: the gift of Christ's redeeming love. We bring this counter cultural gift of Christ to a world beguiled by self-centered human fulfillment, extravagance, and soft living, a world that prizes prestige, power and self-sufficiency.

2.      Contemplative in Action
The God of Ignatius is the God who is at work in all things. For a Jesuit, therefore, the initiative must come from the Lord laboring in events and people here and now.

3.      An Apostolic Body in the Church
Even when dispersed, a bond of unity remained strong through the constant communication and writing and especially through the account of conscience. Jesuits today join together because each has heard the call of Christ the King.

4.      In Solidarity with Those Most in Need
Ignatius and his followers began their preaching in poverty. Jesuits today enter into solidarity with the poor, the marginalized, the voiceless whatever our ministry.

5.      Partnership with Others
Partnership and cooperation with others is an essential dimension of our way of proceeding rooted in the realization that to prepare our complex and divided world for the Kingdom requires a plurality of gifts, perspectives, and experiences. Jesuits therefore cooperate with lay women and men in the church along with religious priests and bishops of the local church and all men and women of good will.

6.      Called to Learned Ministry
Ignatius saw the need for learning in the service of the faith and the ministry of the word. A Jesuit embodies in creative tension the Ignatian requirement to use all human means, science, art, learning, natural virtue, with a total reliance on divine grace. In our ministry today we respect and appreciate the good in contemporary culture and critically propose alternatives to the negative aspects of that same culture.

7.      Men Sent, Always Available for New Missions
Our charism is that we might go where needs are not being met. A Jesuit is a man on a mission received from the Holy Father and his superior but ultimately from Christ. We live with an operative freedom: open, adaptable, even eager for any mission that may be given us.

8.      Ever Searching for the Magis
The magis, the greater good, permeates all other Jesuit characteristics. Jesuits are never content with the status quo but are driven to discover, redefine and reach out for the magis.

9.      Conclusion
Our way of proceeding is a way of challenge. 


  1. I am privileged to know several Jesuits who embody these characteristics and have been a great influence on my spiritual life.

    Fr. John, God bless you as well as you give us so much food for thought on a daily basis.

    1. I'm proud of my Jesuit brothers who aspire so boldly to these ideals. Our way is a way of challenge!