John Predmore, S.J., is a Northeast Province Jesuit and was the pastor of Jordan's English language parish. He studies art and directs BC High's adult spiritual formation programs. Formerly a retreat director in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Ignatian Spirituality is given through guided meditations, weekend-, 8-day, and 30-day Retreats based on The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatian Spirituality serves the contemporary world as people strive to develop a friendship with God.
Friday, September 5, 2014
Spirituality: Pope Francis on Bitterness
I would like to return to
another sign, the sign of bitterness. Once a priest told me, here in Rome:
“But, I see many times we are a Church of angry people, always angry with each
other; we always have something to be angry about.” This leads to sadness and
bitterness: there is no joy. When we find a priest in a diocese who lives with
anger and tension, we think: but this man has vinegar for breakfast. Then, at
lunch, pickled vegetables, and then in the evening some beautiful lemon juice.
His life is not working, because it is the image of a Church of angry people.
Instead, joy is a sign that things are going well. You can be angry: it is even
healthy to get angry once. But the state of ire is not of the Lord and it leads
to sadness and disunity. And in the end, you said “fidelity to God and man.” It
'the same as we said before. It is twofold faithfulness and twofold
transcendence: to be faithful to God is to seek him, to open oneself up to Him
in prayer, remembering that He is faithful one. He cannot deny Himself; he is
always faithful. And then opening oneself to others; it is that empathy, that
respect, that listening, and saying the right word with patience.