I ask for the grace to realize how God has shown God’s love for me through the Society of Jesus, with all her gifts and challenges.
Address of Benedict XVI to the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus on February 21, 2008:
As my predecessors have often told you, the Church needs you, counts on you, and continues to turn to you with confidence, particularly to reach the geographical and spiritual places where others do not reach or find it difficult to reach. Those words of Paul VI have remained engraved in your hearts: “Wherever in the Church, even in the most difficult and exposed fields, in the crossroads of ideologies, in the social trenches, there has been or is confrontation between the burning exigencies of humanity and the perennial message of the Gospel, there have been and are the Jesuits.” (Paul VI quotation from December 3, 1974, to the 32nd General Congregation)
From the letter “To the Jesuits in Parish Ministry” in Japan by Jesuit Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, 29th Superior General of the Society of Jesus, on August 27, 2005:
Collaboration also means openness to … collaborative ministry with lay people, priests and religious. This new vision of empowerment, delegating, forming for responsibility and teamwork are needed basic attitudes. Working together as a team among ourselves as Jesuits and collaborating in mission with others requires a deep continual conversion. This is true for us, Jesuits, as well as for all those who share our mission. We are called to learn to work together as a team, to discover new styles of leadership, and to share the same mission. Deeply ingrained attitudes from years of living and working alone … truly make this challenge harder.
How is it that billions of stars can fly the heaven more speedily than light? Because an all-powerful Christ gives them being. Not once for all, but continuously, day after day. How is it that four thousand varieties of roses can grow and perfume our earth? Because an imaginative Christ gives them life. How is it that your long-haired Labrador can look hungrily at you, hear your faintest whistle, lay paws on your shoulders? Because a sensitive Christ gives it senses. How is it that you can shape an idea, construct the Capitol, transplant a human heart? Because a still human Christ gives you intelligence. How can you believe that the Son of God died a bloody death for you, how you can confidently expect to live forever, how can you give yourself unreservedly to God and to your sisters and brothers? Because a living Christ infuses faith in you, fills your flesh with hope, inflames your very bones with a unique love not of this world.
— Walter Burghardt, SJ
Clockwise from top left: The Jesuit Center in Wernersville, Penn,; Holy Name of Jesus Parish in New Orleans; the
Chapel of St. Ignatius at Seattle University; and Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory of Houston.
View the daily readings at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website.