By Br. Matt Wooters, SJ
A Jesuit vocation is all about movement (movimiento: an essential word in discernment!). Jesus touches the depths of our unique selves, and with courage, we respond through action. Jesus drives us out of ourselves and into the world…where He waits for us.
In this video series, I invite you to meet three Jesuits who speak from their heart about their own vocation and the movements of their souls. They highlight three of the most important aspects of Jesuit life: spirituality, mission and community. I invite you to reflect on how these pillars of Jesuit life might be reflected in your own.
Fr. Ryan Duns’ great gift for music drove him out into the world where he discovered that playing can be praying, and that if he can pray through music, then he can also praise through music. Fr. Ryan speaks beautifully about praising God through the very gifts God has given him. St. Ignatius tells us that all of our gifts come from God and should be offered to the service of God and of God’s people.
Br. Mark Mackey has always had a love for the natural world. But it was only a movement from secular scientist to Jesuit brother-environmentalist that he could see new connections between social ills and spiritual ones. Br. Mark beautifully explains how the problems we face on this planet aren’t siloed; rather, they are more connected than we think. This desire responds to the urgent needs of our common home. Complex answers to complex problems inspire Br. Mark in his vocation.
Lastly, we will hear about the communal life of a Jesuit vocation from Michael Pederson, in his fifth year of formation. Michael was doing good and holy work as a lay man, but it was the movement to join our shared community where he has noticed a peace he had previously been lacking. God invites us into relationship, and Michael shares how Jesuit life can give a glimpse into the relationship God desires to have with us.
As you watch these videos, pause to reflect: What stirs in you? What do you notice about Ryan, Mark and Michael’s journey? What excites you? What challenges you? Where do you notice a desire for spirituality, community and service in your life?
These interior movements – or, as Ignatius wrote, our consolations and desolations – are how God speaks to us.
Imagine what we can do together. Do you or someone know feel called to explore Jesuit life? Visit BeAJesuit.org to learn more.
Br. Matt Wooters, SJ is a native of Washington, DC. He joined the Jesuits in 2012 after graduating from John Carroll University. After college, he served for two years with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Belize. His graduate degrees are in Social Work and Theology from Saint Louis University and Santa Clara University, respectively. Br. Matt has spent most of his life working with folks experiencing homelessness, migrants, and those struggling with addiction. He is an open water swimmer, a sometimes podcaster, and a lover of stand-up comedy.