The Ignatian Pope

March 13, 2013 § 1 Comment

“Pope Francis, S.J.”

Okay, maybe you’re not supposed to put “S.J.” after the Pope’s name, but I am still shocked and excited. A Jesuit? Everyone is stunned. No one saw this coming. This was most of all a victory for the Holy Spirit, who left us, like Mary, asking, “How can this be?”

My first reaction is not as a teacher, but as a Catholic and a pilgrim, one with eight years of Jesuit education and hundreds of hours of spiritual direction from devoted Jesuits. I don’t know much about Pope Francis, but pretty much every Jesuit I’ve known has been marked by wisdom, compassion, and a great sensitivity to the layeredness of the human condition. No group within the Church has done more to bring me to the feet of Jesus than Jesuits. I do not presume to know what Francis’s program will be for the Church, but I am immensely grateful that he will bring a spirituality marked by the Spiritual Exercises and the Ignatian “way of proceeding” to the See of Peter.

In light of today, I leave you with some wisdom from St. Ignatius, a prayer we say often at Xavier:

The Prayer of Generosity

Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.

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§ One Response to The Ignatian Pope

  • Val says:

    I’m delighted.

    My branch of the family are the rogue Protestants is a very historically Roman Catholic family. We’re split between Boston and Los Angeles, so some of the worst of the dirty laundry for scandal in the Roman Catholic church in the United States has been our local news. There is a general feeling among many (and certainly among many Protestants) that the Roman Catholic church (at least at an administrative level) has lost focus on the centrality of basic tenents of the Christian faith in a variety of different ways for a variety of different reasons. Thus I agree with you for the reasons you stated above, a Jesuit is a beautiful choice.

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