Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dear God: Thank you.

Those of you who have been following the discussions centering around the collected body of Theological, Ecclesiological and Liturgical works wrought from the keyboards of the lovely and gracious Karen and mine (but also scattered throughout the blogosphere) will benefit greatly from reading this comment in one of them, which I boldly reprint in its entirety because I want all of you to groove mightily therewith it as much as I have. I have, in the interests of discretion, omitted names, pending approval to use them.

X and Y are not alone!

I'm one year away from ordination in the Society of Jesus, which means I've been in a while, and it's certainly far from perfect. Z, believe me, you do not have to inform any young Jesuit of the problems of the Society. We face them daily. And we endure them to live out the vocation that God has called us to, trying to maintain hope and charity in all things. But as a Jesuit I have already been able to work hard in the new evangelization and seek to grow in holiness through a life of prayer and vows, as well as grow in my love of the Church and knowledge of her teachings. Most of all, I've been able to follow the most unlikely but exciting vocation I ever could have imagined.

[Here's the part that just HIT me where I live]

It pains me to read the awful things people say about the Society, not because it's all lies, but because there's much truth in it all. But it's also not fair: there are over 3000 SJ's in America, and most are honest, hardworking priests who love the Church, seek to save souls, and never get in the newspaper or on TV. They say ["say" not "celebrate"...I love this guy already] Mass, hear confessions, teach classes, etc., etc. They are Jesuits, too.

The Jesuits did an extraordinary amount of good in the Church and the world for 400 years. The Pope is keeping us around because he wants, and needs, us to do that again.
[I agree, I believe the Holy Father knows only the Jesuits can do what the Jesuits can do.]

The original point of this thread was a potential Jesuit vocation. The Society is for men God calls to it. It's not about testing ideological winds, or finding the most "perfect," comfortable place to spend one's life, but following God's call, even if it is difficult and less than ideal. For men who love the Church, love the Holy Father, and are zealous for souls, the Jesuits might be the place God is calling you. No doubt, it's not easy, but you can absolutely be faithful to the Church and the charism of St. Ignatius in the Society of Jesus. It is defintely not for everyone, however.

X has generously offered his contact. Mine's _____ Anyone thinking of the Jesuits find out about what we're really all about, and don't listen to all that hating

Amen and AMDG,



  • At 7:50 PM, June 29, 2006 , Blogger Karen said...

    If you get permission to use names, can you add a "me too?" for me?

    I got a similar letter -- did I forward it to you?

    Next question: are K and J alone?

  • At 7:57 PM, June 29, 2006 , Blogger Joe said...

    1- Sure!
    2- Nope.
    3- Please, dear Lord, let it be so.

  • At 11:19 PM, June 29, 2006 , Blogger Mary Martha said...

    As "Z" I have to say that reading that post was a very heartening thing. It is great to hear from a young Jesuit who is so great!

    I think that you and I have a great deal in common Joe... I too am an orthodox Catholic educated by Jesuits (I totally want to borrow your warning sign).

    I can only imagine how hard it must be for young Jesuits to have to deal with the negative opinions some people have about modern Jesuits. But I also think it is very important that they know about them so tha tin their work as Jesuits they can work to counter them.

    Thanks for a great blog, that I have found through this conversation...

  • At 12:36 AM, June 30, 2006 , Blogger Joe said...


    My goal is simple: to have the mess cleaned up. The only way to have that done is to offer, both in communication and prayer, support and encouragement to the men who will have to shoulder the burden and do the actual cleaning up. To that end, I wish to enlist as many people as I can to join me in this effort.

    But nobody ever picks up a mop or broom if they think the place is spotless. The fact some who are beginning to acknowledge there is cleaning up to be done makes my heart soar.

    Not because I get any bizarro schadenfreude jollies from any admission anyone might make, but because it screams to me the patient is going to recover.

    Which is all I have ever wanted in the first place. Almost every Jesuit I have ever come across has been an invaluable help as I stumble, out-of-focusedly towards God. That doesn't mean there hasn't been a Jesuit who has caused me great, undue pain...but I digress.

    So, pray for them, will ya? Even the ones who have all but hopped the fence.



    P.S. Thanks for your very kind words! I'll retaliate by including you in my prayers. ;-)


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