Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Shedding light.

One of the interesting aspects of being a denizen of the blogosphere is that people sometimes, in lieu of leaving something in the combox, will email you and let you know -- often with great vigor and warmth -- where it is exactly that you are wrong.

This is a great public service, as it lets me know where my golf balls, as it were, are landing.

The reason I mention this is because of late there has been some, er, spirited discourse over at Karen's on the matter of the future of the Society of Jesus. At any rate, I was informed by someone who took some slight exception to my views that I am (and I want to get this down verbatim) "retro-hallucinating." By this, it is meant that "my" ideal SoJ is the equivalent of thinking that 1950s America was precisely as depicted by Ozzie & Harriet. Or Leave It To Beaver, your call.

For a picosecond, I pondered if this was true.

Ah, but then I recalled the axiom taught me by the good Jesuit Fathers of my youth: "The actual proves the possible." That is, if such a thing is the product of my hyper-orthodox, giga-conservative mind, then how can we explain a the great number of Jesuits whose writings and actions pretty much square with my thinking on an idealized SoJ? Yesterday I posted in ALB something by a certain Jesuit named Fr. Vincent P. Miceli, SJ. From all I can gather on the late Fr. Miceli, he seems to have been clearly (oh, so verrrrrrrrrry clearly) on the traditionalist/orthodox end of the spectrum, more than any other Jesuit in the last 50 years of whom I'm aware. I mean, this guy teased Fr. Fessio, calling him (Fr. Fessio) a liberal. Stop and ponder that one.

But closer to home, my experience with Jesuits, jointly and severally, aligns closer to my "model" for the SoJ (and informs much of my thinking).

So, basically, how can this be? How can a SoJ that never existed have produced such a specimen as Fr. Miceli?

Now, I grant you that with +/- 20K Jesuits running around, there is going to be a gamut of thought. Fine. Perhaps the SoJ has evolved in such a direction and to such an extent that what I would prefer isn't likely to be manifested. Fine. But what smacks of arrogance and simultaneously of intellectually vacant thinking is telling me I am "retro-hallucinating."