Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Thinking it clearly.

A casual traipse through the Catholic blogosphere* reveals the election of Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, SJ as new Superior General of the Society of Jesus has been met with, er, a very modest (charitable enough?) level of enthusiasm. Given the paucity of Father's writings and pronouncements immediately available online, those which have been found have, in the minds of most Catholic bloggers, not of comfort and joy.

I have made no secret of my initial concern, based on these writings/interviews.

However, in most of these quarters, they Usual Suspects have taken the opportunity of the election of Fr. Nicolás to engage in a giddy, freewheeling spree of Jebbie-bashing. You know the usual howls and imprecations; sing along! "Suppress them!" or "Suppression isn't enough, we need the Inquisition!" or "Someone has slipped hallucinogens into the Pope's beverages."

The usual -- forgive my lack of charity, Lord -- cretinous, troglodyte drivel. To these unfortunates, hurling vile abuse at the Jesuit order is merely the base-minimum requirements of being an Obvious Real Catholic. They ignore not only the history of service the SoJ has given the Church; not only the service of thousands of current Jesuits who labor in steadfast adherence to the Magisterium (enduring, all too often, persecution at the hands of their brethren AND these benighted Orthodoxer Than Thou Catholics); but also all the prayers of people in whose hearts God has planted an admiration and affection for the once and future Jesuits.

To those people for who see the current state of SoJ with alarm and despair: intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee, for whither thou goest, I go; and where thou lodgest, I lodge; thy people are my people, and thy God my God. I know you cannot imagine any solution to all that ails the SoJ that doesn't involve brimstone, but give the Holy Spirit a chance. I know you are not enjoying this Babylonian captivity, but we have to adjust ourselves to God's calendar. The SoJ, and particular its saints, blesseds and martyrs, deserve the help and aid of your prayers...not your derision and scorn.

To those of us who are getting flak from all sides, we must also look within ourselves and wonder what responsibility we bear. Have we been intemperate in dealing with a Jesuit with whom we disagree? Have we let our frustrations overrun our ability to express ourselves charitably? Have we written off any Jesuit(s) as a "hopeless case"? We need to reflect and offer something to God in reparation. We have our fingerprints in this mess as well.

To those among you who are "our" Jesuits: You are not alone. You are held in prayer, more fervently and more closely than you will know or I can express. Do not despair. Do not be troubled when your brethren misguidedly stifle you. 1) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in Heaven, 2) Forgive them, for they REALLY do not know what they do.

To those among you who are emphatically NOT "our" Jesuits -- and whom I assume are reading this more as a function of intelligence-gathering than anything else -- know that you'll be on the receiving end of an onslaught of prayers: that you be forgiven, that you may experience a conversion of love, obedience, charity and humility. Your hearts have been hardened, but they cannot withstand the avalanche of prayers. As surely as the greatest darkness must yield to the light of a tiny candle, may your be illuminated.

To those Jesuits reading this who are "in between" know you are being also prayed for, that you may grow in affection for the Holy Father, adherence to the Magisterium, zeal to bring Christ sacramentally to those who dwell in darkness and receive the wisdom to recognize when your brethren are in error and have the strength to correct them with kindness and love.

To the SoJ which I love so dearly and to which I owe so much: You are prayed over that you may address your problems, beginning with the greatest problem you have: the blindness to problems. You have the blessing of the resources needed to solve them...may you also receive the blessing to see them.

In short, I'M not stopping my praying. Not even if I start with the hemohidrosis.



* Which, admittedly skews to the orthodox/traditional quadrant of the graph


  • At 10:30 PM, January 20, 2008 , Blogger Karen said...

    What Joe said.

  • At 12:03 AM, January 21, 2008 , Blogger Joseph Fromm said...

    I love the thoughtful and original analysis. It adds real intellectual discourse to Jesuit studies. There seems to be a bottle neck at the Superior and College President level that keeps the Provinces public tone a little lefty. However you get a whole different voice from the Jesuits when talking to priests at the high school and parish level. So there must be a "good o'l boy" network that does not allow conservative Jesuits to rise within the ranks.

    Good Luck with Some Have Clerics


  • At 5:39 PM, January 26, 2008 , Blogger Joe said...


    Down here we're very blessed with "our" Jesuits and even our Provincial (we're in the Antilles Province) seems to be made of the good stuff.




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