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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Framing Prayer 23 Jesuits-God's Glory

Interestingly, all orders have a "character" which means the prayer of the order has a certain characteristic.

For me, for example, character of the Salesians is the love for youth, and the prayers reflect purity of heart.

For the Carmelites, as we have recently seen, the character is the embracing of the Cross, and the prayer is one of joining with Christ in His Passion.

For the Benedictines, the character is humility, a practical humility, and the prayer is one of humble discipline and simplicity.

I see the character of the Jesuits as primarily one of honesty,and the prayer reflects honesty regarding the self, and regarding others. How one is honest with others is through forgiveness.

For me, the Jesuit spirituality moves from the stark honesty of the awareness of one's sins, to the glory of the Resurrection. Even the order's motto, "Ad maiorem Dei gloriam" indicates this self-knowledge of sin, forgiveness and service pointing to giving all things to God for His glory, not for self, not vainglory.

One reason there are so many Jesuit martyrs has to do with this focus on God's glory in the world--one chooses suffering and death for Christ, forgiving others, moving on to glory.
The Resurrection reveals God's glory and service to others, as Christ commanded us to go forth and teach all nations, baptizing, saving souls. This stark commission of Christ may be clearly see in Jesuit spirituality and history.

The list of martyrs includes men from almost every nation. The glory of God is to fill the Earth, if not in peace, than in martyrdom.

Our prayers today could reflect this desire for honesty, forgiveness, service, God's glory.

Ignatius' great but simple prayer could be our own.

Can we laity make this our prayer as well daily in these hard times, and the worst to come?

A good prayer to teach your children, homeschoolers....


Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.