Since for the first time in history our Pontiff, Commander in Chief of all Christians, is a Jesuit, this means that, like it or not, we have all been conscripted into that order. This does not mean that we can all put SJ after our name and affect the air of intellectual missionary powerhouses, though.
No, what I suggest we do do is become associates, helpers and enablers of our local Jesuits, performing as stretcher bearers, NAAFI workers, or even a Home Guard role, like these guys:
St Ignatius was a soldier, prior to his conversion, and used his experience from that time to structure his order along military lines. All Jesuits are under strict supervision from their superiors, and ultimately under a vow of obedience to the Pope, but they are encouraged to work alone or in small groups using all of their God-given talents in the service of Our Lord. In this, they rather resemble modern day “special forces” who also work in small teams or alone, behind enemy lines, to hasten the end of the war. Our Malaysian correspondent GC sent us a link to the Jesuit standing orders/rules of engagement from 1975 here. They are well worth a good read.
I asked a religion journalist friend during the Conclave, why we have never had a Jesuit Pope before, and his reply was something like “Coz nobody trusts ’em, innit” (Thanks Damian), which is true. With great freedom comes great responsibility, and at various times in their history, the Jesuits have had to be slapped down from on high for going off piste. They have become the bogeymen of fundamentalists, conspiracy theorists and assorted nutjobs since their inception. Personally, I think they are mostly just misunderstood, and need a hug.
At school I was taught the Prayer of St Ignatius which we said at the beginning of RE lessons. (Thank you Fr Richens!). These were the words we were taught:
Dearest Jesus, teach me to be generous,
To serve Thee as Thou deservest,
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 labour and to seek for no reward,
Save that of knowing that I do Thy Holy Will. Amen.
So, let’s get serious, troops:
A. AttenSHUN. Seek out all unholy things at your location, Christianize, Baptize and convert them all, until further notice.
R. Yessir, Sergeant Burrito, Sir! Hooah!*
A blessed Triduum and Eastertide to you all.
*“Hooah!” is borrowed from the US military. The best definition I have found is that it means anything, other than “No”.