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”.
And that’s only the guys, Brother Burrito. What about the the Jesuitesses?
Well. we’d just best get use to the Jesuit monogram on the Papal arms. He used it in Buenos Aires too. But “IHS” also was popular among mediaeval Franciscans. Take it away, Fr Dan
More on the Franciscan (and Cistercian – sounds a lot like Frere Rabit) connection with “IHS”.
Add the IBVM or “English Ladies” to the list of Jesuitesses please.
Yes, of course.
The Faithful Companions of Jesus are even more identifiable by their name and emblem.
Burro, is this post due to exhaustion and a low blood sugar count after lenten fasting? 🙂
Re: Golden‘s first link above about ‘Jesuitesses’…..
I remember when reading the biography of St. Ignatius of Loyola, there was a woman who begged Ignatius to form a female Jesuit society. He conceded, albeit with serious reservations. It had hardly begun, with only a few women members, when immediately all kinds of problems (bickering, jealousy, misunderstandings) within the small group prompted the saint to quickly and firmly disband the whole project once and for all! 😉
Centuries later the Order of the Sacred Heart was founded. From Wiki:
“The Society of the Sacred Heart (Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) is a Roman Catholic religious congregation established in France by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat in 1800. Madeleine Sophie Barat founded this organisation as part of her Catholic vision. It has presence in 45 countries. Membership to the Society is restricted to women only. Its members do many works, but focus on education, particularly girls’ education. Because of its origins, educational work, and character, the Society is sometimes considered a female equivalent to the Jesuits, or Society of Jesus.
I watched all episodes of Dad’s Army and they are really funny. I especially like the episode where Pike got his head stuck in the gate.
Kathleen, and Juana of Austria< Queen Mary Tudor's sister-in-law.
Kathleen, was this the lady?
Isabel Roser – yes, that’s the one! (I’d forgotten her name.)
Thanks Golden for this video link to Isabel’s story, mostly taken from her writings. I have just been listening to the whole 54 minute programme (whilst doing some cooking….. no time just to sit down and enjoy ;-)) and I found it really fascinating. It demonstrates so clearly how Isabel’s great love and admiration for Ignatius of Loyola, her almost (one could say) nagging persistence to get her own way to form part of his Order, the Jesuits….. and how then, afterwards, the whole project was a complete failure! Her initial bitterness about this did not last, and to her dying day she maintained a great devotion to the saint.
I didn’t know about Juana of Austria though! You live and learn. 🙂
P.S. Are you a Spanish speaker too?
There’s a 24 page report by journalist Brian Bethune in MacLean’s (a Canadian newsmagazine) this week about Pope Francis. The full article is not yet available on the web, but here are some interesting tidbits:
His relations with the Jesuits have sometimes been cool – he used to refer to himself as “Jorge Bergoglio, priest” rather than “Jorge Bergoglio, SJ.”
He thinks that priests who abuse children should be ‘fired’ (the reporter’s shorthand for laicization, I guess) and charged, but rejects any connection between celibacy and paedophilia: “If a priest is a paedophile, he is so before he becomes a priest.” [In all my thinking about this problem, I’ve never put the non-connection so succinctly.]
Same-sex marriage is, says the Pontiff, “an anthropological reverse”.
And abortion is a question, not of religious dogma, but a political one, because it affects all people, not just Catholics: “Preventing the development of a being that already has the genetic code of a human being is not ethical.”
Pope Francis has also said in the past that the ever-growing trend toward globalization that “makes things uniform is essentially imperialist [and could] become a way of enslaving people”.
Michael Walsh (a papal historian and former Jesuit) says Francis rankled some Argentine Jesuits when he was their Provincial, because he was “extremely strict and fairly conservative, which goes against the grain of the Society”. [The Berrigan brothers, anyone?]
“In personal terms, Francis has a well-earned reputation for holiness and humility. His personal friendships and sense of compassion cut across ideological divides. One of his friends, Clelia Luro, a radical feminist and Catholic who married a prominent former bishop [says] when her husband lay dying, Bergoglio was the only Catholic cleric who went to visit him in hospital…. [He] recently denounced in revolted terms those priests in his diocese who refuse baptism to the children of single mothers.”
St Francis, the patron saint of animals, was said to welcome wild birds into his hands. During the Conclave, several seagulls took turns perching on top of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. “On Wednesday, March 13, for 10 rainy, cold hours, the Sistine seagull was the star of the show. He or she or the three different birds…repeatedly settled on the chimney…always at moments when powerful clouds of either white or black smoke were imminently expected…”
“On all occasions, he talks about Francis of Assisi, simplicity, humility and the power of one person to change the world. He attracts unexpected friends from unexpected places: the day after the papal election, two Hells Angels from Finland [groan!] strolled under his window.”
Yes, I realize there are some who are concerned about Pope Francis possibly changing the course set by Pope Benedict. To a degree, he most certainly will, if only because the liturgy, Benedict’s special quest, doesn’t seem to be his highest priority. The old saying – that a fat pope always follows a thin pope, or vice versa – is apposite. Pope Benedict was a wonderful Pontiff, and we owe him so much. I became a Catholic (confirmed, btw, in a St Francis of Assisi parish with the most majestic carved wooden crucifix I’ve ever laid eyes on) the week before his election (Teresa did, too, I think), and I was thrilled that such a traditionalist would be setting the tone for my formative years in the Church. But Francis is his own man with his own special charisms, and I’m more than mildly optimistic that his personal style will be a great boon to us all.
Chacun à son goût, as my 100 year old Finnish grandmother always used to say 😉
I suppose most of you are at the Vigil Mass as I post this comment? Happy Easter, to all.
“I became a Catholic…the week before his [Pope Benedict’s] election…” should have read ‘a few weeks before’. I was thinking of the fact that I became a Catholic one week before Pope John Paul II passed away.
Bravo, JH (@21:03)!
Great comment. Yes, I have just got in from the Vigil Mass, which considering we now have no Church, and had to use a local civic hall, was very well done. It included the Baptism of twin girls born at my hospital to Polish parents.
Apart from the unconsecrated premises, other things that could have improved the experience would be not ending up sitting next to a pretty young blond woman with a foreign accent, who suffered from fidgeting, and whose pious devotion caused me to be ashamed of mine. During the Eucharistic prayer, as there were no pews or kneelers, she knelt bowed over on the floor sideways on with her head almost in my lap (I was sitting).
Luckily, there were no photographers, but I’m sure tongues have wagged.
Other than that, it was the best Easter Mass I have ever attended, and I walked home on a cloud.
I hope nobody takes my lightweight piece about the SJs too seriously, or gets offended by it. As Rabit guessed, a little hypoglycaemia may have contributed to its off-the-wall style.
Teresa, I am a lifelong fan of Dad’s Army too, but have yet to rewatch the DVD boxed set I got for Christmas two years ago.
Yes, Johnhenry, we were converted in the same year. But now I consider myself an experienced (relatively) Catholic 😉
Just came back from the Vigil Mass, the last regular bus was just gone so I had to take the night bus together with the drunks!
But the Mass was exceptionally beautiful, in Old Rite. Last year I was in the Cathedral, it was also beautiful, just imagine a Gothic Cathedral only lit by candle lights.
Burro, I watched it on youtube and for free… 😀
They used to laugh at my attempts at being a humourist.
Well, they’re not laughing now!
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Nostalgia’s not what it used to be, hey BB?
I do miss Teresa and often wonder how she and her family are doing? God bless her!
Btw, any thoughts yet on the Dr Acker interview?