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the Society of Jesus,
we are servants of Christ's mission. [GC34 15]
The Society has also become a body more diverse than ever before, engaged in a variety of ministries at the crossroads of cultural conflict, social and economic struggles, religious revivalism, and new opportunities for bringing the Good News to peoples all over the world. [GC34 16]
For we have one mission, shared by priests and brothers, and many ministries which we undertake as a service of Jesus Christ and his work of reconciling the world to God. [GC34 23]
Being "friends of the Lord," then, means being "friends with the poor," and we cannot turn aside when our friends are in need. We are a community in solidarity with them because of Christ's preferential love for them. We understand more clearly that the sinfulness of the world, which Christ came to heal, reaches in our time a pitch of intensity through social structures which exclude the poor--the majority of the world's population--from participation in the blessings of God's creation. We see that oppressive poverty breeds a systemic violence against the dignity of men, women, children, and the unborn which cannot be tolerated in the Kingdom willed by God. These are the signs of the times which call us to realize that "God has always been the God of the poor because the poor are the visible proof of a failure in the work of creation." [GC34 34]
Ours is a service of faith and of the radical implications of faith in a world where it is becoming easier to settle for something less than faith and less than justice. We recognize, along with many of our contemporaries, that without faith, without the eye of love, the human world seems too evil for God to be good, for a good God to exist. But faith recognizes that God is acting, through Christ's love and the power of the Holy Spirit, to destroy the structures of sin which afflict the bodies and hearts of his children. Our Jesuit mission touches something fundamental in the human heart: the desire to find God in a world scarred by sin, and then to live by his Gospel in all its implications. This, the instinct to live fully in God's love and thereby to promote a shared, lasting human good, is what we address by our vocation to serve faith and promote the justice of God's Kingdom. Jesus Christ invites us, and through us the people we serve, to move, in conversion of heart, "from solidarity with sin to solidarity with him for humanity," and to promote the Kingdom in all its aspects. [GC34 36]
Today we realize clearly:
No service of faith without
No promotion of justice without
No inculturation without
No dialogue without
In the light of these reflections, we can now say of our contemporary mission that the faith that does justice is, inseparably, the faith that engages other traditions in dialogue, and the faith that evangelizes culture. [GC34 49]
Taken from "Servants of Christ on Mission," Decree 2 of the Documents of the 34th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus
believe that our life as Jesuits is such an extraordinary life, we want
to share with you as much as we can, so that you might consider this life,
as a possibility.
Why is it an extraordinary life?
There are many wonderful ways for Christians to fulfil their baptismal promises to be one with Jesus, in a life for others.
Our life isn't always considered as a real possibility. We are proud to tell you, it is an extraordinary life, we love it, and we invite you to consider it for your life.
We are called together in community to be men on a mission. Our formation tests us and prepares us for our life of service with a spirituality rooted in Jesus.
Trying to respond to the call to place ourselves with Jesus as his companions, in his mission from God, we are called to a heroic life. But there is tremendous joy and fulfillment in giving ourselves to such a mission.
It is a worthwhile life because what is at stake is so big. We commit ourselves to help Jesus in God's salvation of the world. We want people to know the Good News. We commit ourselves to cultural and interreligious dialogue because we want to be where God's grace is most active today. And we place ourselves with the poor, who keep giving passion and urgency to our mission. We know that helping people come to know God will also call them to work for justice.
And, our experience of how God works within us as a community of companions, calls us to collaborative partnerships in all we do. In all our ministries, we work side by side with other gifted women and men - calling forth each other's gifts for mission.
We are so committed to service that we take liberating vows, to more completely free us for service.
We take a vow of Poverty because we want to be free from the pull of consumerism, and from any possibility of building our identity around what we have. We have everything we need for mission, but nothing we have is ours.
We take a vow of Chastity because we want to be free to give our time, our energy, our affection to those we serve. And, we want to be free to go anywhere, and do anything, as we are needed.
We take a vow of Obedience because we want to be free from an individual career, to make a difference in a mission so much bigger than anything we could ever do alone.
It is a wonderful life. We have come to know that Jesus was right when he told us that we would really find our life by losing it.
If any part of this invitation is attractive, inspiring, or even stirs some deeper questions in you, please follow those movements of the Spirit within you. Check out the links to the right, and give God's grace an opening in your heart.
- Andy Alexander, S.J.
Consider making the Online Retreat in Everyday Life. It is patterned on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Consider asking a Jesuit to be your spiritual director while you make this retreat. It can offer real spiritual freedom to make an important choice about a particular vocation, and how to live one's life within that calling.
Contact us in the Wisconsin Province.
and Women for Others
with Each Other in Mission
the World of Jesuits and their friends.
"The Jesuit vocation means living the Gospel message fully, generously, perhaps even heroically.
It is not an
Prayer for Generosity
teach me to be generous.
Kneeling before our Lord, Jesus, on the Cross - giving his entire self for me, and for my salvation, I ask myself:
What have I done for Christ?
What am I doing for Christ?
What should I do for Christ?
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