Perhaps it was being in the presence of so many Jesuits over the past weekend that stirred a deep gratitude in me for the Jesuits who have had a hand in my own formation.
Each of them in their own way and using their own abilities, have communicated something of the breadth and depth that is the charism of Ignatius of Loyola who had a profound understanding of the intricacies and intimacies of human life lived in passionate relationship with Jesus Christ.
Pedro Arrupe was the Superior General of the Society of Jesus for eighteen years from 1965 until a debilitating stroke required him to be replaced in this position in 1983. He did not find this easy, and for the next ten years until his death in 1991 he suffered greatly.
In the midst of this suffering he wrote the perfect prayer for the disciple of Jesus who is struggling with personal suffering. You might like to share this prayer with them telling them something of the circumstance of suffering that led Arrupe to write this.
“More than ever I find myself in the hands of God.
This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth.
But now there is a difference;
the initiative is entirely with God.
It is indeed a profound spiritual experience
to know and feel myself so totally in God’s hands”.
Fr John, thanks for one of my favourite Jesuits. Your readers may like to share the Arrupe poem that is on my notice board.
Pedro Arrupe SJ
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything. It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
One of the most defining periods in my life was the time I spent at Holy Name Seminary back in the sixties The Jesuit influence was firmly stamped and I have been forever grateful that God gave me that time with them.