Weekend Reflections for 5/4/18
Have you ever wondered about the similarities and differences among religious orders in the Church? For example, what is similar, and what is different about the Jesuit and Dominican orders? A joke puts it this way:
"Well, they were both founded by Spaniards, St. Dominic Guzman founded the Dominicans, and St. Ignatius of Loyola founded the Jesuits.
The story continues: "They were also both founded to combat heresy: the Dominicans to convert the 13th century Albigensians, and the Jesuits to convert the 16th century Protestants."
And the punch line asks: "What is different about the Jesuit and Dominican Orders? Well, have you met any Albigensians lately?"
The Dominican motto of "veritas," "truth," compels this Jesuit to speak the truth that the Jesuits were NOT founded to convert the Protestants, as the joke claims. Rather, our foundational documents describe Jesuit ministry not as combat or battle nor even debate, but as "reconciling the estranged...and works of charity according to what will seem expedient for the glory of God and the common good." For example, the three Jesuits sent to the Council of Trent in 1546 at papal request received clear instructions from Ignatius to enter into reconciliatory dialog and shun combative debate.[i]
This reconciliation is a foundational aspect of all Jesuit ministries. Our last three "General Congregations" have specified three aspects of our mission as responses to three calls:
1st call: reconciliation with God
2nd call: reconciliation with humanity
3rd call: reconciliation with creation.
Since you are personally involved in the Jesuit Mission through your participation in the Spiritual Exercises at White House Jesuit retreats, in the coming week you might join us and make a kind of "reconciliation examen," asking yourself, and maybe also asking others around you, "how am I, how are we called here and now to grow in responding to these three calls to reconciliation?"
In the next 4 weeks we'll develop some further reflections on our common ministries of reconciliation, maybe even between Jesuits and Dominicans!
-Fr. Ted Arroyo, S.J.