FROM THE PROVINCIAL’S DESK
My dear friends in the Lord, On 19th March we celebrate two important occasions; the Feast of St.Joseph, Patron of the Society of Jesus and the first anniversary of the Installation of Pope Francis. St.Joseph, the silent worker is our model and Patron. He was a man of discernment, constantly looking for God’s will and doing it, even when it went against the grain. Pope Francis has imbibed these qualities.
The temptation to personal aggrandizement is always lurking in the corner and we need to be constantly watchful against it as well as help our brothers to overcome such temptations. May St. Joseph intercede for us and may we emulate the example of Pope Francis and become more pliable instruments in the hand of the Lord for His Greater Glory.
Doing everything for the Greater Glory of God, operationalising the spirit of Magis is precisely what we are trying to achieve through the process of SAP initiated by Fr Changanacherry. One of the things we want to carry forward is the process of greater participation of each and every Jesuit along with each and every community of the Province in searching for, finding and doing God’s will in our various, constantly changing contexts. This will help us “to move from being a ‘community of apostles’ to being an ‘apostolic community’ (Fr. Kolvenbach, The Formation of Jesuits, Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 2003. pg. 156).
This is one of the means to ensure ownership of our apostolic endeavours and move ahead as one body. According to Fr Kolvenbach, “continuing formation and apostolic discernment constitute ‘the twin pillars’ of the Society’s spiritual and apostolic renewal.” Ibid. pg. 147. To achieve this goal of Apostolic Discernment, we would do well to discuss all individual initiatives at the local and district community levels and at the level of the appropriate commission. According to GC 32, “continuing formation is achieved especially through a constant evaluation of and reflection on one’s apostolate in the light of faith and with the help of one’s apostolic community.” D.6, no 19. I’m aware that such a process is bound to delay things. It is much more easy and fast for each individual to deal directly with the Provincial. But then, it may become the work of an individual; respected, perhaps admired, but may not be “owned” as “our” work. I’m sure you
understand the wisdom behind this, our way of proceeding and will bear with inevitable delays.
At the same time, we have to keep in mind situations of emergency. In a situation of emergency, emergency measures must be taken and will be taken. However, we have to beware of treating the whole of life as one continuous emergency.
May the good Lord who has begun this good work in and through us in our Province, bring it to completion by the day of Christ Jesus, Amen!
PS: I strongly urge every member of the Province to once again read meditatively “Continuing Formation as Creative Fidelity”, The Formation of Jesuits, From the Letters of Fr Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ. 2003. Gujarat Sahitya Prakash. Pgs 147-165.
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