Presentation on theme: "In the documents in our/your experience Barnabas, Anto, Fernando, Jozef European Tertianship Dublin, 18 April 2013."— Presentation transcript:
in the documents in our/your experience Barnabas, Anto, Fernando, Jozef European Tertianship Dublin, 18 April 2013
Outline 1/2 Listen and try gather some insigts from our 4 inputs (10 min each) Put clarifying questions briefly if necessary (5 min) Get handout with a short input for prayer Individual prayer Coffee break chatting... Sharing in the aula: „The value and challenge of obedience understood through my own experience“ What do you tell to Jesus? Sing Halleluia...
Outline 2/2 – INPUTS How it works (BARNABAS) A dynamic of an authentic response to a call How is it understood in the Constitutions and the CN It penetrates all our life (ANTO) It internally builds ourselves and the Society How the core aims and dimensions are commented To grow in an authentic obedience (FERNANDO) A virtue to be reached by practicing it wisely How St. Ignatius explained it to his young contemporaries Our corporate identity and obedience (JOZEF) A basis of our service to the Church and to the Pope How the last GCs and Popes speak about it
547: “All should be strongly dispose themselves to observe obedience and to distinguish themselves in it, not only in the matters of obligation but also in the others, even though nothing else be perceived except an indication of the superior’s will without an expressed command. They should keep in view God our Creator and Lord, for whom such obedience is practiced…” 1. Totally and 2. instantly – 3. in a spirit of love
1, Receiving (without any objection) 2, Giving (without any retention) = 3. “communication?”
Renouncing with blind obedience any contrary opinion and judgment of our own (with the exception of sin) Joyfully employing ourselves in any task Ex. Lifeless body, an old man’s staff three degrees: in regard to the execution, to the willing, to the understanding
Thus in everything they should proceed in a spirit of charity, keeping nothing exterior or interior hidden from the superiors and desiring them to be informed about everything… (551) The account of conscience
– spiritual discernment ? (552 desire-permission, 150 special dialogue, spiritual apostolic discernment, 151 communal and apostolic discernment, consultative body, 154 enter into a sincere dialogue
Comments of the authors
W. A. Barry, Our way of Proceeding… How, in the light of Ignatius’s own practice, obedience should work in Society? In his Memoriale de Câmara writes that Ignatius’s practice with mortified (formed) men was to try to find out what they desired to do, believing that such men were inspired by God just as much as he was. He would then assign them to this task.
B. O’Leary, Sent into the Lord’s vineyard Ignatius understood obedience as central to Jesuit identity. Obedience, with discreta caritas at its core, and mission as its main object, is certainly distinctive of the Jesuit way of proceeding. The chronology and the language through which Ignatius and the First Com. came to obedience – after chastity – suggests that in his mind chastity-obedience constituted a single reality.
Different dimensions of Obedience Ascetical dimension refers to the need for human effort. Mystical dimension is the experience of God in the practice of obedience. Unitive dimension underlines the value of obedience as a unifying element in the body of the Society. Apostolic dimension sees obedience as uniting the Jesuit with the saving will of God for God’s people.
A. de Jear, Together for Mission… The place of obedience in the Constitutions… Despite what is often thought, obedience does not occupy the first place. That is reserved for the end and purpose of the Society, which is the service and praise of God attained by helping souls (The Mission). The Jesuit defines himself as one who is sent. But obedience – according what Ignatius writes in the Constitutions – is an indispensable means to achieve this end and therefore a keystone in the structure of the order.
Inspiration for living the vow of obedience... It is the self-sacrificing love of Christ’s obedience (Phil. 2:8) that is the inspiration and the model of the companion’s obedience. So it is not an ideal that can be realized by our own efforts alone; but it is a grace for which we must pray if we are to receive it and find in it our joy, even if it does from time to time bring on a sort of crucifixion.
How should be understood our obedience? 1. Ignatius was convinced that the mediation of the superior is firmly rooted in the mystery of Christ always at work in the heart of the Church which is his body on the earth. 2. Yet our obedience is neither mechanical nor servile, but rather the outcome of an active and thoughtful search in which mediation is freely accepted and understood as a sign that through it the companion conforms himself with the divine will more than by anything else he could do while following his own will.
3. In this sense, even though St. Ignatius does not speak directly of them in this chapter, dialogue and representations – what a subject thinks and feels – between superior and subject form an essential element in the actual exercise of obedience if we are to discover with great security the will of God (Cf. C. 131, 229, 293, 543…).
St. Ignatius´s letters to Portugal
Letter 1 7 th May 1547 – Students in Coimbra (A los hermanos estudiantes del Colegio de Coimbra) «God, from whom all that is good descends, knows how much consolation and joy I get from knowing how He helps you, both in your academic studies and in your efforts to grow in virtue», 171.
Letter 1 – Students in Coimbra «Disorders in the life of the spirit arise not only from coldness of heart (ailments like tepidity), but also from overheating, as when there is excessive fervour», 177. «If you have great desires to die to yourselves, use these to break your wills and to submit your judgements under the yoke of obedience, rather than in weakening your bodies and hurting yourselves without due moderation, especially now during the time of studies»
Letter 2 14 th January Rector and students of the College in Coimbra «I know that your devotion to the bond of obedience is such that you are consoled in Our Lord by the letters written to you from here. Likewise all of us here are greatly consoled in Our Lord by the good news we hear in Rome of your spiritual growth in learning and in virtue», 199.
Letter to Coimbra «Through Him I ask you also, dear brothers in Jesus Christ Our Lord and God, to make yourselves openfor His coming and His spiritual treasures. This openness comes through purity of heart, true humility, acommon mind among you all, a common desire, and peace (...). In short, my prayer is that you be completely united, indeed simply one entity, in Our Lord Jesus Christ», 200.
Letter to Coimbra Obedience as a chain... from you to Christ, through the means: Student, “minor officials of the house in what pertains to their office, confessor in matters of personal conscience”, Rector, Provincial Superior, General Superior, Pope... «In all superiors, it is Jesus Christ Our Lord whom one acknowledges, for it is to Him and through Him that all obedience should be given whoever it is that people obey», 200.
Letter to Coimbra «Apart from where some matter of sin is in question, or where the understanding simply cannot but recognize something as an error, it is well established that true obedience does not subject only actionsto the Superior, but also wishes; and not only wishes, but also opinions», 201.
Letter to Coimbra «Those people who do things against the intention of the Superior will see, from what has been said, how little they have entered into obedience, even though the things in themselves might be praiseworthy and good, such as mortifications, contemplation and other practices. They are acting in conflict with what has been commanded them; they are following their own wishes rather than those of the Superior» 201.
Letter to Coimbra Disobey is do not listen to the voice of the Lord. Vice of pride / Virtue of humility
«Have faith that Divine Providence is to rule and guide you by such means [obedience to the Superiors], so that you attain greater personal perfection, and give greater help to others», 203.
Prayer Psalm 131 (A song of ascents. Of David.) My heart is not proud, L ORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Israel, put your hope in the L ORD both now and forevermore.
How the last GCs and Popes speak about it
Sources 1965/66, CG 31, d. 17, The life of obedience 1974/75, CG 32, d. 11, The Union of Minds and Hearts 1984, CG 34, d. 11, On having a Proper Attitude of Service in the Church 2008, CG 35, d. 4, Obedience in the Life of the Society of Jesus Popes speaking to Jesuits recently: Paul VI. John Paul II. Benedict XVI. Francis
CG 31 d. 17, The life of obedience „the Society´s renewal in the spirit and practice of obedience“ our o. is apostolic by nature serving Christ in His Church superior representing Christ authority as service (with discerning love) dialog, listening, communication to practice o. with complete availability, perfect obedience procedure in case of objection of conscience o. as a bond of unity- based on charity
Benedict XVI. „This is a „particular“ fidelity, santioned for many of you by a vow of immediate obedience to the Successor of Peter „perinde ac cadaver“. Today, the Church is still particularly in need of this fidelity of yours which constitutes the badge of your Order, in an age when the urgent need is felt to pass on in its integral form to our contemporaries, who are distracted by so many discordant voices...“ (Letter to Fr. Kolvenbach, 10 January 2008)
Benedict XVI. Allocution to the delegates of the GC35, 21 February 2008 Spiritual experience of consolation in the Lord „It was a powerful moment and a moving spiritual experience. In his address, Pope Benedict XVI openly revealed his confidence in the Society of Jesus, as well as his spiritual closeness and deep esteem, in words that touched our hearts, stirring and inspiring our desire to serve the Church in this contemporary world marked “by many complex social, cultural and religious challenges.” (35 GC d. 1, 1)
Benedict XVI. “We recall the consoling experience of encounter with him during GC 35 five years ago, when the Holy Father expressed his confidence in and closeness to the Society of Jesus, and challenged us to “reach the geographical and spiritual places where others do not reach or find it difficult to reach.”... „… In the spirit of the fourth vow that unites the Society in a special way to the Roman Pontiff, let us pray for Pope Benedict XVI, and let us recommit ourselves to the mission which he has entrusted to the Society.” (Fr. Nicolás, Letter to the whole Society, 12 February 2013, on the Resignation of the Pope Benedict)
Francis „... you assure me of your prayers for me and my apostolic ministry as well as your full disposition to continue serving - unconditionally - the Church and the Vicar of Christ...“ „I ask all Jesuits to pray for me and to entrust me to the loving protection of the Virgin Mary, our Mother in heaven,...“ (Letter to Fr. Nicolás, 16 March 2013)
Francis Letter of Fr. Nicolás to the whole Society, 14 March 2013 “The distinguishing mark of our Society is that it is... a companionship... bound to the Roman Pontiff by a special bond of love and service. (Complementary Norms, No. 2, § 2)” „Thus, we share the joy of the whole Church, and at the same time, wish to express our renewed availability to be sent into the vineyard of the Lord, according to the spirit of our special vow of obedience, that so distinctively unites us with the Holy Father (General Congregation 35, Decree 1, No. 17).”
Francis Letter of Fr. Nicolás to the whole Society, 24 March 2013 “The Society continues to be united with the Holy Father in the person of Pope Francis whom we regard as our Superior. As we consider the complex issues and problems that he will have to face, we Jesuits need to reaffirm our support to the Holy Father and offer him – unconditionally – all our resources and help, be that in the theological, scientific, administrative or spiritual areas.”
Francis Letter of Fr. Nicolás to the whole Society, 24 March 2013 “Obedience to the Roman Pontiff urges us once more to listen with open hearts to what he would say about our mission (GC 35, D. 1, n.1) so that, as he himself has suggested, we may be the witness of a life totally dedicated to the service of the Church… and evangelical leaven in the world.“ „On our part, it would be arrogant to pretend that the Pope should confirm all our opinions, as though we as Jesuits were in no need of conversion, correction and spiritual renewal. It is solely from an attitude of humility that we will be able to cooperate in building up a Church poor and for the poor that can grow ever more daily, according to the heart of God and his son Jesus.“
Take the handout and find your place for reflection
Inputs for personal prayer, reflexion and discussion How does the language of the Constitutions strike me now? Have I found God through obedience? Have I experienced God in dealing with superiors? What is God revealing to me (us) about our practice of the vow of obedience? What is my experience of discernment on the part of superiors? Do I find superiors open to hear what my desires are? Do I trust that through openness with superiors God’s will will be discerned? Do I see the account of conscience as an essential of Jesuit obedience? Do I feel the need to make any changes in my behavior in regard to the vow of obedience?
The value and challenge of obedience understood through my own experience
Suscipe Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, All I have and call my own. You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.