The Holy Founder

The Holy Founder
St. Ignatius of Loyola

Welcome the "Reforming the Jesuits" blog.

This blog has the objective of reforming the Jesuits. The logic is first to show that the Jesuits need to be reformed and second to consider the means needed to achieve that end.

Why should non-Jesuits be concerned about reforming the order?
The Jesuit order like any religious order has as an end to serve Christ by serving His Church. The members of the Church have the right to control the quality of the service that it is receiving.

The service that the Catholic faithful receive comes from institutional decisions and from individual Jesuits. Many love the traditional Society of Jesus, her saints, her mysticism, and her history but are dismayed by the direction taken by the current management. Many have been served by pious orthodox Jesuits but are scandalized by others. It seems that there is an identity crisis. The very institution does not know what its ends are. While the documents of the order are clear, institutional discipline has broken down, some members are confused and leaders have refused to lead.


What should be done? Some argue that the Society should be suppressed again. That would be a shame. Given that the name of the Society of Jesus in Spanish is La Compañía de Jesús, maybe what should be preferred is a hostile takeover of the Company. That does not seem possible. During the crazy post VCII days some Orthodox Spanish Jesuits advanced the proposal of the establishment of a reformed ordered following the example of the Carmelites and Trapists, others proposed the foundation of "strict observance" provinces.


This blog aims to apply moral pressure advancing arguments for what seems to be a clear truth: the Jesuits need reformed. Then it invites brain storming looking for possible solutions. Ideas are powerful but prayer is more powerful. We invite readers to pray. Invoke the Jesuit saints.

Followers

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A quote from the Archbishop of Denver

To start the ball rolling. To reform the Jesuits they need to get back to the military ideal. La Compañía de Jesús - as it is called in Spanish - is called a company to express its military ideal. Here is a long quote from the Archbishop of Denver in an address to the USAFA:

Knighthood is an institution with very deep roots in the memory of the Church. Nearly 900 years ago, one of the great monastic reformers of the Church, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, described the ideal Christian knights as Godly men who “shun every excess in clothing and food. They live as brothers in joyful and sober company (with) one heart and one soul. … There is no distinction of persons among them, and deference is shown to merit rather than to noble blood. They rival one another in mutual consideration, and they carry one another’s burdens, thus fulfilling the law of Christ.”ii

Bernard had few illusions about human nature. And he was anything but naïve. Writing at the dawn of the crusading era, in the early 12th century, he was well aware of the greed, vanity, ambition and violence that too often motivated Europe’s warrior class, even in the name of religious faith.

Most of the men who took up the cause of aiding eastern Christians and liberating the Holy Land in the early decades of crusading did so out of genuine zeal for the Cross. But Bernard also knew that many others had mixed or even corrupt and evil motives. In his great essay “In Praise of the New Knighthood” (c. 1136), he outlined the virtues that should shape the vocation of every truly “Christian” knight: humility, austerity, justice, obedience, unselfishness and a single-minded zeal for Jesus Christ in defending the poor, the weak, the Church and persecuted Christians.iii

Our life today may seem very different from life in the 12th century. The Church today asks us to seek mutual respect with people of other religious traditions, and to build common ground for cooperation wherever possible.

But human nature -- our basic hopes, dreams, anxieties and sufferings -- hasn’t really changed. The basic Christian vocation remains the same: to follow Jesus Christ faithfully, and in following Jesus, to defend Christ’s Church and to serve her people zealously, unselfishly and with all our skill. As St. Ignatius Loyola wrote in his “Spiritual Exercises” -- and remember that Ignatius himself was a former soldier -- each of us must choose between two battle standards: the standard of Jesus Christ, humanity’s true King, or the standard of his impostor, the Prince of This World.

There is no neutral ground. C.S. Lewis once said that Christianity is a “fighting religion.” He meant that Christian discipleship has always been -- and remains -- a struggle against the evil within and outside ourselves. This is why the early Church Fathers described Christian life as “spiritual combat.” It’s why they called faithful Christians the “Church Militant” and “soldiers of Christ” in the Sacrament of Confirmation.

The Church needs men and women of courage and Godliness today more than at any time in her history. So does this extraordinary country we call home in this world; a nation that still has an immense reservoir of virtue, decency and people of good will. This is why the

Catholic ideal of knighthood, with its demands of radical discipleship, is still alive and still needed. The essence of Christian knighthood remains the same: sacrificial service rooted in a living Catholic faith.

A new “spirit of knighthood” is what we need now -- unselfish, tireless, devoted disciples willing to face derision and persecution for Jesus Christ. We serve our nation best by serving God first, and by proving our faith with the example of our lives.

end of quote

I propose that to reform the Society first needs to re-establish a Military Mysticism.

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