Monday, December 03, 2007

Feast of St. Francis Xavier

If you are unfamiliar with his life read here.

I find the story of St Francis Xavier and the early Jesuits truly amazing.

What the Church needs today is an Order of men who will be willing to travel to the ends of the earth, for the sake of the faith, risking everything for the good of souls. Men who will defend the faith of the Catholic Church, even to the point of laying down theire lives. Who be absolutely loyal to the Pope and the Holy See. Who will inspire in others the same kind of committment, so that when persecution comes they too will stand strong.

He converted thousands and using Latin to celebrate the sacraments too!

Well, the Jesuits are meeting in Rome to pray before electing a new Superior General.


Adulio said...

If you're holding your breath that Jesuits start being Catholic in mass droves, you better stop now.

The Jesuits are so far removed from their founder, that most would be embarrassed that their society was originally founded for the defence of the Catholic church and conversion of Protestants to the true faith.

Andrew said...

I think what we need is the Society of Jesus, Version 2 or SJ2, based on the original Jesuit constitutions and incorporating the oath of Obedience to the Pope. If there exists something like it, I'm sure there'll be droves of people rushing to sign up.

I don't suppose you have the calling of being a religious Founder, Father? =)

I spoke to the Master of Novices for our region some time ago and mentioned that the Jesuits seemed to have strayed very far from their original charism and mission and have, in fact, become anti-Jesuits. Even their legendary obedience has been turned on its head with Jesuits leading the tally of disciplined theologians. In the grandfatherly JPII years, that says a lot.

His response was that in Ignatius' time, there was a need for clarity in the Faith and apologetics had an important role to play because the Faith was not well understood because the Reformers had muddied the waters and sowed doubt and discord. But the times have changed now. That was his response.

I could not help but think that now, more than ever, the clarity of the faith needs to be put forward and the faith explained with the new enemy being ignorance, apathy and secularization in addition to the old enemy of heresy who is actually still around and very much alive.

Anonymous said...

I live in a Jesuit parish on the edge of Europe in a predominantly Muslim country. There is nevertheless strong interest in Christianity among at least some young people and there have been a number of converts. Our Jesuit parish priests have responded to this (1) By introducing a requirement that newcomers to the parish must be interviewed by the senior priest several days before they attend Mass; (2) by discouraging applications for instruction and even suggesting that lay people such as myself might do this job rather than them. Evidently they are afraid of accusations of proselytism. (3)Introducting membership cards for the parish and saying that no one will be admitted to Christmas Mass in particular unless they have such a card.

There has been no consultation on this and enquiries have been treated in an unfriendly and evasive matter, suggesting that the priests either are concerned about security or that "from now on we want only to deal with committed people, not those who are just interested."

Since turning away a Catholic might be a breach of Canon Law, our parish church--which I have attended on and off for more than thirty years--has now been designated "a private chapel" though it has been a parish church since 1924.

St Francis Xavier, pray for your Order and pray too for those who are denied the grace of the church because though they knock on at its door, Jesuits bolt it fast against them.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Thankyou for this and also for the other information you supplied elsewhere.
I can understand the difficulty of the Jesuit Fathers here. What they might be concerned about is the difficulties and even persecution that their people might face. Like so much in our faith it is the motivation, or what lies at the heart that matters.

The first step is prayer, the second step is a discreet conversation with one or two of them.
One never quite knows what is going on behind closed doors, be it good or ill.
Maybe what they really need is your encouragement, if persecution or local hostility is a real possibility, then knowing when has support is important.

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