I slept and I dreamed
that life is all joy.
I woke and I saw
that life is all service.
I served and I saw
that service is joy!
(1861 – 1941)]]>
We must love them both —
those whose opinions we share
and those whose opinions we reject,
for both have labored in the search for truth,
and both have helped us in finding it.
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) was born in southern Italy, entered the Dominican Order, and studied under St. Albert the Great at Cologne. He introduced into the study of philosophy and theology the method of carefully weighing opposing points of view before deciding where the preponderance of evidence lay and adapted the philosophy of the pagan Aristotle to the service of Christian theology. His masterwork was the Summa Theologica, but he never finished the work, for after a mystical experience he said: “All that I have written seems to me like so much straw after what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.”]]>
1 Be merciful to me, O God,
because of your constant love.
Because of your great mercy
wipe away my sins!
2 Wash away all my evil
and make me clean from my sin!
3 I recognize my faults;
I am always conscious of my sins.
4 I have sinned against you — only against you —
and done what you consider evil.
So you are right in judging me;
you are justified in condemning me.
5 I have been evil from the day I was born;
from the time I was conceived, I have been sinful.
6 Sincerity and truth are what you require;
fill my mind with your wisdom.
7 Remove my sin, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness;
and though you have crushed me and broken me,
I will be happy once again.
9 Close your eyes to my sins
and wipe out all my evil.
10 Create a pure heart in me, O God,
and put a new and loyal spirit in me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence;
do not take your holy spirit away from me.
12 Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
13 Then I will teach sinners your commands,
and they will turn back to you.
14 Spare my life, O God, and save me,
and I will gladly proclaim your righteousness.
15 Help me to speak, Lord,
and I will praise you.
16 You do not want sacrifices, or I would offer them;
you are not pleased with burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God;
you will not reject a humble and repentant heart.]]>
We should recall that mediocrity has no place in the world view of St Ignatius.
He demands leaders in service to others in building the Kingdom of God –
in the market place of business and ideas, of service, of law and justice, of economics, theology and all areas of human life.
He urges us to work for the greater glory of God because the world desperately needs men and women of competence and conscience who generously give of themselves for others.
PETER-HANS KOLVENBACH, SJ
Peter-Hens Kolvenbach, SJ, a native of the Netherlands, became a Jesuit, studied linguistics, and taught in Lebanon for many years, before becoming head of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. He was elected superior general of the Society of Jesus in 1983. In one of his talks he profiled the ideal graduates of a Jesuit education. The word “Magis” is Latin for “More”.]]>
Teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you
as you deserve;
and not to count the cost;
and not to heed the wounds;
and not to seek for rest;
and not to ask for reward;
Save that of knowing
that I do your will.
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA]]>
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
o Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
FRANCIS OF ASSISI]]>
Love consists in sharing
what one has
and what one is
with those one loves.
Love ought to show itself in deeds
more than in words.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
All beings tremble before violence
All fear death.
All love life.
See yourself in others.
Then whom can you hurt?
What harm can you do?
He who seeks happiness
By hurting those who seek happiness
Will never find happiness.
GOTAMA THE BUDDHA
From the Dhammapada, a scripture of earliest Indian Buddhism attributed to Gotama the Buddha.]]>
At Saint Peter’s, “the prime educational objective must be to form men-and-women-for others … people who cannot even conceive of love of God which does not include love for the least of their neighbors, people convinced that love of God which does not issue in justice for human beings is a farce …
What is difficult is to be good in an evil world, where we are attacked by the egoism of others and the egoism built into the institutions of society…. Evil is overcome only by good, egoism by generosity. It is thus that we must sow justice in our world, substituting love for self-interest as the driving force of society.”
Rev. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus, 1973]]>