Extended Council - Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament
Extended Council - Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament
At the end of the first day of Father General's Enlarged Council, a day dedicated to prayer, the members of the Council, joined by members of the community of the General Curia, prayed for one hour before the Blessed Sacrament. They invoked the lights of the Holy Spirit.
They nourished their meditation with excerpts from three letters of Father General. We invite you to pray from these same texts.
1: Our Life is Mission, Mission is our Life (10th July 2017)
In his letter to the Society on reconciliation, Fr. Nicolás posed some questions which continue to inspire our discernment: Where is God suffering today in the world? How is God working in the hearts of all peoples to relieve the unbearable suffering of others? To which sources of Life can we turn so as to heal so much death and to restore the bonds between groups and persons who exclude and who are violently excluded?
Gathering together all the calls that have been received from each and every one of the Society’s apostolic units, and following the promptings of the Spirit to the Society assembled in General Congregation, our eyes are turned to Christ crucified in those who are crucified today. Our gaze, like that of the Trinity, becomes loving action that is embodied in service that seeks to free people from their crosses. Such service disposes us for an apostolic renewal founded on hope able to make a real impact on human lives, especially the lives of the poor, the defenceless, and the smallest.
Beholding the Jesus who heals, liberates, and dedicates his whole life to the announcement of the Good News, we dispose ourselves as his companions to discern in common the ways in which we can best participate in his work. We recognize, however, that to do this, we need to understand to the best of our ability the world in which we live, so as to ascertain our best possible contribution to the three inseparable dimensions of reconciliation proposed by General Congregations 35 and 36: reconciliation with God, reconciliation with human beings, and reconciliation with creation.
2: On Discernment in Common (27th Sept. 2017)
Prayer in common is another requirement for good discernment. The group that proposes to discern in common should find ways and spaces for personal and communal prayer, in accord with its particular characteristics. Personal prayer and communal prayer maintain a healthy tension between heaven and earth as we seek the magis that derives from our relationship with God and his Word. Such prayer helps us to keep in mind that as a body we are servants of the missio Dei. The Eucharist is the privileged mode of prayer in common. Thus it may have special significance and a central role in the processes of discernment in common. A community or a group that is able to celebrate the Eucharist as a source of life in the Spirit increases its ability to perceive the action of the Spirit in history and to experience how the Lord fulfills his promise to be with us all days until the end of history.3: Discernment of Apostolic Preferences (
3rd Oct. 2017)
The apostolic preferences have been above all the Society’s response to the needs of the Church, consistent with the charism of the Society and the resources available to it. They have expressed and should still express in concrete terms our readiness, as a universal apostolic body, to work beneath the banner of the cross, to serve the Lord alone and the Church, his spouse, under the Roman Pontiff.Thus, apostolic preferences create for us the tension of seeking the most universal good as the ultimate goal of the numerous apostolic activities the Society carries out.
Moreover, as we continually renew our interior freedom through the spiritual life we share with other Jesuits and with our companions in the mission, the universal apostolic preferences become a horizonfor the discernment in common which helps to guide and orient the apostolic planning of the Society’s resources at all levels.
The universal apostolic preferences, therefore, have been and are precisely what their name signifies: points of referencefor the whole Society, that inspire its discernment in common and its apostolic planning at all levels of our life-mission. At the same time they are a guide for restructuring the Society’s governance and for creating working networks, both among ourselves and with others, in this same ministry of reconciliation.
We are all too well aware of the disproportion between the needs of humanity which the Church seeks to meet and the resources we have at hand. The preferencesprovide us guidanceabout how to use those resources effectively, without dispersing them, so that they serve the greater glory of God,which has been the Society’s aim since its foundation. The preferences do not establish a hierarchy of the needs of humanity or of the Church, but they do indicate the best ways for the Society to make use of the resources it has available for the service of Christ’s reconciling mission in the world.
Daily prayer with the Extended Council - January 7, 2019
PRAYER – ORACIÓN – PRIÊRE – PREGHIERA – Monday, January 7, 2019
“Yo quiero que tu nos sirvas”
“I want that you serve us”
Veni, Sancte Spiritus…
-Come from the four winds, O Spirit, come breath of God.
Disperse the shadows over us, renew and strengthen your people.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus
Ven dulce huésped del alma, Descanso de nuestro esfuerzo;
Tregua en el duro trabajo, brisa en las horas d fuego.
Gozo que enjuga las lágrimas y reconforta en los duelos.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus
Del Padre Pedro Arrupe a la CG 31.
“Cuidada toda ambición de centralización, es necesaria una común planificación que muestre la unidad en la obra estratégica. En esta coordenada unidad se encuentra la raíz especial de la potencialidad para disponer la obra apostólica de un modo eficacísimo”.
“En esto nuestra Compañía tiene una posibilidad extraordinaria y mucho dudo que otras Instituciones puedan superar en este campo a nuestra Compañía. Si hay capacidad y oportunidad, hay también responsabilidad. Se nos abre aquí un campo dilatado para una sincera colaboración.”
From Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, to the new Province of Spain, June 21st, 2014.
[…] Even when our structures have been very good ones, they are structures that started 500 years ago. It’s enough! It’s time to put the Society of Jesus in a state or creativity to answer the new times. We are living in times of lots of ambiguity, complexity, and they are asking for a change or structures.
Oremos; prions; let us pray; preghiamo.
Para que el enemigo de la natura humana no nos robe la alegría: la alegría de evangelizar, la alegría de la familia, la alegría de la Iglesia, la alegría de la creación… Que no nos la robe ni por desesperanza ante la magnitud de los males del mundo y los malentendidos entre los que quieren hacer el bien, ni nos la reemplace con las alegrías fatuas que estás siempre al alcance de la mano en cualquier comercio.
Señor, escucha nuestra oración
Pour que nous fassions l’expérience de la miséricorde comme force de guérison dans nos plaies à vif, comme personnes et comme corps, abandonnant la peur de nous laisser émouvoir par l’immensité des souffrances de nos frères et sœurs et marchant patiemment avec le peuple, en apprenant de lui la meilleure manière de l’aider et de le servir.
For the Society of Jesus, so that we can have the face, the way of speaking, and the way of being of all peoples, all cultures, by inserting ourselves into all of them, into the specific heart of each people, to build up the Church with each of them, by inculturating the Gospel and evangelizing every culture.
Lord, graciously hear us.
Daily prayer with the Extended Council - January 8, 2019
PRAYER – ORACIÓN – PRIÊRE – PREGHIERA – Tuesday, January 8, 2019
In omnibus amare et servire Domino
In everything love and serve the Lord
From the letter of Fr Arturo Sosa on Life-Mission, 1Oth July 2017:
Gathering together all the calls that have been received from each and every one of the Society’s apostolic units, and following the promptings of the Spirit to the Society assembled in General Congregation, our eyes are turned to Christ crucified in those who are crucified today. Our gaze, like that of the Trinity, becomes loving action that is embodied in service that seeks to free people from their crosses. Such service disposes us for an apostolic renewal founded on hope able to make a real impact on human lives, especially the lives of the poor, the defenseless, and the smallest.
De la carta del P. Arturo Sosa sobre la Vida-Misión, del 10 de julio de 2017:
Recogiendo las llamadas, percibidas por todas y cada una de las unidades apostólicas de la Compañía, y siguiendo el impulse del Espíritu a la Compañía reunida en Congragación General, nuestra mirada se dirige a Cristo crucificado en los crucificados de hoy. Una mirada que, como la de la Trinidad, se convierte en acción amorosa encarnada en el servicio que busca la liberación de tales cruces y, en consecuencia, nos dispone a una renovación apostólica basada en la Esperanza, capaz de incidir efectivamente en la vida humana, sobre todo en la de aquellos que son pobres, indefensos y más pequeños.
Devant le Christ en Croix
Quand on s’est mis devant le Christ en Croix
Et qu’on se voit pécheur jusqu’au fond de l’être,
Qu’on se sait pardonné par le plus grand amour,
On peut affronter le malheur du monde,
On peut apporter le pardon et l’espoir au cœur de la nuit,
Annoncer une Église fondée sur Pierre, pécheur et pardonné.
Quand on rêve d’apporter la justice aux affamés,
La joie aux malheureux, la paix entre les ennemis,
Et qu’on a vu Jésus toucher les lépreux
Embrasser les enfants et sécher les larmes des mères,
On peut oser lui demander d’être admis à sa suite,
Et de marcher parmi ses disciples.
Quand on a livré sa vie au Seigneur Jésus,
Quand on engage son existence devant une décision de fond
On trouvera toujours dans le monde des frères et des sœurs,
Des hommes et des femmes sachant pourquoi ils vivent,
Et l’on verra paraître le vrai visage d’une Église
Accueillante et sereine au milieu des hommes.
Quand on a entendu les cris de détresse de la terre,
Et qu’on sent germer l’espoir aux quatre vents du monde,
On cherche à rejoindre le cœur de l’univers,
Le centre mystérieux de l’humanité
Et l’on va se mettre au service de l’Église et du Pape
Pour mieux entendre ses appels.
Quand on est lié par le cœur des frères
François-Xavier, Jean de Brébeuf, Pierre Claver
Et ceux aujourd’hui
Dans les prisons de Chine ou les bidonvilles d’Afrique,
On n’a plus peur de rester inutile dans un monde rétréci.
De tous les horizons, Dieu saura nous appeler.
Jacques Guillet s.j
Daily prayer with the Extended Council - 9 January
Preghiera del mercoledì, 9 gennaio 2019
The grace we are asking for:
Lord, give us your grace so that your most holy will we may feel and entirely fulfilled.
La gracia que pedimos:
Señor, danos tu gracia cumplida para que tu santísima voluntad sintamos y enteramente la cumplamos.
TEXT 1: (1 Juan 4, 1-4)
Queridos míos: no os fiéis de cualquier espíritu, sino examinad si los espíritus vienen de Dios, pues muchos falsos profetas han salido al mundo.
En esto podréis conocer el Espíritu de Dios: todo espíritu que confiesa a Jesucristo venido en carne es de Dios; y todo espíritu que no confiesa a Jesús no es de Dios: es del Anticristo. El cual habéis oído que iba a venir; pues bien, ya está en el mundo.
Vosotros, hijos míos, sois de Dios y lo habéis vencido. Pues el que está en vosotros es más que el que está en el mundo. Ellos son del mundo; por eso hablan según el mundo y el mundo los escucha. Nosotros somos de Dios.
Para la reflexión and meditation:
- Amar la sencillez y la simplicidad de la carne, de lo concreto, de lo posible.
- Amar el modo concreto como Jesús se encarna, pobre y humilde, y acoger su don.
- No dejarse llevar del espíritu del mundo (mundanidad espiritual, Papa Francisco)
Text 2: (Spiritual Exercises 336, 8th rule of discernment for the 2nd week)
“When the consolation is without a preceding cause, there is no deception in it, since it is coming only from God our Lord, as was stated above. However, the spiritual person to whom God gives this consolation ought to examine that experience with great vigilance and attention. One should distinguish the time when the consolation itself was present from the time after it, in which the soul remains warm and favored with the gifts and aftereffects of the consolation which has itself passed away. For often during this later period we ourselves act either through our own reasoning which springs from our own habits and the conclusions we draw from our own concepts and judgments, or thorough the influence of either a good or an evil spirit. In this way, we form various projects and convictions which are not coming immediately form God our Lord. Hence these need to be very carefully examined before they are fully accepted or carried into effect.
For reflection and meditation:
- Pay attention to our own course of "habits" (customs, ideologies ...)
- Pay attention to the consequences of our concepts and judgments (what we take for granted ...)
- Pay attention to the good spirit and the bad spirit (the resonances that leave in us what we see, hear, read ...)
- What can make us add or diminish what comes from God and could influence in us diifferent purposes and opinions that might not be given by God.
Daily prayer with the Extended Council - 10 January
Preghiera del giovedì, 10 gennaio 2019
“You give them something to eat.”
From the Gospel of Luke:
Jesus replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered: “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish – unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.”
It is the only miracle recounted in all four of the Gospels, and it has a way of capturing the imagination. The crowd consisted of the blind, deaf, lame, diseased and dying.
Les disciples lui ont remis le pain et le poisson pour qu’il en fasse ce qu’il voudrait; ils l’ont laissé faire. Lui, à son tour, a béni la nourriture et l’a remise aux disciples, une nourriture abondante, plus « puissante » que tout ce qu’ils avaient imaginé.
The disciples and the crowd were inadequate and tiny people, with inadequate resources. Yet their participation, sharing-contribution and trust led to the multiplication. Jesus’ welcome and compassion released their “power” to share!
Where are we? With the crowd, with the disciples? At times, do we feel, like the disciples, inadequate with our limited resources? Let us do what the disciples did: place our inadequacies in his hands to bless and multiply.
Reading (from the e-book: Pope Francis: Fraternal & Spontaneous, p.32)
“And then, yes, what the Church is asking of the Society – this I have said often, and Spadaro, who published these things, has grown tired of writing it – is to teach discernment with humility. Yes, as pontiff I ask this of your officially. Generally, above all, we who are part of the religious setting of life as priest and bishops often show little ability to discern, we don’t know how to do it for we have been educated with another theology that is more formal. We go as far as ‘you can or you can’t,’ as I said to the Chilean Jesuits concerning the resistances to Amoris Laetitia. Some people are reducing the entire fruit of two synods – all the work that has been done – to ‘you can or can’t.’ Help us to discern then. Certainly, someone who is not discerning cannot teach others to discern. And to be discerning, you have to enter into practice, you have to examine yourself. You have to start with yourself.”
Let us pray
This is the time of mercy. Each day of our journey is marked by God’s presence. He guides our steps with the power of the grace that the Spirit pours into our hearts to make them capable of loving.
It is the time of mercy for each and all, since no one can think that he or she is cut off from God’s closeness and the power of this tender love.
It is the time of mercy because those who are weak and vulnerable, distant and alone, ought to feel the presence of brothers and sisters who can help them in their need.
It is the time of mercy because the poor should feel that they are regarded with respect and concern by others who have overcome indifference and discovered what is essential in life.
It is the time of mercy because no sinner can ever tire of asking forgiveness and all can feel the welcoming embrace of the Father.
[Pope Francis, Misericordia et misera.]