Michael's Reflection

This Moment in Our Society - An Ignatian Reflection

Jesuits do not proceed under a banner proclaiming “light a candle in the darkness.” 

No, it says “Go, set the world on fire!” 

Hearing that in this time of protest, when millions of our sisters and brothers across the globe

are organizing and marching in the hope of our world being remade, St. Ignatius’s call can invoke

some pretty disquieting feelings.  Set the world on fire?  Am I at risk?  Who’s in charge of this fire?

How might this change my world and my comfort?  What sacrifices lie ahead?  How might life be

better afterwards?

That discomfort is likely a good thing!   We should not be too quick to make ourselves comfortable

by domesticating or spiritualizing what sounds like a call to arms from the soldier-turned- saint. 

The very DNA of Christianity is the understanding that renewal emerges from suffering and loss. 

Our scriptures explain that redemption would not have come without the death of Jesus, and that

our salvation involves participating in that death and resurrection.  But our timid human nature leads us to wishful thinking about the redemption while denying the necessary route through loss. 

The measure of whether we did our part to bind the wounds of our society will not be what words we spoke but what actions we took, what sacrifices we made,

what suffering we endured for love – for God’s dream of this world.

As a white person who has led a privileged life, I have discerned that the question for me is not “do you care enough to post a Black Lives Matter sign?”  That is a good but, I think, woefully insufficient act.  The question has become “What deeds of love am I willing to undertake to exemplify the solidarity implied by those words?  What sacrifices?  What discomforts?”

If supporting Casa Romero is one part of your response to the questions life is throwing at us all, Thank You!  We do our best to honor the dignity of people who regularly suffer from racial discrimination in our society and to empower them.  Your deeds, your time and financial support, make our work possible.  Our deeds

are your deeds. 

Have any of us done enough?  That is something each of us should take to prayer, asking God to inspire our decisions.  Ignatius had a simple formulation to bring

to such a prayer:

  • What have I done for Christ?

  • What am I doing for Christ?

  • What ought I do for Christ?

 

Adapted to this situation, we might ask “What deeds ought I undertake to nurture God’s dream for our society?”

Mailing and Retreat Center Address

423 West Bruce Street

Milwaukee, WI 53204

 

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Phone: 414.224.7564

 

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