Just a few hours from addressing the Jesuits of the Los Angeles area, Fr. General Arturo Sosa celebrated mass with his brothers in the Jesuit community chapel at Loyola Marymount University. For the community it was a chance to meet the General for a quiet moment of reflection, but it was also an opportunity for Fr. Sosa to thank the brothers for their ministry, join them in prayer, and gently remind them of the needs of the worldwide Society of Jesus
Over the course of its history, Loyola Marymount University has become a critically acclaimed institution, with programs that have trained artists, engineers, scientists, academics, lawyers and leaders who have brought their Jesuit education to the world. At the center of that institution is a core of Ignatian spirituality and the desire to do the “magis” that drives every faculty or staff member, administrative leader, and Jesuit.
After listening to the stories of Jesuits and lay partners, Fr. General rejoiced in the consolation experienced by all who have sacrificed to build LMU and carry it through both the good and bad times, but he also asked the Jesuits to consider the source of that consolation, “We deeply desire to find God’s grace at work in the world, and to respond to that grace with praise and service. But where should we look for consolation, and how?”
Directly addressing his brothers, Fr. Sosa asked them to consider that question: to ask if we find consolation only in what we’ve planned and built, or if we find it in first going where we are sent, then paying close attention to HOW we live and work once we’re there. “Jesuits are so busy that we can easily lose ourselves in each one’s plans and projects. Our new Universal Apostolic Preferences certainly call us to great generosity and zeal... to hard work... but they also call us to greater attentiveness to one another and to the Spirit.”
The end result of this greater attentiveness is not just more consolation, but a call to conversion. Using the example of Simeon and Anna, Fr. General asked the Jesuits to think about not just what they have been missioned to do for Christ, but to also reflect upon how they were personally being called to conversion that they may do MORE for Christ. “If all of us hear in this a call to change, a call to personal, communal, and institutional conversion, we will find the same joy that Simeon and Anna found before the child that enter in the Temple in the arms of Mary and Joseph to be consecrated to the Lord.”