Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jesuit Stuff

You would think that I would have been influenced primarily by feminist women, wouldn't you?  And, to a large extent, I have been. 

But in my spiritual life, and in this inexorable pull toward ministry . . .  well, read this.

I "failed spiritual direction" a couple of times; the relationships just didn't click.

Eventually I bumped into the person who would make it stick -- a then-75-year-old Jesuit.  My current director is a Jesuit my own age.  Once a year on retreat and occasionally via email I hang out with another Jesuit, a psychologist in his early 70s.

How could I have spent so much time with men trained so extensively and  diversely and not grown into a passion for ministry in some form?  I'd hazard a guess that anyone who finds friendship with people like the Jesuits is drawn intensely into whatever his or her life's calling might be.

In a (small) way, I came to ministry with something similar: lots of disparate experiences, as a wife and mother; a lawyer -- corporate, nonprofit, and family; a teacher -- middle school through college.  What I didn't have was the intense formational approach to all of those from which Jesuits benefit for the 11 or so years from entrance into the Society to final vows. 

I like to think that a bit of it has rubbed off.

I'm grateful that I was immersed in it when my son died while I was in seminary,

But I gotta tell you, God works in extremely mysterious ways.  What were the chances of my having ever even encountered these guys from a  distance?  I would venture approximately .0000000001%.

Guess that's all it takes.


  1. I hardly thinked you "failed spiritual direction" when the relationships didn't work. My Spiritual Director asked me if I would like to try spiritual direction with him but said we would try and see if it worked and if it didn't then he would suggest someone else because it is important that the relationship works. Fortunately for me, that was a few years ago and it is working.

    I have been so blessed by my connection with the Jesuits and Ignatian Spirituality and I'm so very grateful.

  2. So grateful for the Jesuits here, so grateful for the grace of formation which has been present for them and myself . . . and, so it sounds, you.