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Pope to Jesuits: put Christ and the Church at the center of all things

July 31, 2013

Pope Francis celebrated Mass with his fellow Jesuits in the Gesu, the Jesuit church in Rome, on July 31: the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order.

In his homily the Pope spoke on “the centrality of Christ for each one of us, and for the entire Society that St. Ignatius chose to call the ‘Society of Jesus.’” Putting Christ at the center of one’s life, he continued, necessarily means putting the Church at the center, since “they are two flames that cannot be separated.” He added: “We cannot walk in parallel or in isolation.”

Next the Pope urged all Jesuits to “be conquered by Christ.” This means offering one’s entire person to Jesus, he said. “Jesus invites us not to be ashamed of Him, but to follow Him forever with total dedication, trusting in and entrusting ourselves to Him.”

Finally, the Pope remarked that being totally dedicated to Christ should provoke “the shame of not being able to measure up.” This recognition of one’s own sinfulness should prompt feelings of humility, he said—“humility that urges us to give ourselves not in service to ourselves or our ideas, but in the service of Christ and the Church, like clay vases– fragile, inadequate, insufficient, but inside which there is an immense treasure we carry and communicate.”


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