Monday, July 12, 2010

Fr. Timoteo Ofrasio, S.J. "Share With The Faithful We Serve, Is To Live And Teach Fidelity To The Church."

What, to me, is the challenge for Jesuits today—and which we can share with the faithful we serve— is to live and teach fidelity to the Church. In his rules for thinking with the Church, which is expressed in and by the Jesuit vow of obedience, Ignatius exhorts us, above all, to “ever be ready and prompt to obey in all things the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, our holy Mother, the hierarchical Church.” Fidelity and obedience to the Church, in the person of the Pope and the local bishop, is the mark of a true Roman Catholic Christian, even when sometimes—or many times–we do not understand certain decisions or actions that cause us much hurt and confusion. 
We may question certainly; we may represent; we may disagree, even dissent probably—but in the end, when we have exhausted all means to make our voices heard, we humbly bow and accept the inevitable because as Ignatius teaches us, God’s will is manifested in our all-too-human superiors and Church leaders. This is a hard saying for many, I know, and maybe even my fellow Jesuits will dispute this, but there is no other way we can preserve the unity of the Church which we all love, if we do not live and practice obedience to her. 
Unfortunately, this Mother Church is not a democracy, and this is probably one of the reasons why “the gates of hell has not prevailed against it” for 2000-plus years. Only time will tell if our voices were disinterested and prophetic, or were they voices of vested interests under the guise of “for the common good.”
Read the rest of the homily (here) of Fr. Timoteo Ofrasio, The Monk's Hobbit.
Photo is of a statue of St. Peter at St. Peter's Basilica within the Vatican


Maria said...

The Editors at America Mag would do well to take these words to heart. Obedience? Not in their vocabulary...

TonyD said...

I find it ironic that the Jesuits have set themselves a unique standard: Fidelity to the Pope. Yet, they are renowned for their unique interpretations of Church teachings.

I've always wondered how they reconcile their unconditional "papal submission". I guess this post provides the answer.

Jean-Francois Thomas S.J said...

How can possibly one dissent and then, later on, obey ? It is not my understanding of Jesuit obedience. It seems that many of my Jesuit bothers are acrobats ! Obedience is about love through suffering and sacrifice. There is no other way. The Son did not obey the Father after having dissented...
We really need the "douce pitie" of God, as Bernanos was saying.

TonyD said...

I trust that everyone reading this blog believes in obedience to God (even if we struggle with understanding just what, exactly, that means).

Obedience to God is not equivalent to obedience to any random thing -- that is, obedience, in and of itself, is not the goal.

So obedience itself is neither good nor bad -- it is only our flawed interpretations that make it so.

Joseph Fromm said...

Sweet Mercy, "Douce Pitie"

"Draw near to Me, faithless disciple, thou art so dear to Me, I will not consent that thou shouldst go to perdition. I will comply with thy request. Behold, here are the hands that have healed the sick, and lavished blessings upon the people. Here are the feet that were so eager to run after the stray sheep; here is the heart that was opened by the lance. Behold, and if to see Me is not enough, touch Me; put thy finger into My hands, bring hither thy hand and put it into My side, plunge it into that heart that loves thee still, and be not incredulous, but faithful: Put in thy finger hither, and bring hither thy hand and put it into My side; and be not incredulous, but faithful." O unutterable compassion! O sweet mercy! O surpassing tenderness! Priests of God, do you thus welcome the poor sinner?

Fr. Pierre Chaignon, S.J.




TonyD said...

Thanks Joseph.

I find it interesting to notice in this passage what mercy is and what mercy isn't.

Here, the form of mercy is help - in this case witness to a miracle - but not the right to ignore the values and associated message of Christ.

Anonymous said...

Ah, what is God's will, my friends? There's the rub, the disagreement that will not be reconciled. "Tradition" changes, interpretation changes, spiritual energies are exhausted in endless argumentation and back-slapping: meanwhile, "the Church is all to conformed to the World: too powerful, too fearful, too prudent." Those it should succor and help are marginalized. What is the history of the Church in the 3rd world, after all? A complicity with fascist torturous regimes.

But it does beg the question: is it always God's will that one aquiesce to injustice, falsehoods, corruption by the local powers that be? Padre Pio thought so: his principal antagonist was a bishop who held homosexual orgies in his church and stole so much money from his diocese that he was eventually attacked by an angy mob. (this is from his bio by ruffin. Should the parishioners have quietly accepted this bishop because he was a buddy and protected by the pope of the time?