Friday, September 20, 2013

The Big Pope Francis Interview

“Holy Father, what made ​​you choose to enter the Society of Jesus? What struck you about the Jesuit order?”

“I wanted something more. But I did not know what. I entered the diocesan seminary. I liked the Dominicans and I had Dominican friends. But then I chose the Society of Jesus, which I knew well because the seminary was entrusted to the Jesuits. Three things in particular struck me about the Society: the missionary spirit, community and discipline. And this is strange, because I am a really, really undisciplined person. But their discipline, the way they manage their time—these things struck me so much. “And then a thing that is really important for me: community. I was always looking for a community. I did not see myself as a priest on my own. I need a community. And you can tell this by the fact that I am here in Santa Marta. At the time of the conclave I lived in Room 207. (The rooms were assigned by drawing lots.) This room where we are now was a guest room. I chose to live here, in Room 201, because when I took possession of the papal apartment, inside myself I distinctly heard a ‘no.’ The papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace is not luxurious. It is old, tastefully decorated and large, but not luxurious. But in the end it is like an inverted funnel. It is big and spacious, but the entrance is really tight. People can come only in dribs and drabs, and I cannot live without people. I need to live my life with others.”
Link (here) to America Magazine for the full read.

1 comment:

TonyD said...

I've never heard of an interview that met with more worldwide acclaim than this interview with Pope Francis. And rightly so.

Still, it is worth recognizing that it is a work of Man, and only a dim and distorted reflection of God. For example, the interview includes a discussion of "discernment" -- a discussion that describes various techniques and perspectives on discernment. Yet, a strong argument could be made that if God were to discuss what we call "discernment" the emphasis would be much different. I have no doubt that the Pope is drawing on his personal experience and extensive readings on discernment -- but such analysis is quite limited in describing God's considerations. Fundamentally, this comes down to a problem of internal humility. A problem not easily solved.

One response to a lack of humility might be a withholding of "God's voice" to allow mistakes and poor judgement to cause situations which build humility. This is a long, slow, and painful process. Obviously, this would be a problem in a relationship between God and a Pope.

In spite of all that, from a pragmatic perspective this interview is all that we could desire. Yes, it is a work of Man and flawed. But, especially considering the recent dark times for the Church, this interview represents a very positive direction for the Church.