Tag Archives: Jesuits

Easter 470 years later

Ignatius Loyola detail2.jpg470 years ago on this date, another Easter Sunday, Ignatius of Loyola and his first companions elected Ignatius as the first superior of the new group, a year following the Church’s approval of the society. Just two days before his election, the companions went to the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the Walls to profess their vows.

With these events, Loyola had more concrete points in following God’s will in forming a new society of priests aiming to reform Christian culture under the Roman Pontiff.

David L. Fleming, SJ, RIP

Today has been a day of death it seems. I started the day with a funeral of a 8 year old who died the other day of cancer.

David L Fleming SJ.jpg

This afternoon I was notified that my former rector, Father David L. Fleming, SJ, 76, died after facing cancer in a courageous way. Well done good and faithful servant. May the Lord be good to him.
David is likely to have been one of the best superiors I ever had. For me, he was a light in darkness when a lot of others were simply too self-absorbed. He was one of those who superiors who took each person seriously and approached each person with sensitivity, grace and love. He always showed me the operation of grace, that is, the act of God’s love on me as unmerited and without reservation.
When I saw David last summer it was a fine meeting –one that was full of memories from the past– but one we both knew that we’d not likely see each other this summer.
Father Fleming’s obituary is here: Fr David Fleming, SJ obit.pdf
Please pray for Father Fleming and all the souls who have died today.
May Father David Fleming’s memory be eternal.

Religious Orders talk about their purpose at Notre Dame Univ

3 orders rep.jpgLast week at the University of Notre Dame (my alma mater) members of the various religious orders along with a secular priest, spoke about their place in the Church. In church lingo: they spoke about their charism (the diivne gift). As you know ND was founded and continues to be sponsored by the Congregation of Holy Cross (CSC) but through the years members of religious orders like the Franciscans, Jesuits and Dominicans (among others) have worked and/or studied at ND. The richness ot the women religious ought to be explored at some point. 

Speaking to the university was an opportunity to attend to the distinctions among the orders in a healthy manner. The Observer carried the story.

The Thought of Henri Bremond

henri bremond.jpg

In the current
issue of La Civiltà Cattolica, Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro wrote an
interesting essay, “The Thought of Henri Bremond.” Matters pertaining to faith
and reason, faith and culture interest me perhaps you. At least that’s what I
hope if you are a frequent reader of the Communio blog. Henri Bremond
(1865-1933) is a former a Jesuit priest, literary scholar and was in the middle
of the Modernist crisis. His literary output was terrific. Bremond was a member
of the illustrious Académie Française succeedingm(elected in 1923 holding seat
number 36). France also awarded the Lé d’honneur. The summary:

An attempt to
overcome the gap between faith and culture – In the years that saw the rise of
surrealism, of Freudian thought and of the modernist crisis, Henri Bremond
captured the separation that was growing between theology and culture
sanctioned by the Enlightenment. Bremond suffered in trying to find a
compromise in terms of language, seeking to show to a cultured audience the
best results of a religious sensibility and sought to show to his Catholic
readers the religious value of «profane» literature. Seeing the similarities
between a mystical and a poetic inspiration, he concluded that “it is up to the
mystic to explain the poet,” reversing a common axiom. The article, on the
occasion of the reissue of his Prayer and poetry, absent from Italian
bookstores for three decades, presents the main insights of the priest,
academician of France.

New Heaven, New War

Robert Southwell SJ.jpgOne of my favorite 16th century recusant poets is Saint Robert Southwell, an English Jesuit who preached the gospel in very trying circumstances. Southwell chose the obedience to be a Catholic priest in a country that outright persecuted Catholics and their priests. Ordained a Jesuit priest in 1584, his personal, theological and ministerial imagination, his human and divine calling, was to respond positively to a letter of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus of February 20, 1585 looking for missionaries to England. Southwell knew that his positive response to his religious superior would very likely end in martyrdom. Saint Robert Southwell’s poetry is challenging for the 21st century ear but worth the work of coming to understand his art and message. One such poem is “New Heaven, New War” expressing the Mystery of the Incarnation of God in history, the birth of Jesus.

Come to your heaven, you heavenly quires!
Earth hath the heaven of your desires;
Remove your dwelling to your God,
A stall is now His best abode;
Sith men their homage do deny.
Come, angels, all their faults supply.
His chilling cold doth heat require,
Come, seraphim, in lieu of fire;
This little ark no cover hath,
Let cherubs’ wings his body swathe;
Come, Raphael, this babe must eat,
Provide our little Toby meat.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT, follows the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, and is an Oblate of Saint Benedict, works as a monastery farmer and a keeper of honey bees. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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