Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)
Saint Ignatius imagined religious life in non-conventional terms. For Ignatius, his monastery was the world; his prayer, to find God in all things; his work, whatever helped people. In this setting, the vows become instruments to enable Jesuits to do the work of the Kingdom.
Chastity centers on one's affective, sexual life. It is a vow which orients one's energies to a love people can trust. Jesuits should be men of generous acceptance and availability. Their chastity is the willingness to be available to all, not exclusively to one person or to one family. The Society of Jesus looks for men capable of directing their affective life towards all people, caring about them with the integrity of Christ.
Poverty looks at using energies, talents, time and resouces for the good of other people. In an age when possessing means power over others, Jesuits take a serious promise to live in a public way as Christ did, believing that people are more important than things.
Obedience, the touchstone of Jesuit life, is not just something between the individual Jesuit and his Superior. Like Jesus, Jesuits look at the horizon of obedience, the Kingdom, and together, as brothers in the Lord, seek how best to follow God's design. The task of the Superior in Jesuit life is to listen, to consult, to pray and then to direct his brothers toward specific goals. In such a context obedience touches on fraternal trust, openness, vision and communication. Obedience is a common call to all Jesuits to find and to follow, in imitation of Christ, the lead of God in their lives and works.
These traits of trust, openness, vision and communication are practiced in daily community life. Jesuit communities incorporate men of all ages, forged into a union of minds and hearts intent on finding where God wants us to be more effective in the work of the Kingdom.
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