//Contemplation – Compassion – Creativity

Contemplation – Compassion – Creativity

Through a discernment process world-wide, we Jesuits have located four priorities for the future of Jesuit presence in the changing world. They do form the orientations for our apostolic involvement and in envisaging new structures. When I look into the future of the Society of Jesus, three C’s seem to be important: Contemplation, Compassion and Creativity. 

When Fr. General went to Pope Francis with the priorities, the Pope said: the first priority is the source from which all others emerge. A Jesuit is primarily a man of contemplation: constantly discerning the movement of the Divine Spirit in him and in the secular culture around. This demands spiritual discipline that makes one alert to the inspiration of the Spirit. When we joined the Society in the 1960s, the 1-hour meditation was taken for granted for every Jesuit. In the 31st GC there was a slackening of it, but we cannot forgo the power source of our action.

The second characteristic is compassion. A Jesuit cannot but be a man of compassion. We are inspired by the Jesuit saints and others, who have gone ahead of us, that we are called to genuine compassion. There is a lot of suffering in the world; a Jesuit cannot be callous to the suffering persons. Compassion is a birthing process, as the Hebrew word Raḥamîm denotes: we give birth to God in the life of a suffering person, when we deal with her/him in a compassionate way.

The third element is creativity. A Jesuit constantly asks himself: What more can I do for Christ? This is the inner drive of magis. When our entire life is geared to the dynamics of the Reign of God that evolves in and through the secular culture of our times, we respond to the signs of the times in a creative way. Communication media, inter-continental migration and the encounter of religions/cultures, bring in new challenges. In them we could discern the movements of the Spirit and respond to them creatively. More and more Jesuits could write well-studied articles in secular newspapers and magazines. Jesuit creativity is creativity in the Spirit.