As a religious order in the Church, the Jesuits are a puzzle. Yet despite rapid growth, papal suppression, later revival and present flourishing, Jesuits have always been controversial to the outsider – Christian and non-Christian.
For the authentic Jesuit way of life is counter-cultural to the world they live in and serve. Coping with the anomalies and contradictions this gives rise to, Jesuits were to be men of ‘solid virtue and solid learning’. However, often even Jesuits themselves don’t often realise that tensions are best humanised by a sense of humour, which is able to see the trivial in the serious, the ridiculous in the sensible. That’s what makes Myron’s collection so timely.
Now if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a good cartoon is surely worth a hundred pictures. Its stark lines and pithy captions can deliver a punch, more, if not as effectively, than a learned essay. Just think of R.K. Laxman. Myron is such a Jesuit, though he is yet to create his ‘ordinary Jesuit’ character.
Cartoons are always context-bound and so Jesuitickle/Jesuitical will best tickle Jesuits and their extended family of collaborators. They will best understand why a Jesuit misfit is rather well-suited to be provincial, and how an over-specialised SJ ends up as a confessor to nuns, or how the injunction to listen to women might well begin with the Jesuit’s mother.
Jesuitickle/Jesuitical is Myron’s second collection of cartoons. We do hope there will be more on the way.
Rudi Heredia, SJ
Title: JESUITICKLE, More Cartoons on Jesuit Life
Author: Myron Pereira, SJ
Price: Rs. 200/- [plus postage and packing] available from the author [email protected]