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A Living Tradition​Epilogue

Appendix: A Schematic Outline *

*Original document taken from The Characteristics of Jesuit Education (1986), Appendix II: A Schematic Outline. The text has been minimally modified by Fr. José Mesa SJ to make it easier to understand.

(This outline puts into schematic form the relationship between the spiritual vision of Ignatius and the characteristics of Jesuit education. The nine points in the first column repeat the Ignatian headings for the first nine sections of the main body of the text; the footnotes relate this material to writings of Ignatius (primarily the Spiritual Exercises and the Constitutions), and to the paragraphs of the historical summary given in Appendix I. The 28 basic characteristics of Jesuit education are repeated in the second column, placed in a way that is intended to show their foundation in the Ignatian worldview. This is not intended to show an exact parallel: rather than a direct application, it would be more accurate to say that the characteristics are derived from, or find their roots in, the Ignatian vision.)

Ignatian Worldview

For Ignatius, God is Creator and Lord, Supreme Goodness, the one Reality that is absolute;[116] all 2. Assists in the total formation of each individual within the human community. other reality comes from God and has value only insofar as it leads us to God.[117] This God is present in our lives, “laboring for us” in all things;

He can be discovered through faith in all natural and human events, in history as a whole, and most especially in the lived experience of each individual person.[118]

Characteristic of Jesuit Education
  1. Is world-affirming.
  2. Assists in the total formation of each individual within the human community.
  3. Includes a religious dimension that permeates the entire education.
  4. Is an apostolic instrument.
  5. Promotes dialogue between faith and culture.

  1. Appendix 1 (183/); the names that Ignatius uses for God can be found throughout his works; see, for example, Exercises §§ 15,16.
  2. This is the Principle and Foundation of the Exercises, § 23; see note 8, above.
  3. God working for us through creation is basic to lgnatian Spirituality. Two examples in the Exercises are the meditation on the “Incarnation,” §§ 101-109, and the “Contemplation for Obtaining Love” §§ 230-237. The quotation is from § 236. Ignatius talked repeatedly about “seeing God in all things” and this was paraphrased by Nadal (one of the first companions of Ignatius) into the famous “contemplatives in action.”
Ignatian Worldview

Each man or woman is personally known and loved by God. This love invites a response which, to be authentically human, must be an expression of a radical freedom.[119] Therefore, in order to respond to the love of God, each person is called to be:

  • Free to give of oneself, while accepting responsibility for and the consequences of one’s actions: free to be faithful;
  • Free to work in faith toward that true happiness which is the purpose of life: free to labor with others in the service of the Kingdom of God for the healing of creation.[120]
Characteristic of Jesuit Education
  1. Insists on individual care and concern for each person.
  2. Emphasizes activity on the part of the student.
  3. Encourages life-long openness to growth

  1. Appendix I (1841).
  2. The purpose of making the Spiritual Exercises has been summed up in the expression “Spiritual Freedom.” Ignatius himself gives them the title “Spiritual Exercises, which have as their purpose the conquest of self and the regulation of one’s life in such a way that no decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment.” (§ 21).
Ignatian Worldview

Quest for Freedom Because of sin, and the effects of sin, the freedom to respond to God’s love is not automatic. Aided and strengthened by the redeeming love of God, we are engaged in an ongoing struggle to recognize and work against the obstacles that block freedom, including the effects of sinfulness, while developing the capacities that are necessary for the exercise of true freedom.[121]

  • This freedom requires a genuine knowledge, love, and acceptance of self, joined to a determination to be freed from any excessive attachment to wealth, fame, health, power, or even life itself.[122]
  • True freedom also requires a realistic knowledge of the various forces present in the surrounding world and includes freedom from distorted perceptions of reality, warped values, rigid attitudes, or surrender to narrow ideologies.[123]
  • To work toward this true freedom, one must learn to recognize and deal with the influences that can promote or limit freedom: the movements within one’s own heart; past experiences of all types; interactions with other people; the dynamics of history, social structures, and culture.[124]
Characteristic of Jesuit Education
  1. Is value-oriented.
  2. Encourages a realistic knowledge, love,
    and acceptance of self.
  3. Provides a realistic knowledge of the
    world in which we live.

  1. Appendix I (183/); this statement is a summary of the “First Week” of the Exercises.
  2. Appendix 1 (184/); Exercises § 1; §§ 313-329 (“Rules for the Discernment of Spirits”).
  3. Appendix 1 (184/); Exercises §§ 142-146 (“The Two Standards”).
  4. Exercises §§ 24-42 (“The Examination of Conscience”), and “The Two Standards,” above.
Ignatian Worldview

The worldview of Ignatius is centered on the historical person of Jesus.[125] He is the model for human life because of his total response to the Father’s love, in the service of others.

He shares our human condition and invites us to follow him, under the standard of the cross, in loving response to the Father.[126]

He is alive in our midst and remains the Man for others in the service of God.

Characteristic of Jesuit Education
  1. Proposes Christ as the model of human life.
  2. Provides adequate pastoral care.
  3. Celebrates faith in personal and community prayer, worship, and service.

  1. Appendix 1 (184/), (193/); Exercises § 53, §§ 95-98 (“The Kingdom ol Christ”) § 167 (“The Third Degree of Humility”). The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th “Weeks” of the Exercises are intended to lead to a commitment to the following of Christ.
  2. Exercises § 116 (“Contemplation on the Nativity”); see also “The Two Standards” noted above.
Ignatian Worldview

A loving and free response to God’s love cannot be merely speculative or theoretical. No matter what the cost, speculative principles must lead to decisive action: “love is shown in deeds.”[127]

Ignatius asks for the total and active commitment of men and women who, to imitate and be more like Christ, will put their ideals into practice in the real world of ideas, social movements, the family, business, political and legal structures, and religious activities.[128]

Characteristic of Jesuit Education
  1. Preparation for active life commitment
  2. Serves the faith that does justice.
  3. Seeks to form “men and women for others.”
  4. Manifests a particular concern for the poor.

  1. Appendix 1 (184/), (190/); Exercises § 135, §§ 169-189 (“The Election”).
  2. Appendix / (188/), (184).
Ignatian Worldview

For Ignatius the response to the call of Christ is in and through the Roman Catholic Church, the instrument through which Christ is sacramentally present in the world.[129] Mary the Mother of Jesus is the model of this response.[130]

Ignatius and his first companions all were ordained as priests and they put the Society of Jesus at the service of the Vicar of Christ, “to go to any place whatsoever where he judges it expedient to send them for the greater glory of God and the good of souls.”[131]

Characteristic of Jesuit Education
  1. Is an apostolic instrument, in service of the Church as it serves the human society.
  2. Prepares students for active participation in the church and the local community, for the service of others.

  1. Exercises §§ 352-370 (“Rules for Thinking with the Church”); Constitutions, Formula (pp. 66-68), [3), [603], and passim throughout the writings of Ignatius. When he realized that it would not be possible to go to the Holy Land to serve Christ directly, Ignatius chose “the next best thing” by going to Rome to serve the church under the “Vicar of Christ.”
  2. Devotion to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Is evident throughout the whole life of Ignatius; as noted in Appendix 1 (171), it was at Montserrat that his pilgrimage began; Mary appears throughout the Exercises, for example in§§ 47, 63, 10211, 1111, 147, 218, 299.
  3. Appendix I (1911), (793/). According to some authors, Ignatius was the originator of the expression “Vicar of Christ” whether that be true or not, loyalty to the Pope is characteristic both of Ignatius and of the Society of Jesus that he founded.
Ignatian Worldview

Repeatedly, Ignatius insisted on the “Magis” -the more. His constant concern was for greater service to God through a closer following of Christ, and that concern flowed into all the apostolic work of the first companions. The concrete response to God must be “of greater value.”[132]

Characteristic of Jesuit Education
  1. Pursues excellence in its work of
  2. Witnesses to excellence.

  1. Appendix 1 (184/); Exercises §§ 97, 155.
Ignatian Worldview

Repeatedly, Ignatius insisted on the “Magis” -the more. His constant concern was for greater service to God through a closer following of Christ, and that concern flowed into all the apostolic work of the first companions. The concrete response to God must be “of greater value.”[132]

Characteristic of Jesuit Education
  1. Stresses Lay-Jesuit collaboration.
  2. Relies on spirit of community among teaching staff, administrators, Jesuit community, governing boards, parents, students, former students, and benefactors.
  3. Takes place within a structure that promotes community.

  1. Appendix / (1891), (1921).
Ignatian Worldview

For Ignatius and for his companions, decisions were made on the basis of an ongoing process of individual and communal “discernment” done always in a context of prayer. Through prayerful reflection on the results of their activities, the companions reviewed past decisions and made adaptations in their methods, in a constant search for greater service to God (“Magis”).[134]

Characteristic of Jesuit Education
  1. Adapts means and methods in order to achieve its purposes most effectively.
  2. Is a “system” of schools with a common vision and common goals.
  3. Assists in providing the professional training and ongoing formation that is needed, especially for teachers.

  1. The “discernment of spirits” is present in the whole life of Ignatius; it is already evident at Manresa (Appendix 1, 181/), but it is constantly growing throughout his life. A short document entitled “The Deliberations of the First Fathers” describes the discernment of the first companions of Ignatius that led to the establishment of the Society of Jesus. See also Appendix 1 (189)-(193) for the process that led to the first Ratio Studiorum and Exercises §§ 313-336 (“Rules for the Discernment of Spirits”).