Our starting point for reflection comes from the Spiritual Exercises, a lens that we use for discerning the call of Christ today.
A. God’s view of the world
At the outset of the second week of the Exercises, Saint Ignatius invites retreatants to gaze on the world with the Trinity – the God who creates, loves and sustains us.
As educators, we contemplate the regard of the Holy Trinity on our world. We see the vibrancy of youth yearning to better their lives. We see people enjoying the beauty of creation and striving to find God in their daily activities. We observe rapid scientific, technological, and economic growth; we see much potential to improve life on earth. Yet we also witness violence, brutal exploitation and injustice. Religious and ethnic intolerance, fundamentalism and discrimination assault human dignity, exacerbate inequalities and socially marginalize, in particular women and children.
Severe environmental imbalance and degradation, worsened by a throwaway culture, lead to a planet that is poisoned and polluted. Ignatian spirituality holds polarities in tension in this beautiful but troubled world: contemplation and action, rights and responsibilities.
Jesuit education is about educating students to share the perspective of the Trinity looking upon the world and seeking to make it more loving and just. This is the gift that Jesuit schools give to the next generation.
B. The Colloquy: What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I do for Christ?
As you will see, A Living Traditionis framed to open a conversation within our apostolate. In the Spiritual Exercises, Saint Ignatius invites retreatants to sit before the cross and consider three questions that echo throughout our spiritual tradition: What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I do for Christ? (SpEx #53)
What have we done for Christ? A Living Tradition looks back over the past thirty years of profound changes, with both new opportunities for the good and threats to deeply held values. We ponder the ways that the mission of Jesuit education has been renewed in documents and new initiatives.
What are we doing for Christ?A Living Tradition looks at the current realities in the world and in our schools, with links to contemporary statistics, documents, and resources.
What shall we do for Christ? A Living Traditionproposes that now, in this interconnected world, given the current realities, there are essential identifiers that must be part of every Jesuit school in the world: no matter the local condition or context.