Reflection for Sunday, September 26, 1999: 26th week in Ordinary Time.
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Gillick, Larry, S.J.
I recently asked a group of first-year students at Creighton to give me some adjectives for the word, "Jesuit." After they assured me they knew what an adjective was, they were not quite as assured about what a Jesuit was. "Liberal," "strict," "I think they're Catholics, but I'm not sure," were some of the responses that made me both smile and wince.||Ignatius of the family of Loyola was born in 1491 in northern Spain. He is the founder of the Society of Jesus, but before founding the Jesuits, he himself had to be found.|He was a wild sort of a courtly style and his life's dreams were interrupted by a military accident which literally laid him low. The Jesuit tradition of education actually begins as he himself begins to reflect on just what the meaning of life and his personal existence means.|Ignatius spent more time in his spiritual recovery than recovering from his broken leg. His image of himself was shattered and he spent over a year in a little cave doing a great work of re-piecing his outlook on himself and creation. "Who am I and who are these others and what is my relationship with everything else?" These were the questions which began the first Jesuit school in the heart of a recovering-reble.|"Liberal" is a good word if it means being freed. "Strict" is a good word if it means holding fast to the meaning of things and the proper use of all creation. "Catholic" is a good word if it means a universal embrace of God's love for all and faithful to the tradition of Jesus Christ.|What the student Ignatius did by going into his cave and himself, is what the Jesuit educational mission is all about. To be women and men for others, to be "out-going," people who come to this Creighton Jesuit Mission, also known as a "university," have to go inside first. They must go into their rooms, into their classes, into the library, into friendships, but they must eventually go inside their truth and ask the big questions which Ignatius began pondering during the first days of the first Jesuit school.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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