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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Dreams



All people dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind, wake in the morning to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, for they dream their dreams with open eyes, and make them come true.
--T.E. Lawrence

I dream by night, and the dreams I remember lately are odd enough ... Kermit being taken away in a car by my dead grandparents, eating frog legs and liking them (eek!), Doug reminding me to read the Israeli newspapers, and being covered in mustard and eaten, myself, by New Guinea cannibals :-)

But, others dream by day, and one of them was Pedro Arrupe SJ. There are a number of reasons I've been thinking about Arrupe ... I'm reading about him in the book by James Martin SJ, My Life With The Saints ... I saw a derogitory mention on another blog of "Arrupean Jesuits" ... I watched the movie The Mission again last night. For those who don't know of him, he was the twenty-eighth Father General (1965-83) of the Society of Jesus, controversial for the promotion of social justice, over and above, some detractors say, the "helping of souls". Others see the two goals as one.

Creighton University's Justice page says this about a 1973 speech by Pedro Arrupe ...

This is the speech that Fr. Arrupe gave to the gathering of Alumni of Jesuit schools. Valencia, Spain, 1973. Many in his audience walked out. Defining what he meant by doing the "works of justice" he said:

First, a basic attitude of respect for all people which forbids us ever to use them as instruments for our own profit.

Second, a firm resolve never to profit from, or allow ourselves to be suborned by, positions of power deriving from privilege, for to do so, even passively, is equivalent to active oppression. To be drugged by the comforts of privilege is to become contributors to injustice as silent beneficiaries of the fruits of injustice.

Third, an attitude not simply of refusal but of counterattack against injustice; a decision to work with others toward the dismantling of unjust social structures so that the weak, the oppressed, the marginalized of this world may be set free.


Read the whole speech - Men and Women for Others.

What Arrupe dreamt of in that above speech became reality a couple of years later through Decree 4 of the 32nd General Congregation ...

The defining moment of Fr. Arrupe's leadership of the Jesuits was probably the 32nd General Congregation, which he called in 1975. O'Keefe says Arrupe, "had a dream to bring together all the great desires and talents of the men of the Society under a single mission." He says that dream was crystalized in the document (decree 4), "Our Mission Today: the Service of FAith and the Promotion of Justice." This decree was so hotly debated that it was not voted on, and accepted by an wverwhelming majority of delegate, until the very last day of the congregation, March 7, 1975. O'Keefe says, "It sent shivers through us. It was an electric, prophetic moment."
- link

Those who criticize the "Arrupean Jesuits" fail to recognize that the same General Congregation that advocated social justice also promoted the rediscovery of Ignatian spirituality through the Spiritual Exercises ...

... A key element in the pedagogy of the Exercises is that its aim is to remove the barriers between God and man so that the Spirit speaks directly with man. Inherent in this Ignatian practice of spiritual direction is a deep respect for the exercitant as he is and for the culture, background and tradition that have gone into making him what he is. Moreover, the pedagogy of the Exercises is a pedagogy of discernment. It teaches a man to discover for himself where God is calling him, what God wants him to do, as he is, where he is, among his own people .... Thus, the ministry of the Spiritual Exercises is one of the most important we can undertake today. We should by all means encourage studies, research and experiment directed toward helping our contemporaries experience the vitality of the Exercises as adapted to the new needs which are theirs. Moreover the spirit of the Exercises should pervade every other ministry of the Word that we undertake.

Arrupe's dream has had a price tag ... more than 40 Jesuits have been killed while living out his vision. But Ignatius asked the members of his order not to count the cost of helping souls, and the number of those who have benefitted from this attitude is beyond measure.


- Pedro Arrupe SJ


5 Comments:

Blogger Paula said...

About the critics of Fr Arrupe: some people have to see the hair in the soup, even if there is no hair. They simply cannot help themselves.:-).

I also read Men and women for others and i felt really inspired by it.

Crystal I have a dumb question: why only men are admited in the Society?...you know i was thinking not just one time that if i would be a man, i would consider joining...:-).

4:58 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Paula,

modernly, there are no women Jesuits, but Juana of Austria was a secret Jesuit :-) and for a short while Ignatius was forced against his better judgement by the pope to have a women's branch of the order, but it didn't last.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Outstanding post, Crystal.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Doug Hoffman said...

At least the dream with me and the dream with the cannibals were (I presume) two different dreams ;)

9:13 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Paula - i forgot to say, I don't myself know why women can't be Jesuits :-)

Jeff - thanks!

Doug - yes, you were in the dream with Kermit ... that's the first time I remember ever dreaming about you and I can't even remember what you were wearing :-)

10:32 PM  

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