Everyone has a great calling.
How are you called to respond?
“To become a priest or a religious is not primarily our choice. It is our answer to a calling, a calling of love.”
- Pope Francis
Are you looking for something larger than yourself? Are you looking to respond to the call of Jesus Christ in your life? Maybe God is calling you to a life of service as a priest or brother in the Society of Jesus.
With close to 17,000-plus priests and brothers worldwide, we are the largest male religious order in the Catholic Church. Jesuits work together in a wide variety of ministries: as teachers and pastors, retreat directors and missionaries. Many work in direct service to the poor. We live in communities that are centered on the Eucharist and, faithful to the vision of our founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola, seek to “find God in all things.”
The 32nd General Congregation of the Society of Jesus said that to be a Jesuit is “to know that one is a sinner, yet called to be a companion of Jesus, as Ignatius was … it is to engage, under the standard of the cross, in the crucial struggle of our time: the struggle for faith and that struggle for justice which it includes.” These words remind Jesuits that their vocation is first and foremost a call from God. And they challenge Jesuits to continue to live joyful, authentic, committed lives of service to the Gospel.
Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, described the call to be a Jesuit this way: “The Jesuit vocation means going directly and radically to the Gospel and living its message fully, generously and in this historic moment perhaps even heroically. It is not an easy life. It is a wonderful vocation. Everything is for the greater glory of God; more is not possible.”
God calls each of us in a unique way. Is God calling you to life in the Society of Jesus?
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You may want to read more about the Society of Jesus and the ins and outs of vocation discernment. There’s much literature to be found on both. The following books might help you in your journey:
Ignatius of Loyola: The Pilgrim Saint, by José Ignacio Tellechea Idígoras
In Good Company: The Fast Track from the Corporate World to Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, by James Martin, S.J.
The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life, by James Martin, S.J.
My Life with the Saints, by James Martin, S.J.
Letting God Come Close: An Approach to the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, by William A. Barry, S.J.
The Fifth Week, 2nd edition, by William J. O’Malley, S.J.
The First Jesuits, by John W. O’Malley, S.J.
"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what siezes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything."
~Pedro Arrupe, S.J.