A Very Special Day Indeed!
Today, September 27th, marks the 469th birthday of the Society of Jesus. Just 469 years ago, Pope Paul III gave formal approval to the Society of Jesus in the papal bull Regimini militantis Ecclesiae. Across a span of nearly five centuries, these opening words of the Formula of the Institute still serve to captivate the hearts and imaginations of men who desire to spend their lives as Companions of Jesus:
Whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God beneath the banner of the cross in our Society, which we desire to be designated by the name of Jesus, and to serve the Lord alone and the Church, his spouse, under the Roman pontiff, the vicar of Christ on earth, after a solemn vow of perpetual chastity, poverty, and obedience, to keep what follows in mind. He is a member of a Society founded chiefly for this purpose: to strive especially for the defense and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine, by means of public preaching, lectures, and any other ministration whatsoever of the word of God, and further by means of the Spiritual Exercises, the education of children and unlettered persons in Christianity, and the spiritual consolation of Christ's faithful through hearing confessions and administering the other sacraments. (From Exposcit debitum, July 21, 1550).So how am I celebrating this joyous occasion?
First, by publishing this post, I have now written 600 blog posts since I first began blogging in 2004. It's a small number compared to some bloggers, but 600 posts is still something!
Second, I'm writing an exam and preparing to teach for the week. We have parent/teacher conferences on Thursday and Friday, so I'm trying to make sure all my grades are up-to-date and that I have something helpful to share with parents.
I ask for prayers for all Jesuits this day as we celebrate our birthday. May God grace us with the strength to follow ever more nearly to the path of the Son and my our hearts be enkindled with the Spirit of their love that each of us may "set the world on fire" with the Good News.