Thursday, March 18, 2010

Principle #4: Share Your Ideals

Principle #4: Openly Share Your Ideals

There can be, at times, a reticence to share what it is in life that excites us. Just this morning, as I prefected the Atrium before school, one of my freshman came in carrying a large box. When I inquired as to its contents, a gleam sprang into his eye and he opened the box to reveal a brilliant array of origami pieces he had done. As it turns out, he and his brother are both accomplished origami artists and he had to give a "demonstration speech" for class and wanted to share with his classmates his art.

I joked with him that I didn't have an artistic bone in my body...I can't even draw a stick figure. He smiled broadly and said, "Mr. Duns, I'm going to have to come and show you how to do origami so that you can't say anymore that you aren't artistic." There was a visible change in him as he offered to share his gift with me and he grew excited in showing me some of the things he had made.

I mention this because this student reminded me of today's principle: he was willing to share something that was really valuable to him, something that he cherished deeply. So profoundly did he love his craft that he is willing to teach ME how to do it (even if origami doesn't require scissors, he has no idea how much a danger I pose when doing any form of craft).

Sometimes I think Jesuits can show too-great a reserve in telling people what it is that excites us. As I've said before, I am blessed to serve as a companion of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who has called me to help build God's Kingdom on earth. Or, using my favorite image, Jesus has invited me to take up my instrument in his band in order that the whole world might dance to the music that announces God's Reign. There is in this much to celebrate and I would be remiss if I remained silent about it.

For Jesuits and our fellow religious, it would be good for us to reflect upon where our originating joy is found. What is it that set our hearts on fire and sustains us? How can we tap into this energy and share it with a world that sorely craves to hear Good News? At the risk of being labeled idealists, we need to be upfront with our passions and share them, proclaiming loudly who we are, who it is that has called us, and how we desire to live our lives for the Greater Glory of God.

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