Posts Tagged ‘The Jesuit Post’

The Jesuit Post on Lent and Poverty

Jesuit Brendan BusseTo mark the beginning of Lent, Jesuit scholastic Brendan Busse wrote at The Jesuit Post that, “If ever there were a day to accept failure it was Ash Wednesday … Accept that you will ultimately fail (in death if not before) and your priorities shift, your humility rises, your every action takes on a little more significance; your very life rises out of the dust of nothingness.

“It’s as if there is a moment in which you accept your essential poverty.  And suddenly there is nothing to lose. And all of life becomes gift,” he wrote.

According to Busse, the antidote to poverty is not wealth but generosity. “Generosity begins with our attention. Reading. Listening. Considering. Being attentive and literate. Being sensitive and considerate. Generosity continues with our responsibility, that is, our ability to respond.”

He concludes:

“While two days past was Ash Wednesday … yesterday was Valentine’s Day … which reminds me that we were not made for failure … we were made for love.

“After all, you have to make love to make us and it is only in love that our failure finds redemption. What if this were true? It would follow that it is only in poverty – in standing with, listening to, learning from the poor and all who suffer – that we will find the fullness of life.”

Read Busse’s full essay at The Jesuit Post.

Jesuit Strives to Care for Souls in the Digital Age

Jesuit Sam SawyerA year ago, The Jesuit Post, a website for the Facebook generation “about Jesus, politics, and pop culture; the Catholic Church, sports, and Socrates,” launched. Jesuit Sam Sawyer, one of the four Jesuit scholastics who started the site, says during their years of formation the four have repeatedly asked one another: “How does the Church address itself to a contemporary culture that is no longer in contact with the institutional forms we’ve grown up with?”

For the past year, The Jesuit Post, which is independent of the Society of Jesus, has made a case for God in a secular age, with blog posts, essays, a Twitter feed and articles with headlines like “Contemplation After Gaga” and “Crowdsourcing the Saints.” Sawyer, who is in theology studies at Boston College, is a contributor and assistant editor and says he and his fellow Jesuits are seeking out young adults who are “hard to reach through traditional modes” such as parishes and diocesan newspapers.

Sawyer found his own spiritual path to the Jesuits when he attended a lecture at Boston College during his freshman year where Jesuit theologian Father Howard Gray spoke about how the early Jesuits “bonded around a shared desire to care for souls,” Sawyer recalls.

“That’s the name for what I wanted to do — help souls,” Sawyer remembers thinking. “I spent the next six months trying to pretend nothing happened.”

After graduating in 2000, he taught for a year as a volunteer at a Jesuit middle school in Baltimore and then worked for three years as a software engineer on satellite communications and missile-defense radar projects in Boston. But along the way, Sawyer stopped “trying to pretend” and embraced his Jesuit vocation, joining the Society in 2004.

From 2009 to 2011, Sawyer taught philosophy courses at Loyola University Maryland, and it was a defining part of his Jesuit formation. Teaching “at the heart of the curriculum,” Sawyer says, a professor can help students connect the classics to their lives and puzzle out their place in the universe.

Sawyer is now setting his sights on a lifelong ministry in higher education. And he plans to continue asking the kinds of questions that engendered The Jesuit Post: “How do we evangelize our nominally Catholic undergrads? What should our outreach look like in the classroom?”

For more on Sawyer, read the full story at Boston College’s 2012 Annual Report: Becoming a Jesuit: Five Lives at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry.

Jesuit Welcomes the Silence of Annual 8-Day Retreat

Jesuit Brendan BusseEvery Jesuit makes an annual 8-day silent retreat, and Jesuit Brendan Busse, a scholastic, welcomes this time away.

“I need this time. I long for it. Of course I do what I can to nurture silence in my heart on a daily basis, but these annual retreats are privileged moments, graced times. They are, in a word, a gift,” Busse wrote in a blog entry for The Jesuit Post, before leaving for his yearly retreat.

“It’s not that I can’t find the joy of love and the presence of God immersed in our world,” Busse wrote. “It’s simply that I need time to be with God. Or really: it’s simply that I need God. I immerse myself in silence so that I can clear the air, the desk, the mind, the heart, and make room again for God.”

Busse compares daily life to a game of basketball, with moments of rest and re-collection occurring when there are pauses in the game. For Busse, the silent retreats are like those moments:

I’ve stepped away from the game to retrieve something lost, to catch my breath, to find the one thing necessary for the game to continue. The Compassionate Stranger bends over and takes the ball in hand and then performs a simple, perhaps thoughtless, act of generosity, an act of random kindness. Given the opportunity to be of ‘a little help’ they toss the ball back to me, and I jog back to join the players on the court so the game can continue.

Read Busse’s full entry at The Jesuit Post.