Friday, June 17, 2005

What am I doing?

Friends often ask what I will be doing for the next two years as a Jesuit novice.

While I like to explain the Jesuit novitiate as a sort of apprenticeship period, many still do not understand how it is any different from major seminary.

What am I doing for the next two years? Perhaps the best answer is that I will spend the time praying over these words:

Almighty and eternal God, I, NAME, though altogether most unworthy in your divine sight, yet relying on your infinite goodness and mercy and moved with a desire of serving you, in the presence of the most Holy Virgin Mary and your whole heavenly court, vow to Your Divine Majesty perpetual poverty, chastity and obedience in the Society of Jesus; and I promise that I shall enter the same Society in order to lead my entire life in it, understanding all things according to its Constitutions.

Therefore I suppliantly beg Your Immense Goodness and Clemency, through the blood of Jesus Christ, to deign to receive this holocaust in an odor of sweetness; and that just as you gave me the grace to desire and offer this, so you will also bestow on me abundant grace to fulfill it.

(Formula for first vows in the Society of Jesus. These vows are simple and perpetual, not temporary.)


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