Yesterday I gave a Day of Reflection for the Twin Cities Ignatian Associates. The theme for the day was The Flame the Lights the Fire, a phrase taken from the second decree of the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, hels in 2008, labeled A Fire that Kindles Other Fires. The thrust of the decree is the Jesuits’s mission is
to keep the fire of its original inspiration alive in a way that offers warmth and light to our contemporaries. It does so by telling a story that has stood the test of time, despite the imperfections of its members and even of the whole body, because of the continued goodness of God, who has never allowed the fire to die.
I think that articulation is a very helpful one for all Catholics today, not only Jesuits and those who follow an Ignatian Spirituality. It is easy to get disgruntled at “the imperfections of [the Church's] members,” to be disappointed and even angry at so much of what we read today.
It is important that we not let the disgruntlement, the sadness, the disappointment and related emotions to blind us to our fundamental mission as Christians: To proclaim the Gospel. To tell our story To share with the world the story of God loving us so much that God becomes human, dies and then rises. That is the story we need to share in many and different ways. We need to make sure that nothing sidetracks us from that mission.