Thursday, 31 January 2008

Adolfo Nicolas SJ

I was heartened today on reading the speech made by the new General of the Jesuits, Adolfo Nicolas, upon his induction. It contrasts sharply with the opinions of many that the order has taken a wrong direction, although their retiring General said that the order was ailing. (It is, however, a misfortune that he looks so much like the founder of Opus Dei!) However, this gives hope that there will be many more men in tune with our time, men, as I said on Sunday, 'whose time has come' and who are committed to rebuilding the Church in the face of what seems to be almost insurmountable odds. Here is an extract from his speech...

“Today all nations are gathered here. Each and every one is represented here. However, nations continue to appear. I ask myself today who are these ‘nations’, these non geographical communities, these human communities which ask for our help: they are the poor, the marginalized, the outcast. In our globalized universe, the number of absolute outcasts is increasing. The outcasts are failing, because in our society there is only room for the great and not for the little ones. All those who are disadvantaged, manipulated, all these are perhaps for us these ‘nations’: nations which need the prophetic message of God, (…) as when Paul addressed the influential churches of his time, and asked their support for the poor in Jerusalem. Do not forget the poor: they are our ‘nations’. They are the nations for which salvation is still a dream, a wish. It may be in their midst, but they know it not.

“And what about the others? The others are our collaborators, if they share this viewpoint, if they have the same heart as that which was given us by Christ. And if they have a heart still greater, and an even vaster vision, then we shall be their collaborators. What matters is the health, the salvation, the joy of the poor."