Reflections On Faith

Reflections on Faith

A faith that is alive grows through prayer and reflection. This is a new page, where our pastors and parishioners share their thoughts on the faith. We begin with reflections from parishioner Margadette Demet.

Optimism and Trust

In a 1986 autobiographical interview with Jean-Claude Dietsch, S.J., Father Pedro Arrupe, former Superior General of the Jesuits, described himself as an incurable optimist. In this year 2020, an excerpt from this interview seems appropriate for our contemplation.

“It is necessary to note also that, contrary to utopian principles, Christian hope begins now. It is not merely for the future, although indeed eschatological. It exists already, in the present time. And its fullness is found in charity for all people. It has in our time a social dimension which is founded on the mutual love of all people for each other. It is what St. Paul said to the first communities, and it is what he gave witness to in his own life. He is an example for us.

It is on this foundation that I am an incurable optimist! — Perhaps I am indeed incorrigible! But I owe this optimistic outlook first of all to the grace of God, and then to my experience of life.

In Lourdes, I acquired an awareness of the power of God as he intervenes in history.

In Marneffe, after our expulsion from Spain, I lived in a community of 350 persons who wondered each evening if they would have enough food for the following day. And each day we had enough.

In Yamaguchi prison, I was alone for thirty-five days wondering why I was there, for how long, and if, in the end I might be executed. When this “experience” was over, you could not help but believe in a special providence.

And immediately after the explosion of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, shouldn’t I remember how we were able to feed and care for so many wounded?

And after the war, when I traveled the world seeking men and collecting funds for Japan, I was witness to a rare generosity and to extraordinary sacrifices. One might give many reasons for this, but as for me, I saw it as the hand of God

Then look, parachuted in from Japan, I found myself to be elected as General! I can assure you at this macroscopic level, one thinks a lot, asks advice, informs one’s self, and so on. Even so, things turn out differently and turn out better. We live in a state of trust which does not result in inaction. As St. Ignatius says, we ought to do all that we can, but in the end what counts is trust in God.”

From One Jesuit’s Spiritual Journey, by Jean-Claude Dietsch, S,J, 1986.

Submitted by Margadette M. Demet

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