“Whosoever desires to serve as a soldier of God beneath the banner of the cross in our Society, which we desire to be designated by the name of Jesus, and to serve the Lord alone and the Church His Spouse, under the Roman pontiff, the vicar of Christ on earth, should, after a vow of perpetual chastity, poverty, and obedience, keep the following in mind.”
Thus begins the Formula of the Institute drafted by St. Ignatius Loyola and approved by the Church under papal bull in 1540. And thus we appeal to young men today to join the ranks of the Society of Jesus and its laudable saints, missionaries, scholars, priests, and brothers, who have labored throughout the ages to serve the Lord and the Church.
In his Spiritual Exercises, the spiritual keystone of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius invites those making the exercises to prayerfully consider the call of Christ as one made by a King who has before him all the entire world and says: “It is My Will to conquer all the world and all enemies and so to enter into the glory of My Father; therefore, whoever would like to come with Me is to labor with Me, that following Me in the pain, he may also follow Me in the glory.” Such is the call that Christ makes to the young men of our day to join him in laboring for the salvation of souls. In response to so generous a call from God, our Father Ignatius asks retreatants to pray: “Eternal Lord of all things, I make my oblation with Thy favor and help, in presence of Thy infinite Goodness and in presence of Thy glorious Mother and of all the Saints of the heavenly Court; that I want and desire, and it is my deliberate determination, if only it be Thy greater service and praise, to imitate Thee in bearing all injuries and all abuse and all poverty of spirit, and actual poverty, too, if Thy most Holy Majesty wants to choose and receive me to such life and state.”
If you are considering a vocation to the Society of Jesus, the priesthood, or the religious life, please contact the local Vocation Promoter.
Fr. Kevin Dyer, S.J.
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